Sonya Awning April 29th, 2018 - 11:35:45
Specifically for retractable awnings, most Asian-produced lines are imitative rather than original, meaning they use standard designs done on the cheap without any engineering design or engineering drawings. In addition, almost all Asian vendors lacks TÜV or Eurolab certifications. Thats not to say that every budget line is bad. Obviously, price is a factor (though it becomes less of a factor when the usable life of a budget awning is about a quarter of a commercial/high-end awning). Also, a few companies focusing on residential lines put the effort in meeting with Asian manufacturers at trade shows, even touring their facilities. Even with budget lines, the quality of the company is reflected in their service agreements, return policies, and customer service.
Consider whether the additional cost for a high end retractable awning is worth the additional quality. The functional distinctions between high and low quality retractable awnings are significant: - Commercial (high quality) awnings have non-prorated frame warranties of 25 years and fabric lifetimes as long as 12-15 years, while residential (budget) lines have frame warranties and fabric lifetimes of five years or less. - Commercial grade retractable awnings come in custom sizes, down to an inch measurement, while many residential lines have only a few standard sizes. - Commercial retractable awnings have hundreds of fabrics available, while budget lines usually have much fewer color and pattern options. Additionally, high quality awnings use a woven fabric called solution-dyed acrylic which resists fading, mildew, and rot, while budget awnings use cheap materials such as canvas (which fades quickly) or vinyl (which absorbs the heat and does not breathe).
There are dozens of styles of retractable awnings, determined mainly by the frame shape: Lateral arm awning - the most common, and oldest, retractable awning style, consisting simply of two or more arms, the front bar, mounting bar and the fabric. This is the most popular style for homes and commercial buildings; this is also the most scalable style, extending (projecting) as far as 17 feet without external supports. Dome - an awning with curved ribs, which forms a rounded shape when fully extended; these tend to have a significantly shorter extension (projection) than lateral arm awnings, extending only about five feet out maximum from the mount point. An elongated dome can have a longer projection than a standard dome style, almost double. Dome awnings are common for commercial properties and for window and door awnings. Drop screen - a kind of retractable awning which is mounted vertically so it extends downward. This style of awning has the mounting bar and fabric, but no arms since it simply "drops" down. This is mainly used to screen patios, gazebos, and other outdoor areas from glare, heat, rain, UV rays, direct sun, mosquitoes, and pollen.
How easy an awning is to maintain depends a lot on how it is made, and there are differences between retractable awnings. The fabric on low-quality awnings, particularly cheaper fabrics like canvas and vinyl, is the component most vulnerable to damage: rotting or mildew from rain and humidity, sun exposure, frayed seams, cracking, and fading. Quality retractable awning companies use solution-dyed acrylic, a chemical fiber with the color embedded into it. Solution-dyed acrylic is a woven fabric, so it dries quickly, avoiding mold or mildew. Since is a synthetic fiber, it doesnt rot. And, since the color is part of the fiber itself, it lasts as long as 15 years before being replaced.