Sonya Awning April 29th, 2018 - 11:25:16
Awnings have been common for more than 2000 years; retractable awnings have been around for almost 150 years. While the history of using awnings stretches far back in Europe and retractable awnings are commonly used there today, theyre rare in the United States - despite the fact that retractable awnings were invented in the US. This uneven adoption has led to an exposure of design options in Europe - intricate frames, new types of retractable frames, bold colors, and luscious patterns - while America, treating awnings as a practical afterthought, has stayed more conservative. A Quick History Some form of awnings has been around for millennia, starting in Egypt and the Middle East and spreading across the Roman Empire. Most of those were fixed canopies of mats, skins, or fabric bolts hung over poles. In the mid-1800s, shop owners began using movable awnings, which simply bunched up the fabric when it was taken down. In the latter part of the century, they began rolling awnings on a tube, cleanly retracting them and keeping the fabric safe. With minor variation, this is the same basic design used today on lateral arm retractable awnings.
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.
How much shade coverage is required. What the width of the awning should be, based on the shade area. Add at least 12 inches to maximize coverage for sun and rain protection. How far out the awning extends (the projection), based on the shade area. There is a natural slope to an awning, so the actual shade is several inches shorter than the full projection. How high to mount the awning. Because of the awnings slope, the front of the awning is lower than the mounting position; this difference is the drop. The recommended drop is 3 inches per foot of projection. So, if the awning has a 12-foot projection, the drop is about 36 inches. To get a 7-foot clearance under the front bar, the awning has to be mounted at least 10 feet high. Scout out a mounting place that is free of obstructions (no lights, gutters, wiring, or ornamentation) and has adequate clearance around any doors or windows. For screens, make sure that any doors swing away from the screen. For retractable awnings, make sure the awning can extend its full projection without running into a tree, patio, roofline, or fence.
Retractable awnings are getting attention. From green initiatives to historical renovations to downtown retail centers, property owners are hearing that retractable awnings are a terrific, inexpensive method to save money on energy and create a striking exterior feature. The rise in popularity for retractable awnings in the US means that there is a flood of new retractable awning options available, both in new styles and in new companies. Its tempting to look for the best deal alone, but there is such a variance in quality that customers can end up losing much more with short-lived and poor-performing awnings than they save upfront. It is possible to ascertain the quality of a retractable awning in a surprisingly succinct way: find out where it was made.