Sonya Awning April 21st, 2018 - 11:34:23
Different Reasons for Using Awnings Various factors have come into play for why Europe has, for nearly a century, been consistently integrating retractable awnings into architectural plans. Many of the initial reasons were cultural; prevalent open air markets had contributed to a long history of fixed awning use, so it was a natural transition to easier to use and longer-lasting retractable awnings. More practically, though, the widespread use of retractable awnings comes down to cooling and energy efficiency. Europe has very high energy costs and, because of many old homes and flats, most residences do not have air-conditioning systems installed. Therefore, European homeowners have had an imperative to find inexpensive, effective cooling and efficiency products - and one of the most effective methods for controlling interior heat is retractable awnings.
Differences in Style The different reasons for retractable awning use in Europe and the US have produced different emphases on style. Because awnings had a stylistic influence in European history which transitioned to efficiency uses, European awning fabrics and designs tend to be more dramatic and flamboyant. For example, European fabric lines average about 400 fabric designs, while American lines average 200. Color choices in Europe tend to be lighter and brighter. American homeowners, approaching retractable awnings as a functional addition to a house, without the stylistic background, tend to be conservative, choosing fabrics in blacks and grays in sedate stripes and staying with more traditional frame styles.
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).
Seasonal Storage Means Keep It Closed Most awning frame damage comes from some kind of stress, either high winds or gusts which twist the frame or weight from heavy rain, snow, even lots and lots of leaves, which can distend the fabric and bend the frame. It is not necessary to take down a retractable awning to protect it in winter. Just close it. Many retractable awnings have an optional hood, a shield which covers the awning when it is retracted and offers additional protection for the fabric. In winter, it can also be helpful to remove the valance, the strip of fabric which hangs at the front of the awning. What Makes the Difference Retractable awnings are much easier to maintain than fixed awnings or canopies for two major reasons: the fact that the awning retracts and the materials that make it.