Sonya Awning April 29th, 2018 - 12:12:07
UV rays, high wind, gusts, and rain - basically, normal weather - cause the most damage to awnings. Fading, molding, and tearing fabric. Twisting fixed frames from high wind damage or the weight of snow or pooling rain. In only two or three years, fixed awnings and canopies already show substantial wear, which is why the lifetime of most fixed awnings and canopies is only five or six years before the awning need to be replaced. Retractable awnings are closed when not in use, which cuts weather damage. That makes the maintenance much easier on retractable awnings compared to permanent awnings and canopies - there is no need to hunt down replacement parts, replace fabric every couple of years, or attempt to wrangle awnings down and into storage for winter.
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.
PVC - a hard polymer also used to make plumbing pipes; this tends to be brittle. Kevlar® - the polymer used to make bulletproof vests; Kevlar® straps in the arms instead of cables are extremely strong and durable and cant rust. Cables - braided metal strands which are used in the arms; these are usually steel, which rusts, leading the cables to discolor the fabric and eventually break. Cables cannot be replaced because they are internal to the arm and inaccessible. Terms: Installation Understanding a few terms about the positioning and installation of the awning can help determine the appropriate size and installation location for your awning: o Mount - what way or location the awning is affixed to the home or building, such as a wall mount, eave mount, soffit, or roof mount. Pitch - the angle that the awning comes down from the mount point to the front bar. Some lateral arm retractable awnings have an adjustable pitch. Projection - how far out from the wall the awning can extend. Load - the stress put on the awning, from wind, snow, even the weight of the awning itself (dead load). Good quality retractable awnings can sustain wind speeds up to approximately 35mph Pooling - water buildup on the canopy which can cause the fabric to sag and stretch.
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.