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Sonya Awning April 29th, 2018 - 11:44:00
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.
There are also dozens of different accessories for retractable awnings which make them easier to operate. A couple of common ones: Anemometer - a device which monitors wind speed; this is used with wind sensors. Sensors - devices which monitor different atmospheric conditions and trigger the motor to retract or extend the awning accordingly; there are four major kinds of sensors, including sun (light) sensors, wind sensors, rain sensors, and motion sensors (which monitor movements, such as wind gusts) Motor - a device which automatically moves the awning; motors are enclosed in the roller tube.Terms: Materials The retractable awning materials are the true indicator of quality - because the kind of materials used translates into quality, not the expense of the materials. For the fabric, there are two major categories of fabrics:
A drop screen usually enhances an existing structural feature, such as a door or window, or as panels to enclose a porch, lanai, or gazebo. A drop screen requires a sturdy beam to mount to and possibly a door frame or post to fix the side guides to. After finding the location, simply measure the width of the area from side to side on the interior of the frame (for an inside mount) and add for the width of the side guides if mounted outside the window frame. Then measure the height of the screen, going from the inside (or bottom) of the top frame to the bottom of the threshold for the height; for an outside mount, add the size of the headerbox and bottom rail to the height measurement. Finding an ideal retractable awning location has a few other factors to consider.
Longevity. Fixed awnings have a fabric lifetime of five years or less because of constant exposure to the sun, snow, rain, and wind, all of which can fade or tear the fabric. Retractable awnings have a huge advantage in being able to retract - the fabric can be protected in adverse weather conditions. Combined with options like a motor and sensors (for light, wind, rain, and motion), the awning can be closed automatically in conditions which would normally damage the fabric or frame. Retracting the awning when its not in use, like on shady or cold days, cuts down on sun damage to the fabric from UV exposure. With a retractable awning, the average lifetime for the fabric is 15 years - three times better than a fixed awning. Since retractable awning frames have warranties of up to 25 years and motors have warranties up to 5 years, motorized retractable awnings offer a really excellent cost investment.