Sonya Awning April 25th, 2018 - 08:45:12
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.
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.
In addition to the practical reasons, Europe has had a long aesthetic tradition with awnings, so retractable awnings are a natural part of any home design, and that organically led into creative and adventurous designs, which made using awnings even more appealing. The US, on the other hand, has had historically cheap and accessible energy, with widespread air conditioning and central air systems. Combined with suburb-motivated home designs, neither energy nor aesthetics has given a compelling reason to include retractable awnings on homes as a standard practice. Energy shortages and price increases in the 1970s, though, did begin bringing retractable awnings to the popular mind as a functional solution for energy efficiency.
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.