Sonya Awning April 23rd, 2018 - 12:00:16
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.
For a more thorough cleaning, use a soft-bristled brush and dish soap, working from the bottom up. If there is a persistent stain, mix a quarter cup of soap and a half cup of bleach in one gallon of lukewarm water, and soak the stain for 20 minutes, then rinse.There are some things to avoid when cleaning a retractable awning: Do not use a pressure cleaner, as it will damage the fabric. To prevent mold, mildew, or water stains, make sure that the awning is completely dry before closing it, unless there are high winds. Never use detergent on retractable awning fabric and avoid using the bleach-soap cleaner when possible. Most high quality retractable awning fabrics have several fabric treatments to prevent mildew and stains; harsh cleaners remove that treatment. Avoid heat. Some solution-dyed acrylic fabrics are heat-sensitive and can shrink in steam-cleaning, dryers, and hot water.
European lines have the highest quality, partly because awnings have been used in Europe for thousands of years and are tightly integrated with building design concepts. This long history has led to the best designed and manufactured awnings available: Tight manufacturing standards- Internationalized, rigorous QA testing standards- Certification processes for materials- Durable material quality for frames, fabrics, and threads- Continuously evolving styles, features, and development On the other hand, most budget (residential) retractable awnings tend to be made in China, an area plagued by consistent complaints about poor quality control, poor materials, and poor labor. With budget lines, product quality, sometimes even product materials, varies significantly between lots. - Lower quality materials- Lack of testing or certifications- Limited styles- Inconsistent manufacturing quality.
Usually, then, when a company advertises a "residential awning," theyre signaling that this is a budget line, while "commercial grade awnings" represent high-end lines. Manufacturing Regions and Differences in Quality here are three important manufacturing regions for retractable awnings: Europe, North America, and Asia (mainly China). Each of these manufacturing regions corresponds almost directly to the awning quality: The highest quality retractable awnings are manufactured in Europe, midrange awnings in America, and budget lower quality awnings in China. Most awning companies in the USA sell either commercial awnings from Europe or budget lines from China.