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Sonya Awning April 23rd, 2018 - 11:32:03
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.
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.
Specifically for retractable awnings, most Asian-produced lines are imitative rather than original, meaning they use standard designs done on the cheap without any engineering design or engineering drawings. In addition, almost all Asian vendors lacks TÜV or Eurolab certifications. Thats not to say that every budget line is bad. Obviously, price is a factor (though it becomes less of a factor when the usable life of a budget awning is about a quarter of a commercial/high-end awning). Also, a few companies focusing on residential lines put the effort in meeting with Asian manufacturers at trade shows, even touring their facilities. Even with budget lines, the quality of the company is reflected in their service agreements, return policies, and customer service.
Shopping for Awnings Buying Awnings online and installing them you can save a substantial amount of money. When shopping online for awnings, there are a lot of different price ranges and it can be confusing on which awning is the best value for your money. The best way to tell the quality of an awning is to look at the warranty that comes with the awning. Youll find the least expensive models have a one year warranty, the middle grades will have a 5 year warranty, and the top of the line models will have a 10 to 15 year warranty. So what one is the best value? The top of the line models may be a bit more in price, but youll have the peace of mind knowing your awning is going to last for years to come without any inconvenience of fixing problems or needing to replace it. Comparing the time the awning will last, and the cost, you will find investing in a quality awning will cost less per year. Longer lasting high quality awnings will equal less cost per year and more time for the energy savings. With all the colors and choices, you can enjoy the savings knowing that your awnings will pay for themselves in just a short amount of time. Not to mention all the curb appeal and style it will add to your home.