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Sonya Awning April 06th, 2018 - 13:30:36
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.
There are dozens of styles of retractable awnings, determined mainly by the frame shape: Lateral arm awning - the most common, and oldest, retractable awning style, consisting simply of two or more arms, the front bar, mounting bar and the fabric. This is the most popular style for homes and commercial buildings; this is also the most scalable style, extending (projecting) as far as 17 feet without external supports. Dome - an awning with curved ribs, which forms a rounded shape when fully extended; these tend to have a significantly shorter extension (projection) than lateral arm awnings, extending only about five feet out maximum from the mount point. An elongated dome can have a longer projection than a standard dome style, almost double. Dome awnings are common for commercial properties and for window and door awnings. Drop screen - a kind of retractable awning which is mounted vertically so it extends downward. This style of awning has the mounting bar and fabric, but no arms since it simply "drops" down. This is mainly used to screen patios, gazebos, and other outdoor areas from glare, heat, rain, UV rays, direct sun, mosquitoes, and pollen.
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.
Arms - the part of the frame which folds closed at the elbow when the awning is retracted (rolls in) and opens when the awning is extended (rolls out). Shoulder - the joints on the retractable awning arms where arms attach to the mounting bar. Front bar - the extrusion at the very front of the awning frame. Hood - a cover which fits over the retractable awning frame and fabric; when the awning is fully retracted, the hood protects the exposed fabric, frame, and motor from the elements. Valance - a strip of fabric, usually a few inches high, which hangs from the front bar of the retractable awning. Rib - the cross bars of the frame which support the awning fabric. Not every awning style has ribs, since ribs are often used to create a shape to the awning frame; for example, lateral arm retractable awnings dont have any ribs. Canopy - an elongated, dome, or waterfall style retractable awning.