Sonya Awning April 06th, 2018 - 11:57:07
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.
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.
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.
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.