If you are in the market for a retractable awning to increase your comfort and maximize your outdoor areas, you should learn about the different types to make an informed decision.
Things to Consider When Shopping for Retractable Awnings
You have many different choices when you are researching retractable awnings. Of course, it needs to be the correct size for the area where you have it installed, the fabric and the frame need to be durable and long-lasting and you can even choose to have one that is motorized for convenience.
What are Retractable Awnings?
Retractable awnings are a perfect choice for a home, motor home, or mobile home to create an outdoor room or space to add a shading solution. You can decide if you want to sit in the shade to relax on sunny and warm days or even on rainy days and still be comfortable. Otherwise, you may decide you want to catch some rays and sit in the area with the awning closed to soak up some sunshine.
A retractable awning uses a metal frame to extend a piece of fabric outward from your home and create a shaded area. The awning frame needs to look thick and sturdy in order to support the weight of the fabric and last for many years. The awning frame can be attached to a wall, a roof, or a soffit, depending on the exterior of your home such as vinyl, brick, concrete, a single-story home, a condo, or an older home with eaves.
Retractable awnings of all types can reduce the temperature underneath them by about 20 percent and if the awning is covering windows or a sliding glass door, it will reduce your indoor temperature by 15 percent also. Now, that’s energy efficiency that is truly appreciated in the Denver area.
Retractable awnings also increase your livable outdoor space and increase your home’s value at the same time. Retractable awnings also make a great curbside appeal item to brighten up your location while keeping you more comfortable.
A retractable awning will last much longer than a fabric stationary awning because when it’s not in use it rolls up the fabric on a roller to protect it from fading and thinning due to being in the harsh sunlight, or from wind and rain which all cause deterioration.
Where Can I Place Retractable Awnings?
You can put a retractable awning anywhere that has a mounting area on a sturdy and permanent structure. Smaller retractable awnings look great over windows and doors to really jazz up your home. Many homeowners and businesses install their awnings over a patio or deck area to create a sort of outdoor room that is comfortable. If you have a sturdy and permanent fixture such as a pergola, you can mount your awning to it as well, to perhaps make a shady area over part of your swimming pool. You can also install retractable awnings on upstairs decks and patios as well.
Things to Consider Before Getting a Retractable Awning
You have several considerations when you are searching for the best retractable awning. There are different styles and grades to be considered as well as the mounting style and you always want a warranty on your products.
Since the fabric of your awning is what protects you from the sun, you want to choose a premium fabric such as Sunbrella. This is a world-renowned fabric this is heavy, breathable, acrylic and of marine-grade material. It’s resistant to mildew and fading, which are two of the biggest threats to your awning. The sun’s UV rays fade fabrics and then the sun eats away at the fibers to degrade them. Usually, by the time you notice the fading, damages have already occurred and you will soon notice that the thinning fabric will become torn. Sunbrella fabrics hold the Skin Cancer Foundation’s seal of recommendation for sun protection and it safely “aids in the prevention of sun-induced damage to the skin.”
You will have many colors to select from so you are sure to find one to complement your home or dwelling. One thing to keep in mind though is that different colors and their pigments reflect the percent of the sun’s UV rays differently. Darker colors will reflect the sun more than lighter colors, but darker colors also retain more heat.
Motorized or Manual Operation
You can choose one of two methods of operation on a retractable awning. The manual option takes only a few minutes of rotating a crank with a long tool to open or close your awning. The motorized awning version will open and close with a simple touch of a button and it can also have wind sensors. In the case that you leave your home and a storm suddenly comes in, the winds can severely damage your retractable awning if it’s open. The wind sensor automatically closes the awning for you when winds get to a certain speed to save your awning from damages. A very light drizzle won’t trigger the sensor to close the awning, but anything heavier will. This keeps water from pooling on the fabric and stretching it, which in turn causes it to flap in the wind.
Guarantees and Warranties
Check the length of all your guarantees and warranties on your awning products. You should make sure that you are protected if anything should happen to go wrong. The longer the warranty, the more likely that the products are better made.
Choose Professional Installation
You should choose a professional awning installation company to install your retractable awning. They are experienced in your area with the weather conditions and the specifications needed for your exact area. Retractable awnings need to be installed at precise angles to shed water, snow and debris and they are also rated for different amounts of wind. Some DIY homeowners have installed their own retractable awnings and ended up with a sub-par attachment that can lead to the awning falling on and injuring people underneath it. You should contact an installation awning company that has the necessary credentials, such as a license, certification and insurance to help protect your investment if anything goes wrong during the project.
You should now be able to have more information on retractable awnings and be able to search for the perfect one for your home or business use. It is an investment upfront, but the extra pleasure you can get from relaxing in the shade during the dog days of summer is really worth it.