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Retractable Awning

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Retractable Awning
Earlier awnings were used primarily to shade the patio in any house but in modern days the usage of awnings has increased and diversified. Check out more on retractable awnings, window awnings, patio awnings and choosing awning fabric.

A secondary cover attached to the peripheral wall of a building is termed as awning. ‘Woven mats’ was the term used by the Egyptians and the Syrians for awnings. These woven mats were used to shade their homes and market stalls. In North America awnings gained popularity during the first half of the 19th century. Customarily awnings were made from a canvas woven of acrylic, cotton or polyester yarn. They can also be made from vinyl coated to polyester fabric which in turn is extended firmly over a light structure of aluminum, iron, or steel or at times even wood.


Earlier awnings were used primarily to shade the patio in any house but in modern days the usage of awnings has increased and diversified. People have started to see awning as an energy conservation tool and have begun to use them to shade any area of their home that receives excessive sunlight. Read more to learn about deck awnings, window awnings, retractable awnings and patio awnings.


Retractable awning

The most popular type of awning is the retractable awning. The great advantage of this type of awning is that it can be pulled out when required and retracted when not needed thus allowing sunlight when required and blocking it when not needed. The different types of Retractable awnings are:

Portable, pop-up canopies: It is easy to shift and carry this awning to any place where it has to be fit. This is a very cost effective method of shading any particular place temporarily.

Lateral arm awnings: This type of awning is a contemporary version of the early storefront crank-up awnings. A roller bar and tension arms are supported with the help of a torsion bar, the torsion bar in turn is fit to a wall or soffit brackets and the load is distributed on the width of the wall.

Shade screens: They are drop curtains that are utilized to shade windows, patios, and sun rooms. The fabric is made from acrylic canvas and looks like a mesh; the mesh design allowing easy passage of air through the awning.

Side arm type: These types of awnings are used to shade windows with the help of a roller tube at the top, motor, spring-loaded side arms and a crank or a tape puller.


RV awning

RV awnings make outdoor experiences great one by providing shade for people to sit back and relax. RV awnings can be described as a porch on the roads or a home on wheels. You can feel at ease even on roads with these awnings, they can be easily fixed anywhere. If you feel like taking a break while driving, you can do so if you have a RV awning with you.

There are a variety of RV awnings available in the market - awnings made of either fabric or metal, pop-up awnings, slide out or retractable awnings and awnings made with hook-on screens for shading and shielding all sides. The slide out or the retract awnings are the most suitable and handy to use. If you plan to have a picnic meal outside then awnings with screens are the best as they provide protection from rain too. RV awnings have a lot of accessories to go with them. The list of accessories includes sun visors, fan, awning mats and light.


Window awning

Window awnings can be used to either cover a single window or cover an entire area where sunlight needs to be blocked. During summer, window awnings can reduce considerable solar heat gain. Earlier metal and canvas awnings were used extensively and their cover had to be redone once every five years. Modern day window awnings are made from synthetic fabrics like acrylic or polyvinyl laminates. They are water repellent, mildew resistant and are to a certain extent fade resistant too.

While choosing fabric for window awnings, select a fabric that is thick and firmly woven. Awnings must provide sufficient ventilation so that they do not trap the hot air in and around the window. Do not choose light colored cloth for window awnings as they tend to reflect more light.


Door awning /Awning canopy

Door awnings or canopies look much like a roof and act as a protective cover for the door of a building. Awning canopies can be extended away from a building and are commonly used in hotels or restaurants to cover the entrance and a portion of the exterior to convert it into an open air dining area.

Awning canopies are made from canvas or tough water-resistant synthetic fabrics. They are fixed on a frame and are used primarily to cover the door or walkway of a building. There are many types of door awnings, for e.g. retractable awnings, metal awnings etc. Proper care of door awnings keeps them going in a good condition for a long period. While choosing an awning fabric for home use, ensure that they suit the local climatic conditions.


Patio awning

Patio awnings improve the aesthetic look of any house. People who use their patio during the day in summer time will find that a patio awning is a blessing in disguise. Patio awnings have the ability to reduce 20% of the sun’s ray’s penetration thus offering the best shade. These awnings are perfect as they allow very little natural light and offer protection from harmful UV rays. Patio awnings come in attractive colors, sizes, styles and fabrics.


Remember to carry a picture of your patio to help you decide on an awning for your patio. The accessories that go along with patio awnings include attachable screens and lights. The attachable screen safeguards the interior of the awning from bugs. The awning covers only the top part of the patio thus allowing breeze to flow through. A retractable patio awning can also be used so that you can pull it back and enjoy the clear starry sky.


Awning fabric

The awning fabric plays a major role on the amount of shade and shield an awning can provide. The quality of the awning fabric speaks for the awning’s strength and endurance. Purpose of use and location are deciding factors while choosing awning fabric. There are a variety of fabrics used for awnings and there are over 500 colors to choose from. It is advisable to choose a dark colored fabric for awnings as it provides better shade effect. There are fabrics with a light shade on the inner side and dark color on the outer side of the awning.

While choosing an awning fabric, remember to choose one that is fire resistant, fade resistant and water resistant too. Also ensure that the fabric is strong and durable. A fourteen ounce fabric with double side color is recommended for awnings as it is colorful, strong and durable. It offers great protection from sun, wind, snow and rain. Awning fabrics with an acrylic coating are popular as they withstand more wear and tear and are easy to clean and maintain.


Deck awning

With a deck awning, you have some extra space that you can make use of. Deck awnings also prove to be a great protection for all your garden furniture as these awnings covers the garden furniture from the harsh sunlight. These awnings are available in both fixed and retractable types. You can also settle on the fabric and fabric color of your choice as deck awnings are custom made. Make sure you choose a color that matches the exterior of your home.

Canvas awning

Canvas awnings shade the windows of your home and offer protection for all the furniture and upholstery. Canvas awnings also shade the interior of your rooms in an efficient manner. Canvas awnings are easy to maintain and few of them can be removed totally and washed in a machine at home.

Metal awning

Metal awnings are best suited for commercial set ups as they are strong and durable. They provide excellent shade for the interior and exterior of your building. They not only protect the furniture inside your building but also help in cutting down the electricity bill.

The interior of the building remains cool because of these awnings. They fit wonderfully into commercial buildings and act as sunshades for customers and passers by. Metal awnings that are used for commercial purpose can be custom made and require very little maintenance.



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