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Tips for Handling Retractable Awnings Based on Weather Conditions Anything placed outdoors is exposed to the weather. This is among the key considerations you must make before you buy a retractable awning. Fixed awnings, gazebos and canopies are all permanent in terms of position. Supported by stanchions, the fabric is tautly stretched across the frame. This inflexibility causes both the fabric and the frames to wear out and weaken over time. While the frames and posts provide support against the wind, this support is limited and the fabric stays helpless against the weight of the snow and rain. Retractable awnings, on the other hand, are only fixed at the base, with tier support coming from their arms’ tension springs. Top quality frames are made of lightweight yet strong and durable aluminum. But because there is no external support, anything that stresses a frame, such as a sharp or heavy movement, can cause damage.
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However, retractable awnings provide one substantial advantage. While their fixed counterparts can only deteriorate over time due to consistent weather exposure, retractable awnings can stay in good shape for longer as they can be slid back into a protective hood.
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Effects of Snow and Rain What makes rain and snow dangerous to awnings is their weight. When there’s very light precipitation, such as a fog, drizzle or very light snow, a high-quality retractable awning is going to do just fine. But a heavy downpour can create problems. Rain has the most impact on the fabric. Rainwater pools on the fabric and becomes too heavy that it sags and weakens and eventually tears. You can prevent rain damage on an awning with these two methods: > Adjust the arms’ pitch in a way that the awning’s angle becomes steep enough for the water to simply run off rather than collecting on the fabric.> Adjust the awning to an angle that is steep enough to allow the water slide off instead of accumulating on the fabric. If your retractable awning is motorized, use a rain sensor so that the awning can immediately retract into its hood at the beginning of rain. Snow makes a different impact on retractable awnings. Snow and ice have a tendency to build up one layer on top of another. On top of stressing the fabric out, the increasing weight can bend the awning frame as well, and even lead to lateral arm and mounting bar damage. Effects of Wind and Motion Top quality retractable awnings are build and proven to endure a maximum of 35 mph of wind, so they are safe on any general day. Rule of thumb is, if it’s too windy for you to sit outside, it will be too windy for your retractable awning to be extended. Just as there are rain sensors, there are also wind sensors which can come as handy. Both sensors work the same way, but of course, the wind sensor makes the motorized awning retract when the speed of the wind exceeds the maximum.