What is an awning?
An awning is a piece of fabric or material stretched over a frame used to block sun and water. Awnings can serve a practical and a decorative function for your home.
Types of Awnings
These types of awnings attach to your outside wall. They can be located anywhere so long as they block the elements. Stationary awnings are made to keep designated areas clear from the sun.
One of the downsides of a fixed awning is its inflexibility and higher maintenance cost. Because an awning is stationary, any extreme weather can place duress on the material. It’s designed to stay put, not to move. This requires regular maintenance, with costs which can add up over time.
Retractable awnings provide the same function as a stationary model. These can move back and forth when needed. This offers great shade, greater versatility, and lower fixing costs.
These models are best suited for patios or outdoor decks. With motorized retractable patios, they can be deployed when the sun is harshest. On a cool day, the canvas can be retracted, letting you take in the sun as it was intended.
What Materials are Awnings Made Of?
Depending on what purpose you want your awning to serve, you might want to choose a different type of material. Awnings typically can be constructed using acrylic, cotton, fiberglass, metal, vinyl, or even wood.
Acrylic is a synthetic material that withstands and repels moisture. Acrylics are made of high-quality fabrics that is used to enhance any type of awning. The material also prevents any fading on homes or furniture, providing effective protection from solar rays. Acrylics also make a retractable awning strong, yet able to move.
This is a traditional fabric that can be placed over a frame. If you use cotton, you must make sure the weave is tight and is coated with several layers of protection. Without it, standard fabric would let rain and even limited amounts of UV rays through the awning, retractable or otherwise.
This type of awning offers the resilience of metal with much less weight. Fiberglass can withstand the elements and is much easier to manage than metals. A fiberglass awning can mix with colors to provide the result you need to protect your patio from the sun. While it is a versatile material, fiberglass can become brittle and break over time.
Before acrylic awnings, metal (specifically, aluminum) awnings were the solution to covered spaces. They are still prevalent thanks to their sturdy build. While you may want a more resilient material, metallic awnings are much noisier. Also, once the metal dents, it can be difficult to return the material to an unbothered finish.
One of the most common types of awnings present today. An awning is often coated with vinyl to add a layer of protection from UV rays, rain, heavy winds, and more. The vinyl preserves the flexibility of the canvas, which works well for retractable models. This model provides the ultimate shade when you need it on your patio.
In some cases, buildings have used wooden awnings to provide a secure harbor from the elements. It is a green material that requires little manufacturing effort if made correctly. While it can be sturdy, wooden awnings react poorly to moisture. They also pose a greater fire hazard to the home if elements get too out of control.