Add Beauty, Add Value: Retractable Awnings

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Property has to be managed to keep value, and retractable awnings offer unexpected benefits in creating beauty and adding value to any home or commercial space:
•Adding beauty with instant comfort and elegance.
•Lowering peak energy use by lowering the heat added to a room by 77% and cutting down air conditioning use by almost 25%.
•Preserving furnishings by blocking sunlight and UV rays, protecting furniture and carpets from fading and sun-related wear.
•Extending outdoor spaces by providing cooling shade or protection from rain.
•Easy maintenance and use with state-of-the art materials that resist fading, motors and sensors to automatically retract awnings, and low maintenance.

There are several options in outdoor coverings. Fixed awnings or canopies have distinct disadvantages: fading in as little as two years, constant cleaning, time-consuming storage. The versatility of retractable awnings provides extra advantages to property owners:
•Longer lifetimes, since retracting the awning when not in use innately protects it from fading, tears, mildew, and wind damage
•Easy use with motors, remote controls, and sensors
•Adjustable projection and pitch, which means the awning’s extension and angle are flexible
•No construction costs because of simple installation

Retractable awnings have a simple design. The frame of the awning is anchored with brackets to a wall, roof, eaves, or fascia. When the awning is extended, the arms are held in place by high tension springs, so no stanchions or posts have to hold it up. In high quality awnings, the tension springs are extremely strong; retractable awnings can have a projection (the length that the awning extends) as far as 17 feet on elbows with a weight load of 2200 pounds. Retractable awnings don’t have to be extended fully, so the length can be adjusted flexibly.

Retractable awnings are easy to use, with a variety of options that tailor them to any building or environment:
•A small, powerful motor, sealed inside the roller tube, extends and retracts the awning automatically. All motors should be UL (American) and CE (European) certified for quality.
•An optional hood allows the awning to be tucked inside when retracted and protects it from exposure. Hoods are available in PVC or extruded aluminum, but the better choice is aluminum which is strong and weathers well.
•Awnings can be retracted by remote controls like a garage door or controlled through indoor or outdoor switches.
•Sun, rain, and wind sensors measure the current conditions, from brightness to wind speed, and retract and extend awnings based on user-defined levels. Rain sensors can even extend awnings so that outdoor areas remain usable on wet days or retract awnings with a shallow pitch.
•Adjustable pitch changes the angle that the awning shades. Awnings have a minimum pitch of 0 degrees (flat) to provide maximum sun protection; steeper pitches deflect precipitation.
•Custom sizes are available down to one-inch increments in width and length, so that it is possible to match the size of the awning precisely to the area.

Retractable awnings add value by retaining their appearance and durability – factors determined by the quality of materials in them:
•The frame has several options, including steel and aluminum. Aluminum is the best choice for long-term value: powder-coated for protection, rust- and shatterproof, and lightweight.
•The arm shoulders carry the weight of the awning and moisture from precipitation. The strongest arms are Kevlar, with can carry a load of over 2000 pounds, but smaller awning arms are made of cables. Never get an awning with arms of bare steel; this will rust and bleed, weakening and discoloring the awning.
•The fabric canopy ages faster than any other part, between mildew, fading, wind damage, and atmospheric chemicals like acid rain. Natural fibers like cotton fade and rot with exposure to moisture. Vinyl is a solid sheet of fabric, which dries slowly, mildews easily, cracks, and fades. The best kind of fabric is solution-dyed acrylic, with the pigments embedded in the fiber of the fabric, not on the surface. Acrylic fabrics don’t fade or stain; since acrylic is a woven fabric, it dries quickly without mildewing. Acrylic fabrics on retractable awnings can last 15 years with minimal care.
•Teflon threads resist UV, moisture, and chemicals so that the retractable awning seams attaching it to the frame stay secure. Polyester stitching frequently needs to be resewn because the thread is vulnerable to moisture, cleaning products, and sun.

Awnings provide practical benefits like savings on electrical bills and simple enjoyment by enhancing any home or building’s outward appearance. By combining economy with aesthetics, retractable awnings can be a smart way to enhance the value of a property for a variety of circumstances, from increasing energy efficiency and curb appeal to enhancing outdoor sitting areas and protecting them from the elements.
Home Improvement
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