5 Options That Increase Retractable Awning Lifespans

Home & Garden Blog

A simple retractable awning provides a quick and attractive way to add some shade to your outdoor seating areas. Awnings are an investment, so make sure to add on a few features that will increase the awning's working lifespan.

1. UPF Ratings

The UPF rating is the ultraviolet protection factor. The higher the rating, the more UV light that is blocked by the awning. Not only is this good for your health, since UV rays are known to cause skin cancer, UV light resistance also protects the awning itself from ultraviolet light damage. The fabric will last longer without fading or developing weakened fibers from sun exposure. 

2. Mildew Resistance

Modern synthetic outdoor fabrics are manufactured so that they are less likely, when compared to natural fibers, to suffer rot and mildew. The highest quality awning fabrics are also treated to prevent mildew and mold growth. Although mildew itself won't typically damage synthetic fibers, it will leave unsightly stains. Rolled-up awnings can be especially mildew prone if moisture is trapped on the fabric during storage. Upgrading to a treated awning that won't develop mildew is well worth the investment. 

3. Motorized Operation

Another failure point on an awning can be the operation style. You generally have two main options: manual awnings, which are typically operated by a crank or similar, or a motorized option that allows you to extend or retract the awning with the push of a button. Manual awnings are often left open when they should be closed, simply because cranking them open and closed throughout the day can be a hassle. This increases the chances of damage from wind and weather exposure.

4. Wind Sensors

The biggest enemy to a retractable fabric awning is likely the wind, which can twist the awning frame and damage the fabric. If you opt for a motorized awning, you can have it equipped with wind sensors. These sensors are designed to measure wind speed and they will automatically retract the awning if the detected breeze is above the set level. This way you never have to worry about damage if you forget to retract the awning.

5. Orientation Options

In their simplest form, retractable awnings can be pulled out or rolled back up. More advanced models are also available, which allow you to adjust the orientation of the awning so that it can tilt lower to the ground instead of always opening up to a fixed position. Not only does this allow you to adjust it to better block the sun, but it also means you can tilt it down so that it is easier to access and clean the top of the awning. A clean awning is a longer-lasting awning.

Contact an outdoor awnings dealer to learn more. 


6 January 2022