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Awnings for Decks – What you need to know
When it comes to awnings for decks, there are a variety of options. But before you install a deck awning, do your research first.
So you have a nice deck; it’s beautifully crafted with waterproof wood and designed to complement your home. You’ve got some great furniture out there that your family enjoys. You might even have an awning installed to protect your investment, but if you don’t, here are some tips, ideas, and advice on finding the right deck awning for your home.
First, let’s talk about the definition of an awning and how they work. An awning is a type of architectural feature or covering, typically attached to a building’s exterior, that is generally made of fabric or other materials and is used to provide shade and protection from the elements. Awnings are often attached to buildings, such as homes or commercial structures, extending outward to create a shaded area. They are commonly found above windows, doors, patios, or storefronts.
There are various options when it comes to awnings for decks. But before you install a deck awning, do your research first; this will help save you in the long run and possibly prevent damage to your home. (Awnings use mounting brackets attached to your home's exterior). Here is a quick run-down of the types of deck awning products on the market:
- Retractable Awnings – these can be equipped with sensors that detect the sun and the wind and automatically retract or extend. These can also feature manual or automatic control buttons.
- Stationary Awnings – these are fixed in place and can’t be retracted but also need less maintenance than a retractable awning.
- Freestanding Canopy– these are freestanding and not attached to your home.
Choosing the correct type of awning material is vital because it can impact its durability, appearance, and performance. Here are some factors to consider when selecting awning material:
- Intended Use:
- Consider the primary purpose of the awning. Is it for providing shade, protecting from rain, or both? The material should match your specific needs.
- Assess the climate and weather conditions in your area. If your location experiences harsh sunlight, strong winds, or heavy rains, you'll need a material that can withstand these elements.
- Materials like acrylic fabric, vinyl, or metal are often more durable and weather-resistant than standard canvas.
- Determine how much time and effort you will invest in maintaining the awning. Some materials require more maintenance than others.
- Canvas and acrylic fabrics may require periodic cleaning and maintenance to prevent mold and mildew growth, while metal and vinyl awnings are generally easier to clean and maintain.
- Consider the aesthetic aspect. Different materials come in various colors and patterns, so choose one that complements your home or building's style.
- Remember that some materials may fade or deteriorate faster in direct sunlight.
- Retractable vs. Fixed:
- If installing a retractable awning, ensure the material is suitable for frequent extending and retracting. Look for a material with good flexibility and resistance to creasing.
- Different materials have varying price points. Balance your budget with your desired features and durability requirements.
- Fire Resistance:
- Check if the material is fire-resistant or complies with local building codes and safety regulations.
- Investigate the warranties offered by manufacturers for the material. A more extended warranty period can provide peace of mind regarding the material's quality and durability.
Here are some standard awning material options and their characteristics:
- Canvas: Traditional canvas is a breathable fabric that provides excellent shade. It's relatively easy to maintain but may require occasional cleaning and waterproofing. Canvas is suitable for both fixed and retractable awnings.
- Acrylic Fabric: Acrylic fabric is known for its fade resistance and durability. It offers good weather resistance and comes in various colors and patterns. It's a popular choice for retractable awnings.
- Vinyl: Vinyl is a durable, low-maintenance material that can withstand harsh weather conditions. It's easy to clean and ideal for fixed awnings.
- Metal: Metal awnings, often made from aluminum or steel, are highly durable and require minimal maintenance. They provide excellent protection from the elements and are often used for commercial applications.
Ultimately, the choice of awning material should align with your specific needs, budget, and aesthetic preferences, so it's a good idea to consult a professional awning installer or supplier who can provide guidance based on your requirements and local climate conditions.
If you’re ready to buy an awning, here is a list of questions you should have the answers to before installation:
- What are your home’s dimensions (roof to floor)?
- What’s the size of the area you want to protect?
- What is the exterior of your home made from?
- What direction does your deck area face?
- Are there any light fixtures or other obstructions that will hinder the installation of the awning?
- What kind of fabric do you want to use?
Once you’ve researched, it’s time to choose a company to help you with your awning needs. Herculite Inc. manufactures a variety of fabric options for awnings, including deck awnings. Herculite also offers custom engineering for your projects. Herculite's® Awning Fabrics employ unique film formulations, adhesive systems, and the company’s Core Stabilized Process to help provide maximum performance.
Herculite offers vinyl awning fabrics that are:
- Fire Resistant
- Heat Sealable
- Stain and mildew-resistant
- Dimensionally Stable
- Scratch Resistant
- 8-year warranty
- American Standard 62" Width
- Engineered in America