Author Archives: Marcion Albert

Awning Gallery

Energy Benefits Of Adding An Awning To Your Home

Guide to Energy Saving from Awnings and Sun Shades

According to reports published by the U.S. Department of Energy, placing window awnings to the south side of your property can lead to up to 65% reduction in solar heat and if placed on the west side, the reduction is an estimated 77%. Now this is a significant save on energy and if you are yet to be among those who enjoy the many energy benefits of making your home more energy efficient, this knowledge should get you thinking about being one of the numerous Americans who enjoys up to 60% savings on energy costs through the installation in their various homes and commercial properties.

Gone are those days when installing or dismantling of your awning is a huge task because of this time, there are various styles of retractable awnings that make setting up or taking down a lot easier than you imagine. There are also local and reliable companies that offer installations at affordable rates. Having known all these, it is time to talk about the energy benefits of having one installed on your property, residential or commercial. Both in Europe and in the U.S., several property owners are cutting costs on energy through the installation. Some of these benefits are as follows:

  • Protection Against Water Damages: If you live in an area that is prone to incessant rainfall, then there is the possibility that the pounding of the rain on your door will lead to water finding its way into your home. If you have rug carpet in your home, then it will require vacuum or hot air drying to get the carpet dry again. This uses up a lot of energy that could have been saved if an awning was installed at the entrance or by the window side of the property.
  • Less Air Conditioning: Studies have shown that penetration of solar radiation through glass windows and doors lead to an increased demand for cooling the interiors of a property through air conditioners. With the installation of an awning, you are projecting yourself to enjoy most of the energy benefits of adding an awning to your home. This includes having to use your air condition less often since the cover prevents direct penetration of solar radiation into your home or business place. When your air conditioner does not need to work often in order for you to maintain a cool environment, then you will be saving more on energy costs.
  • Less Heating: If yours is a retractable awning, then dismantling it during the winter will afford you the opportunity of saving cost on heating up your home. This is because the solar radiation will no longer be blocked and will penetrate the glasses directly to heat up your home. When this happens, you use the heater less and as such, increasing your energy savings considerably.
  • Reduction Of The Impact Of Global Warming: This is overall when it comes to the numerous energy benefits. When you consume less energy when it comes to cooling your home during summer and spring or you use less energy in heating up your home or commercial establishment during winter, you will be among those who are reducing the impact of global warming.
  • Reduction In Peak Electricity Demand: From several studies carried out in certain areas of the U.S., it was determined that homes that have one installed exhibited a significant reduction in peak electricity demand. This is mainly because with the awnings working both ways, there was less heat in summer/spring season and less cold during the winter season. With this less demand during times of peak usage, not only do the utility companies save on its energy supply capacity, the homeowners also save on cash that could have gone into paying for additional energy costs towards heating or cooling the home, as the case may be.

These are just a few of the many energy benefits, but there are additional cost savings. One example is that when you have an awning installed on your property, it shields your interior décor and furnishings from exposure to harsh elements and as such, damages are kept to the barest minimum. Another benefit is that to a large extent, it increases the value of your property as it translates into undeniable curb appeal. When you decide to sell your property, a first-time potential client will be immediately drawn to the beauty of the awning and as such, increase your chances of selling your property at the right price, or even higher.

The last but not the least among the additional benefits of installing awnings is that it creates more living space within your property. If you have a patio or it happens that your property is decked, you can convert it to additional living space by having an awning installed. With such installation, you can engage in a lot of outdoor activities without being afraid of most of the harsh outdoor elements.

Get Expert Guidance on Saving Energy

If you wish to enjoy these energy benefits, it is important that you seek expert help or guidance in order to settle for the right awning for your property, whether it is residential or commercial. There are varied styles and features that are created to suit different buildings or property. The recommendation you receive is mainly determined by your needs and budget. Apart from these, the architectural design of your home is also considered during the process of helping you choose the right awning for your home.

Author:
Marcion Albert

Date Published:
11/5/2016

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How To Prepare Your Awning For Winter

Guide to Energy Saving from Awnings and Sun Shades

If you are a homeowner in a northern state, you can dramatically increase the life of your awning with a few simple steps. Most residential awnings should last more than seven years, and with a little preventative care, it will be around much longer.

With proper care, the functionality and ease of use will also improve. This is why with the approach of winter, you should be able to adequately prepare so that when Spring comes, it will be in a very good condition to be used again, and again.
Before looking at how to prepare for winter, it is important to take note of the fact that there are different types. When you understand this, then it becomes easier to take care of your home and prepare same for winter. The various types of awnings are as follows:

 

  1. Open Roll Fabric Retractable Awning

    This is best suited for verandas, upper floor balconies, and underneath eaves. It is a very economical way of protecting yourself from the direct rays of the sun and mild rainfall. It comes with exposed fabric roller, with a compact rail which is positioned at the front. For this type of awning, the best covering material is very soft vinyl.

  2. Open Roll Awning With Metal Hood

    The benefits of this type depend mainly on your geographic location. For those homeowners who are in snow-prone regions, this type may not make the best purchase due to the metal hood. This is mainly because there is the possibility of snow getting trapped in-between the hood and the fabric roll.

  3. Cassette Style Retractable Awnings

    With this particular type, the retractable fabric is enclosed in a full metal casing, which is why it is called “cassette”. When the fabric is retracted, the cassette casing is what protects it from dirt, dust, wear and tear, and other elements that might lessen the lifespan. The moment retraction is initiated and the fabric is remaining just a few inches to be retracted, the arms of the cassette are raised which in turn, allows a tight connection to the front bar against the metal cassette. Finally, the torque sensing motor is able to detect a complete retraction of the bar.

These are the three types, and now it is time to look at how to prepare your awning for winter. Listed below are some tips that would help you to take proper care and at the same time, prepare it for winter. They are as follows:

  1. Check For Damages:

    Before you start preparing for winter, you should take your time to check it for damages. Some of the damages to look out for include tears, worn parts, and others. You should ensure that the stitching is not unraveling at any point. Make use of valance, you should check to know if there is any wear as a result of being exposed to harsh elements. Should there be the presence of any issues, it is important that you have the damages corrected before it is packed up for the next season.

  2. Clear all Debris

    This is a step you should take seriously when it comes to preparing winter. You should take your time to dust it off. In doing this, you remove any leaves, dirt, pollen, and other debris that has gathered on it while it was in use. This way, you will be able to minimize chances of getting tears or scratches during washing by any sharp debris that is already on it.

  3. Wash Your Awning

    The next step in how to prepare to wash it. This step should be carried out with a soft washcloth and soapy water. As tempting as it might be, never make use of any harsh cleaners that are advertised to clean tough stains. You should also stay away from abrasive scrubbers as they will only end up damaging the fabric. Rinse thoroughly with clean water after washing.
    Don’t Leave Out The Removable Parts: As you clean the fabric, it is also important that the removable parts are also cleaned. One of such removable parts is the valance. Having also faced the harsh elements, the valance is bound to be dusty. Go ahead and wash, dry up, roll up, and store the valance for the next spring season.

  4. Take Down Awning Fabric and Store for Winter

    If you have a retractable model or one in which the fabric can be removed, then this will greatly extend the lifespan. The metal bracing should be waterproof and without the material to crack during the cold weather, the entire unit will age incredibly slowly. If you are unable to remove the fabric, you may consider hiring a handyman to unfasten the brackets and store the entire unit including metal framework. This should only be handled by either a trained professional or someone who installed the unit if it is an off the shelf model. This is only necessary for people who live in the most northern states or face extreme weather. Before you pack up your awning, it is important that you leave it to dry completely. Air drying is a better option. When it is completely dry before it is packed up for the next spring, it will minimize or completely eliminate the possibilities of mold or mildew building up on the awning while it is tucked away for winter.

  5. Sweep the Awning after Snow

    If you leave it up for the winter, you will want to periodically brush the snow from the top. The frigid temperature along with the weight from the snow can lead to warping in some frames and cracking with vinyl material. You do not want to use a water hose to spray it off as the water may freeze creating a new set of problems. The two best options are either a large broom or brush with an extended handle. This allows you to push the snow aside. As you are doing this, you will want to be cautious not to create a hole in the fabric as it may be more rigid than the Summer months.

  6. Open Roll Fabric Retractable Awnings

    This is that type of awning that is best suited for verandas, upper floor balconies, and underneath eaves. It is a very economical way of protecting yourself from the direct rays of the sun and mild rainfall. It comes with exposed fabric roller, with a compact rail which is positioned at the front. For this type of awning, the best covering material is very soft vinyl.

These are just a few of the tips on how to prepare your awning for winter. If you feel it is something you might not be able to do on your own you can seek for professional help. This way, you can be sure of your investment being protected during the winter season from all the harsh elements accompanying it.

Author:
Marcion Albert

Date Published:
3/30/2017

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Five Tips To Extend The Life Of Your Awning

Beautiful Free Shade on the Tempe Lake Bridge

Apart from the fact that awnings significantly reduce energy costs, it also increases your property’s market value. This is why it is important you have a good knowledge of most of the tips to extend the life of your awning. If you cultivate the habit of keeping your awning looking its best always, then it would go a long way in making it last for you as long as possible. This is especially because most of the top quality awnings are made from specialized canvas and fabrics and in turn, require to be taken care of in a certain way.

Whether your awning is installed for your house or business, whether they are made of PVC coated mesh fabrics, acrylic, polyester, vinyl, or any other material, here are a five tips to help you take good care of your awning and extend its life. They are as follows:

  • Always Keep Them Clean: Yes, you don’t necessarily have to wait until you are ready to pack up your awnings for winter before you can clean it. This is because when dirt and debris are allowed to build up on your awnings over a long period of time, it wears out the fabric. To do this, you can make use of a garden hose and carefully rinse out all the accumulated dirt. Try doing this once a month or every two months and you will see your awning not just looking great but it will also last much longer than those that are not cleaned always. Before you start cleaning your awning, ensure that the doors and windows are properly closed. This is to avoid getting the items inside wet.
  • Use The Right Cleaning Agents: Still on the topic of cleaning your awning requires a lot of patience, especially if you start thinking that the hose alone is not doing a good job of cleaning it up. If the right detergent for the fabric used in manufacturing your awning is not stipulated, then you should not hesitate in reaching out to any of the reputable awning companies for recommendations on what to use. You should never settle for harsh industrial cleaners as they would only end up degrading your awning’s fabric and when this happens, the lifespan of that given awning is considerably reduced.
  • Always Store Your Awnings Right: If you are among those who take their time to dismantle their awnings prior to winter, it is important that you put in that extra effort to ensure that the awning is properly stored. In order to avoid damages and possible mold and mildew accumulation, you should make sure the awning is stored in a very dry space and also, away from sharp objects that might puncture the fabric, reducing its functionality. You should also ensure that liquid containers that are prone to leakages are not stored in the same space as your awnings because a bad stain would reduce the visual appeal of your awning.
  • Keep An Eye On The Frames: This is one of those tips to extend the life of your awning that you would find very helpful. If you have only had your eyes fixed on detecting faults on the awning’s fabric, you should also think about monitoring the awning’s frames. Even though it is not very common for these frames to wear out, constant exposure to harsh elements like strong winds can do a lot more damage that you can imagine. Improper installation can also cause some damage to the frames. Should you notice any slight damage to these frames, you should not waste time in getting such damage sorted out. This is especially because if left unattended to, the initially minor damage might just develop into a damage that would not only take more money but also, more time to be corrected.
  • Avoid Extreme Exposure To Heat: It is enough that the sun is already venting its anger on your awning, you should not add extra heat to it. Holding family gatherings within your awning’s enclosure is a great idea but if you have to grill, then it should be done in another location, not right under the awning. This is simply because exposure to excessive heat and smoke from your grill or any other type of fire will cause significant damages to the awning material or fabric. Save yourselves the fumes and save your awning the heat and smoke stains.

 

 Apart from these, you can also further increase the lifespan of your awning by looking out for the slightest appearance of frays, rips, and tears. Remember what they say about “a stitch in time saves nine”. Should strong winds pass through any tear on your awning, it would definitely make sure tear to grow bigger, increasing the cost and time that would go into its repair. You should also mind where you mount your awning. It might be tempting to have it positioned under the shade of one or more trees but when you consider the implications of doing so, you would surely have a rethink. For example, tree branches might fall off during strong winds and tear right through your awning.
Another issue is the constantly piling up leaves on the top of your awning. If you don’t have the time to clear this debris from the top of your awning every now and then, then the lifespan of the awning might be severely compromised. If you must mount your awning under a tree, you should ensure that the tree is always trimmed and any loose branches are cut off. Now that you know more about these tips  why don’t you take your time to inspect and take care of any issues that would reduce its lifespan? Whether it is for residential property or commercial property, taking good care of your awning will greatly extend its lifespan. From installation to maintenance, you can always reach out to a local firm to get you going.

Author:
Marcion Albert

Date Published:
12/26/2016

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Sunbrella Awning Review

Sunbrella was founded in 1960 as a fabric company with the vision of making a higher quality awning material. The primary fabric of the time was a dyed cotton that had issues with fading from the sun and degrading from rain. The traditional awnings from that era were susceptible to both mold and mildew, and Sunbrella invested a lot of resources to develop a better product. With more than 50 years in business, they are now one of the most well-known brands of outdoor fabrics and create shades, sales, covering for patio furniture.

Sunbrella Designs

The company has multiple full-time designers, and they currently have more than 100 colors and patterns. The commercially available sizes range from 48″ to 150″ with the price usually quoted in yards. One key design feature is that many of the patterns come with texture options. This can dramatically increase the aesthetic of the finished product.

Sunbrella Awning Prices

The price of the awnings depends greatly on the amount of material used to create it. An entry point option would be around $140 for a fixed awning to cover a window. These are usually 4′ wide and come with all fixtures and mounting hardware, and they can be installed by the home owner. At the other end of the spectrum are the luxury custom models that are designed to the customers exact specifications. There are many companies who build these personalized awnings, and it’s important to find a professional that you feel comfortable working with.

Cleaning Sunbrella

This is a very sturdy fabric that is stain resistant which makes cleaning easier than many of the alternatives. In most cases, the awning can be cleaned while it is still on its frame. The first step is to brush away any loose dirt or debris. After this, you can use a garden hose to spray it off, and then you can use some soap to target any soiled spots. You’ll want to rinse off any soap residue and then let air dry. One key aspect to remember is to always ensure the external temperature is above the freezing point before soaking the awning with a hose to avoid any possibility of cracking or damaging the fabric. In most parts of the country, we recommend the light cleaning between 2-4 times per year, but the entire process should only take a few minutes.

Occasionally, there may be a need for a more rigorous cleaning. The Sunbrella fabric will not grow mold or mildew; however, material such as soil may become attached to the awning, and these foreign substances can be the breeding grown for mold. If this occurs, you will want to prepare a solution of with 1 part color safe bleach to 15 parts warm water, and then rub with a soft bristled brush. If possible, taking with the fabric and leaving the trouble spot submerged in the bleach/water solution for 5 minutes will also greatly aid in removing any stuck on material. After, you’ll want to use the garden hose to thoroughly spray off the awning.

Making Sunbrella Water Repellent Again

All sunbrealla fabrics have fluorocarbon outer coat which improves their ability to repel water; however, after several years this may need to be touched up. The primary product we recommend for this is 303 Fabric Guard. A single bottle of cleaner can be used to treat around 75 square feet of the awning material.

Professional Cleaning & Services

Because Sunbrella is one of the industry leaders in outdoor fabric, there will be firms in most areas with experience on this material. You will definitely want to ensure that any company you hire to deal with your awning has the information on type of fabric and frame that you have.