Retractable awnings can offer a great convenience to homeowners. There are a few different types of retractable awnings you can choose from, and each style has it’s own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a quick look at some of the most common issues found with retractable awnings.
Depending on where your awning is placed, and the size of the awning, wind can become a problem. An awning can get beat up pretty badly even with small wind gusts. If you are going to install a retractable awning you need to make sure that you retract it before a wind storm to avoid tattering.
Automatic retractable awnings will use electric sensors to know when to extend or retract the awning. These tend to go out quite often and will need replacing. If you have an awning with an electric sensor you can expect to have to use the manual retraction lever on it anytime the sensor is acting finicky, or whenever the power goes out. Anytime you look at installing a fixture with electrical components you can expect to spend more money on the actual awning, the installation, and repair costs.
Because of the way a retractable awning is designed, it needs to be able to easily roll out and back. Most retractable awnings are made of a canvas material that is treated with some kind of weatherproofing agent. Canvas is certainly going to hold up better than other materials, but it’s not infallible. The weatherproofing seal is also not a guarantee that the awning will remain leak proof. Canvas awnings that aren’t cleaned thoroughly are also prone to mold and mildew. This will not only smell terrible on hot summer days, it can pose health risks to those with sensitivities. The warranties included don’t always cover the actual awning fabric, so check this to see if it’s covered, and for how long.
Many people will find the most affordable awning they can and go with that. The problem is a cheap retractable awning usually means a cheap motor. Cheap motors will go out much quicker since they are usually made with cheaper parts. While most companies will warranty the motorized components for a certain period of time, it can still be a pain to deal with while you are waiting on the service call. A motorized awning that needs to be pulled open and closed manually will defeat the purpose of having a motorized awning to begin with.
Manually retractable awnings aren’t without their faults either. The tracks can rust if a rustproof material isn’t used. The awnings can also easily become stuck on the tracks and will require some manipulation to extend.