Common Awning Problems and How to Avoid Them
Your home is your space to unwind, host loved ones and create memories with the people in your household. Homeowners put a lot of work into their home’s interior and exterior to make their space feel comfortable. If you enjoy spending time in your yard and want to relax while under a shelter, adding an awning to a space on your deck or patio is a great option.
Awnings are a great addition to any backyard area. This exterior cover will protect you and others from various elements and create a nice hangout space for your home. Awnings are practical and an excellent enhancement to your house’s visual appearance.
If you’re considering adding an awning to your home, it’s helpful to learn how to maintain your new addition, what some of the common awning problems are and how to fix them. Learn more about awnings and why they’re a great residential upgrade.
Reasons You Need an Awning
The two types of awnings homeowners can add to their outdoor space are electrical and manual retractable awnings. For homeowners who enjoy spending time outside, an awning is perfect. In addition to creating a great entertaining space outside, you can benefit from an awning in many ways, including the following:
- Reduce UV damage: You may not notice sun damage inside your home right away, but over time it can dull numerous areas and items inside your home. Some areas the UV rays can impact inside your home include flooring, furniture, wall paint and window treatments. Adding an awning in your yard can protect some windows and anything inside your home that’s visible through the window from sun damage.
- Increase energy efficiency: When the sun shines in through your windows, it can make your home warm up quickly. This can mess with your HVAC system and how it operates, causing it to work harder. If you install an awning over these windows, you can increase your home’s energy efficiency and allow your HVAC system to run easier.
- Boost curb appeal: Numerous home projects and upgrades can boost your house’s curb appeal. An awning is an excellent feature that will make your residence look great and add value to it. With various types of fabrics for home awnings, you can find a look that will best match your style.
- Extend your outdoor living space: You can turn your patio or deck into an extended living space with an awning. Spruce up your outdoor space with furniture, grills, plants and other items that make it welcoming.
5 Most Common Awning Problems
The best thing a person can do once they decide to install an awning is to learn how to maintain it and what the most common retractable awning problems are. Knowing the issues that can happen, from fabric damage to operational errors, can help keep your awning working for a long time.
Check out the five most common awning issues you can troubleshoot or call an expert to provide service for:
The fabric or material that acts as the shade for the awning should pull tight to provide the best shade on your patio or deck area. As you continue to use your awning, it may begin to sag or droop over time. It may still sag even when you stretch your awning out all the way. It’s important to fix the material so the awning continues to look great and operate properly.
Sagging means your canopy is likely overextended. This problem can be an easy fix by turning the handle that tightens the fabric. Monitor how the material is rolling on the awning mechanism to ensure the solution is simply tightening the canopy.
Another feature that can help stop your canopy from sagging or assist in its functionality is a stabilizer. Adding a stabilizer will allow water to run off without causing the awning to sag and prevent your canopy from moving when it’s windy.
2. Damaged Fabric
Another common problem that people may encounter with their awning is any type of damage to the canopy’s fabric. Since the awning is exposed to outdoor elements, numerous factors can damage the fabric.
Some things that can affect your awning include:
Your awning will typically be exposed to water and heat from rain or the sun. If your awning doesn’t dry properly before you roll it back up, mold and fungus can start growing. The mold and fungus spots can dull your awning’s appearance. Certain materials are more prone to mold and fungus damage than others, like canvas awnings.
If you notice mold or fungus on your awning, treat the area right away. You can remove the fungus or mold by spraying the fabric with water and applying a mildew removal solution. Ensure the solution fully dries before closing the awning.
Rips and Tears
The durability of the material on your awning ranges, but it’s possible for any type of canopy to rip or tear during regular use.
Tears and rips can happen for numerous reasons, including:
- Quality of craftsmanship
- Wear and tear from the awning’s age
- Debris falling on the awning, like tree branches, rocks and other items
- Loose threads or strings on the awning that catch on something and tear
- Storms and other outdoor elements like rain, hail and snow
You can fix these rips or tears with special tape and patches. Another product you can use to fix these tears includes waterproof adhesive tape. Make sure you cut any loose threads while repairing the holes to prevent others from occurring.
Your awning helps protect you, your deck and the inside of your home from UV damage. While it protects many areas, the awning’s canopy receives significant sunlight every time you use it. This prolonged sun exposure can dull the fabric and make the awning look less visually appealing.
If you notice the fabric on your awning is faded or has other signs of sun damage, like melted parts in the retracting mechanism, you should start treating it to prevent any further damage. You can do this by applying water and soap to your awning and allowing it to dry fully before storing it. It’s also helpful to speak with a professional and discuss the best fabric choice for your home.
3. Mechanical Problems
Another common retractable awning problem homeowners may face is mechanical issues with the retracting system. Mechanical challenges are common electrical awning issues, but they can also occur with manual awnings. Learning basic troubleshooting knowledge for mechanical issues can help save you time wondering what’s wrong with your awning and enable you to contact a professional for service when you need it.
Some components that experience mechanical problems include:
Sensors can produce electric awning problems when they stop working properly. The sensors help retract and extend the awning canopy efficiently and are necessary for the operations of your patio feature. The sensors will respond differently depending on your local weather conditions and other outdoor elements that affect the small pieces of equipment.
A couple of problems with electric awnings that can impact sensor operation include:
- The power going out at your home
- Extended exposure to rain, snow and other elements
If your power goes out while you’re home, you can simply use the manual function to retract and extend your awning. This is helpful when there is extreme weather coming and you want to protect your patio or deck furniture from the elements. This is a temporary fix, so after power is restored, go through possible solutions to your problem or call an expert to inspect your awning.
A professional can determine if the sensors on your awning will need to be recalibrated or replaced. Fixing or replacing sensors is a fairly simple and quick process for a professional to complete, letting you get back to enjoying your awning with less downtime.
Electric and manual awning tracks may have problems with closing. Awning tracks are typically made from metal. The tracks allow the awning to easily move to provide a nice shaded space for your deck or patio. When you notice your awning is getting stuck on the tracks or coming off the tracks, you’ll need to have it fixed quickly.
The tracks may need repair for many reasons, like:
- Buildup of debris or dirt inside the tracks
- Warped tracks due to weather and other conditions
- A low amount of lubrication
- The awning has jumped out of the tracks
Clearing out debris or cleaning the tracks is a simple repair, but warped tracks may require more attention. A professional may need to replace the entire track system depending on the state of the tracks. If you’re experiencing electric or manual awning closing problems, it’s helpful to discuss various track options for your awning to see if there is a more durable choice.
The awning motor is the power source behind the movement of the canopy. The motor allows the awning to extend and retract easily without a hand crank, which is used for manual awnings. When the motor experiences issues or breaks down, it will impact your awning’s functionality.
A broken motor can produce numerous issues for your awning. Other than immobility, the awning can have jerky movements, close or extend slowly or get stuck in an unwanted place. Some reasons you may need to repair your awning motor include:
- Age of the awning
- Physical damage to the motor
While it may be possible for you to move the awning manually, finding a professional to provide a solution for your electric awning is the best option. The repair may be something simple, like a faulty wire or another issue with the motor’s electric connectivity. Other repair options could include replacing broken components in the motor or replacing the entire unit. The specific repair will vary depending on the type of motor and your awning model.
A professional will have the skillset to look at the broken motor, determine what the problem is and provide the best solution for your awning.
4. Environmental Problems
Environmental factors like the weather, animals and the climate can all impact your awning. Forces of nature are unpredictable and will change depending on your location. It’s helpful to consider the possibilities of damages or repairs due to environmental factors and the available solutions to get your awning back up and running.
Environmental problems your awning may encounter include:
Your awning is there to shield you from the outdoor elements, but excessive amounts of inclement weather can start causing problems with its functionality. Weather elements like snow and rain can potentially damage your awning. Your awning’s durability against these weather threats depends on the manufacturer and model, but it’s always best to prepare for weather damage even with the strongest awning.
Excessive rain can cause water to collect in the canopy and add stress to the entire structure. The accompanying issues to look out for with this problem include:
- Pressure on the awning frame
- Warped tracks or frame
- A broken frame, track or other aspects of the awning
- Malfunctions in the motor or other features
Snow is another potential threat to your awning, especially if you live in a cooler climate. Snow can start piling up on your awning and weigh down the canopy. This occurrence can cause issues like:
- Weighed-down canopy fabric
- Holes in awning material
- Added stress on the awning frame
The best thing you can do to protect your awning from rain or snow is to retract it during heavy storms. You can also wipe off snow if it starts building up too high or tilt your awning at an angle to allow rain to flow off.
Heavy winds can affect your awning and potentially cause damage if the gusts are strong. Sometimes windy conditions are predictable, especially if you live in a part of the country known for windy weather, and you can accommodate for this in advance to avoid damage. Ways that wind can damage the canopy or entire structure of your awning include:
- Tearing holes in the fabric of the canopy
- Causing heavy flapping of the material
Wind damage can be preventable with the proper precautions. Other than keeping an eye out for strong winds, you can protect your awning by:
- Closing it during storms or on windy days
- Selecting a durable awning for your outdoor space before installation
- Using awning accessories like wind poles or a wind sensor
- Setting up a windbreak to protect your awning, like a hedge or fence
A good rule of thumb is that if it’s too windy for you or your guests to sit outside, it’s too windy for your awning. Remember to fully retract it and wait for a better day to enjoy your outdoor space.
If your awning has sustained damage due to wind, a professional technician can help diagnose the problem and provide repair services to get this home feature functioning like normal again.
Insects like bees can cause trouble if they start to make your awning their home. They can form their nest under your awning and damage the material and frame. They are also bothersome to share your awning space with, so preventing beehives is an essential part of keeping your awning in great shape.
A way to prevent bees and other bugs from congregating in your awning is to clean up any sugary foods or drinks around your outdoor area. Bring in trash cans after gatherings and limit any food supplies outside.
After removing a beehive, you can have a professional inspect your awning to assess any damages.
When you’re searching for an awning, it’s best to choose an option that’s durable and built to last. While certain awning models are known to last a long time, age will still leave its mark eventually, and you’ll start to notice repair needs down the road.
Maintaining your awning can help prevent many issues and save you money, but certain age-related problems are hard to avoid.
The most common issues people encounter when they’ve had their awning for a long time include:
- Aesthetic or appearance problems
- Rusty frames or tracks
- Faded canopies
- Electrical issues relating to the motor or sensors
How to Care for Your Awning
Investing in your outdoor space by adding an awning can help make your home more relaxing by providing a cool place to hang out. You want your awning to work whenever you need it, and the best way to ensure this is to regularly care for it with at-home maintenance techniques. From easy tasks like sweeping off the dirt to tending to trees and other brush surrounding your awning, you can keep this valuable home addition in tip-top shape throughout its life span.
Check out the best cleaning and maintenance tasks you can do to keep your awning in working condition.
Clean the Fabric
When you ensure the canopy fabric is always clean, you can count on your awning to stay in great shape for many years. The fabric is the essential feature that shields you from the sun and rain, so practicing the right maintenance techniques can help keep the canopy looking great and working efficiently.
Practice these three simple cleaning steps regularly:
- Sweep off debris: Your awning can collect dirt and other debris that slowly piles up. This can make your awning look dull or potentially cause tears in the fabric. Take a soft bristle brush and sweep off all the debris before washing the fabric.
- Washing the fabric: Start by rinsing your awning with a hose to get rid of any lingering dirt on the canopy fabric. You can also use a mixture of water and mild dish soap to scrub your awning to make the material brighter and cleaner. Consider consulting with a professional to determine the best cleaning products for your type of awning.
- Dry the awning: It’s crucial to let your awning canopy dry completely before retracting it. Doing so will help prevent mold or mildew growth on the damp fabric.
Trim Plants and Trees
Prevent rips or tears in your awning fabric or issues with debris getting caught in the tracks by trimming trees or other plants surrounding your patio space. Look out for any branches that hang over the awning or plants that produce substances that discolor the fabric, such as sap.
Look for Tears
Regularly check for holes or tears in the canopy fabric and repair them right away. Regular repairs can help prevent them from getting bigger and causing you to replace the entire awning canopy.
Practice Other Care Tips
Other helpful care tips for your awning include:
- Use your grill outside of your awning. Using it directly underneath may cause smoke or heat damage to the awning canopy.
- Regularly check the awning frame for any damages.
- Stick with mild cleaning products rather than harsh chemicals.
- Read the manufacturer care instructions for more awning care information.
Schedule Awning Installation or Maintenance Service From Quality Overhead Door
Do you want to improve your outdoor space with an awning? With Quality Overhead Door, you can select from numerous styles, including UV protection awnings and sun sensor models. Our nearly 40 years of experience helps us identify and install the right model for your home so you can enjoy your outdoor space in style. Contact Quality Overhead Door to learn more about our installation services or awning maintenance today.
Additional Resources on Awnings:
- Guide to the Different Types of Awnings
- How to Choose the Right Awning for Your Home
- How to Protect Your Patio from the Elements
- Why Retractable Awnings May Be the Perfect Option for Your Patio
How to Choose the Right Awning for Your Home
You have this outdoor space, usually a patio or deck, that you want to utilize to its fullest potential. However, the sun is too hot, and the rain always gets in the way. Awnings make the perfect addition for anyone who wants to spend more time outside. They provide shade, protection from the elements and allow you to enjoy the outside year-round. They turn your unprotected patio or deck into a more livable and viable space for you and your family to enjoy. No longer will you have to worry about the weather ruining your evening outside or your patio furniture. An awning will help protect you and your belongings, extending the length of their usage.
Deciding to install an awning is the easy part. Deciding on that perfect awning is the challenging part. With so many options to choose from, you don’t want to make the wrong decision or one that you will regret in the future.
So you may be asking yourself, which awning should I choose? What color? Size? Style? Fabric? To help alleviate the stress, here are a few recommendations to consider when deciding on that perfect awning.
The first decision you will have to make is where you want your awning. Patios and decks are the most common locations. Many people want to sit and relax outside without the worry of sunburning or getting wet. These awnings provide protection from the elements, offer shade and help safeguard you and your patio furniture from most weather.
Although less common, you may also choose to place an awning over your windows and doors. Window and door awnings shelter portions of your house from the weather, keeping your side paneling, windows and exterior doors from damage.
For some people, window and door awnings can keep both the exterior and interior of your house cooler. They provide shade, which makes the space cooler than the surrounding area. Some awnings that you place over doors and windows may decrease cooling costs by up to a 77% reduction. Since awnings are meant to block sunlight from entering a specific area, they reduce the amount of heat that passes through your window.
Style and Edges
You will want to choose a style and edge pattern that compliments the look of your home. Both of these additions will add some extra flair and character, making your home more appealing.
There are multiple different styles to choose from:
- Straight-edge with open or closed sides
- Quarter barrel
- Gable walkway
- Double standard
Some of these styles, such as double standard and gable walkway, are best for commercial or standalone use. These awnings are perfect for locations separate from your home, such as an area for a grill. You can attempt to connect them to your home, but it is usually not recommended.
The other styles, however, have their specific functions. You will find that dome-style, semicircular and waterfall are better suited for window and door coverings. They do not need to expand outward and cover a large space, so they only cover the immediate area instead, namely doorways and windowsills.
Straight-edge will most likely be the style you choose with regards to a patio or deck area. These awnings can be as big as necessary and offer great coverage of the space. You can also customize them to have open and closed sides and more intricate edges.
An awning’s edge refers to the design of the metal bar. This bar wraps around the front and connects to your home. These edges can come in a variety of styles.
- Russian point
Bear in mind that some awnings styles will be unable to accommodate certain edge styles. Likewise, certain homes may look worse with specific edges.
Choosing the right style and edge to match the look of your home is one of the most challenging parts of creating the perfect awning. For most people, it may be best to refer to a specialist. They will better guide you on which styles match your home.
Awnings come in a wide variety of materials. When choosing which material to use, you will want to keep in mind the weather types that it will come into contact with. You should also consider the amount of upkeep and maintenance you are willing to put in. The fabrics, specifically, need more attention than the sturdier materials.
There are several different types of material. First, there are the fabric ones:
Second, there are the sturdier and stiffer materials:
Before immediately assuming that the aluminum-type awnings are the best, there are a few extra things to consider when making your decision.
As previously mentioned, the weather that your home experiences impacts your decision on which material to choose. Aluminum, acrylic and resin materials are the best for most people. These materials offer the most resistance to all forms of weather. Aluminum can even keep the covered area cooler by reflecting the sun’s rays. Acrylic and resin give a smoother surface to assist with water runoff.
Fabric, on the other hand, may have a more difficult time resisting water. Unless you opt for a water-resistant material, an optimal angle or a tighter fitting, the fabric can allow water to seep through. Dripping water can easily ruin anyone’s time under the awning. Fabric awnings are perfect for areas that have mostly sunny weather year-round. You won’t have to worry about rain ruining your evening.
Aluminum, acrylic and resin offer the best weather coverage of the material types, while fabric is better for hotter and dryer locations.
When it comes to material upkeep, you might want something that doesn’t require you to closely monitor it for tears and damages and spend extra money on repairs. Again, aluminum, acrylic and resin prove to be the better material here. Since they are harder materials, the possibility of them breaking is slimmer. You might have to worry about acrylic and resin cracking if something happens to hit them just right, which can be costly.
Fabrics are more easily damaged. The wind blows at the right speed and lifts the material upwards like a sail. They can tear if not properly maintained. Fabrics are more prone to their colors fading from sun damage, too.
Fabrics are by far the better option if you want to customize the look of your home. You can purchase most fabrics in a wide assortment of colors to match your style. Fabrics also work better with most awning operations. You can use them for retractable awnings and all the features associated with them.
Aluminum, acrylic and resin have fewer customization options to choose from. You can only get them in limited colors, and they will not work with retractable awnings. They will stay out permanently.
So, if being able to customize and experiment with the look of your home and awning combination is important to you, then fabrics are by far the superior choice. If you are comfortable with having a permanent awning year-round, then the hardier materials will work better for you.
When someone comes to your home, one of the first things that they will notice is your awning. They will immediately notice the color and how it appears with the color of your house. Therefore, you will want to be sure to pick a color that both matches your personality and compliments the house.
There is no right answer in terms of which color will always match which style, color and size of your house. People’s preferences are never the same, and some may think that going with a lighter blue to match the blue of your house is better than a dark blue. Similarly, most specialists will have their own opinions and color recommendations for you. As there is no immediate right answer, there are several important characteristics to keep in mind when choosing your awning color.
- Architectural style
- Awning size
- Color combinations
Houses come in a variety of different architectural styles. Each one has its look and color that best compliments it. Most commonly, houses will have these styles:
- Traditional style
- Southwestern motif
- Cottage style
The style of your home can affect the color that you choose. Traditional styles will usually pair better with colors that are more subdued or darker, such as navy blue or forest green. You may also choose to use a more monochromatic color scheme, like blacks, grays and whites. Southwestern motif-style homes will pair better with colors in the beige family or ones similar to a salmon. Cottage style and colonial homes have a little more color options to choose from. These homes pair well with reds, greens, dark blues or bolder colors with accent stripes. Contemporary homes will have the most options to choose from as they can benefit from using almost any color combination. These homes already have an interesting design style to them, so a bold, light or subdued color will look good with them.
If you’re less worried about matching with the architectural style of the home, you can always choose a color that compliments the color of your home instead but does not match the color of your home. At the least, you should always choose a color that is either darker or lighter than your home.
The size of your awning will influence the color that you choose. The more coverage the awning has, the more that it will stand out. For bigger awnings, bold and vibrant colors may not be the best option. Having a bright red awning against the black of your house is a great color combination, but having it in abundance from the size of the awning is not so beneficial. Dazzling colors in moderation is key here.
If you have a smaller awning, then you can safely choose to use more vibrant colors.
Fading and Cleanliness
Every color has its specific maintenance requirements. You may want to choose a color that resists fading and hides stains well. You will notice quickly that some colors fade faster than others or stain more easily. Darker colors are more prone to fading and showing stains than lighter colors. That being said, you can buy higher quality bold and dark colors that do a better job at resisting fading.
It is very easy to choose a color that clashes with the color of your home. Certain color combinations may tempt you to pick them based on their use in public and media. Sports teams, holidays and brands design their logos using appealing color combinations, but you should avoid those combinations as much as possible unless you intend to show support of your favorite team.
To avoid making a decision you may regret, several color recommendations will work well.
Accent colors are your best friend and can draw positive attention to your awning. If the color of your home is more neutral or monochromatic, an accent color to contrast the house will work well. You will want to keep in mind some of the other cautions with an accent color. Try not to choose a color that will be too overbearing or is too similar to the color of your house.
You can also match the color of your home’s interior rather than the exterior. Maybe the room that leads out to the patio has furniture and walls that are a lighter blue. The color of your awning can match the lighter blue or complement that color as well. More likely than not, people will migrate from the interior of your home to the area covered by the awning. The colors will blend well with one another that way.
More than anything, you don’t want your awning to look tacky when next to your home.
Information to Keep in Mind
Lighter colors are better at reflecting light compared to darker colors. They will help keep your space cooler for hotter areas. Alternatively, you can choose to use darker colors for colder areas. The heat absorption can help warm the area slightly.
If you are completely at a loss on what color to choose, you can always pick colors that are in style or matches local design trends. Pantone’s color of the year choices are a great place to go for a starting color.
The angle of the awning may seem like an odd aspect to consider, but it is an important quality, especially for window and door awnings. All angles will be able to block the sunlight and weather from affecting the covered area, but some angles will prevent more sun, rain and snow from filling the area.
For windows facing east and west, you will want an angle that is about a 65%-75% drop from the top of the window. For windows on the north and south of a home, the angle can be less. Since the sun rises from east to west, you will get less light coming in through the north and south windows, so you can use a 45%-60% drop instead.
Patio and deck awnings can get away with not having any angle, but most experts highly suggest that you give it a slight angle. Fabric awnings can bow in the center, leak with heavy rain and snowfall or break entirely. You will want to give the water some form of runoff to the edges of the awning. With aluminum and sturdier materials, you do not want the water to sit on the top and potentially freeze.
Adding an angle keeps your awning and the area underneath more protected from the weather. You will also have more shade coverage throughout the day than with no angle.
While not the biggest decision, side panels drastically change the look of your awning for the better. Side panels add support around the perimeter of the awning, creating extra stability and more customization options. They provide extra protection against the elements, as long as you have a non-retractable awning. You can also place a screen around the length of the perimeter to offer lasting shade through the day and a barrier against bugs and animals.
The size of your awning will vary, depending on the space being covered. For window and door awnings, you will use a smaller awning. Patio and deck awnings will vary in size. Larger homes will generally need larger awnings to cover the length of the front and back yard. Bigger awnings may limit your options for certain features, styles and materials.
The function of the awning can drastically change how you use it. There are several different operations to choose from when selecting your awning.
Stationary awnings will be better suited for windows and doors to offer constant protection. They also provide the best resistance and support against extreme weather conditions as they are permanently mounted into the ground. However, being mounted into the ground means you cannot control how much sun or shade you would prefer.
Freestanding awnings are best for areas away from the home that you want sheltered. You can use these areas for family gatherings, tables and chairs, a grill or any other item you want away from your home. You have to mount these awnings into the ground, and you will want to have a sturdier material along the top, preferably aluminum.
Retractable awnings are the perfect fit for decks and patios. You can control the amount of direct sunlight that comes into contact with the designated area, especially in winter when you would not want shade. Fabric will be the only available material to choose from. Unfortunately, that means you have to retract them during extreme weather conditions.
Retractable awnings come with different features and add-ons to choose from.
- Button operated
- Sun/weather sensor
- UV protection
Modern technology makes it much easier to use your awning to its fullest potential. At the push of a button, you can have the shade or sun you need without any hassle. Some come with weather sensors to detect when they should retract or expand.
The Awning for You
As you can see, choosing the right awning for your home is no easy feat. The options to consider are numerous. You have to take into consideration color, material, function, location, angle and other aspects.
Our expert team at Quality Overhead Door can help you make the right decision! We’ll help you choose the best awning for your home, answer any of your questions and provide a free estimate. You can explore the options on our website and call us at 419-578-8700.
You can never go wrong with a personalized awning for your home. Why wait? Contact us today and begin enjoying the outdoors again!
Additional Resources on Awnings:
- Common Awning Problems and How to Avoid Them
- Guide to the Different Types of Awnings
- How to Protect Your Patio from the Elements
- Why Retractable Awnings May Be the Perfect Option for Your Patio
Guide to the Different Types of Awnings
As the weather heats up, homeowners will do anything to keep the house cool. Many homes have air conditioning systems, but constant use drives electric bills through the roof. Some people keep their blinds closed and resort to cooking without using their stoves. Instead of turning to extreme solutions, you can easily control the temperature of your house while also increasing the value of your home and minimizing energy costs with a new awning.
Many homeowners want to enhance their homes with awnings but don’t know where to start. Between the different types of awnings for homes, types of awning fabrics and colors, it isn’t always easy to make a selection. This investment will last years, so you want to make the right choice.
This guide breaks down everything you need to know about adding awnings to your home. From the different types of awnings to the best types of awning cover fabric, finding what type of awning material is best for your home will be easier than ever. Soon, you’ll be relaxing on your deck with a cold beverage, enjoying the weather in the shade.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about selecting the perfect awnings for your home.
Benefits of Installing an Awning
Like any other exterior addition, awnings can significantly improve the appearance of your home. However, there are other benefits of adding an awning you may not even realize. These benefits prove that awnings are more than a decoration — they’re an asset. From sun protection to indoor temperatures to energy costs, installing an awning can bring you and your family numerous advantages.
Let’s check out the top advantages of installing awnings.
1. Sun Protection
Did you know that more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year than the total amount of all other cancers? In fact, it’s believed that at least one in five people will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer by the age of 70. Whether you regularly apply sunscreen or save it for beach days, there’s no denying the dangers of too much sun exposure.
If you’re a shade-dweller, you already know the relief an awning can provide. Additionally, awning covers protect you and your family from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays during the warmer months. Getting outdoors becomes safer and more enjoyable when you have a way to hang out under an awning.
2. Protecting Outside Assets
You’ve finally bought a beautiful outdoor furniture set, and your back porch is looking more welcoming than ever. Unfortunately, lawn furniture isn’t always built to last under the constant exposure of Mother Nature. From scalding heat waves to mountainous snowstorms, your outdoor items are constantly subjected to conditions that cause greater wear, tear and deterioration. Awnings prevent sun damage to your outdoor chairs and tables, so your picture-perfect backyard can remain intact.
3. Keeping the House Cool
Exposure to natural light can boost your mood and make a room feel open and inviting. However, lots of windows also increase the temperature of your house significantly. Without proper coverage, your home essentially becomes a greenhouse. Heat gets trapped in your house, and running the air conditioning all day isn’t an effective way to battle the sun.
While closing the blinds is one way to keep the sun out, they hinder your visibility and darken the room. Customized awnings block UV rays before they reach your house, which is more effective than blinds or curtains. Plus, they eliminate glares on your computer and television screens. Window awnings allow you to enjoy the sun’s natural light so you don’t have to sit in the dark on beautiful sunny days.
4. Saving on Electricity
Awnings are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and save money. A strategically placed awning can lower your electric bill by ensuring your house stays cool enough during the summer. Specifically, retractable awnings go a lot further regarding savings. During the winter months, a retractable awning allows you to let in sunlight so your home stays heated. It’s a win-win situation — for you and the environment!
5. Raising Home Value and Curb Appeal
Along with adding character to your home, awnings complement your house’s structure and features. Depending on the types of awnings and what type of fabric is used for an awning, your home’s curb appeal will instantly improve. That’s not the only way awnings increase property value.
Unless you renovate your house, you can’t add rooms or square footage. However, awnings create usable outdoor space where there wasn’t any before. They make your porches and decks accessible and livable for a greater part of the year. Awnings add space for entertaining guests and create a comfortable ambiance, as well. If you end up selling your house, you’ll likely see that potential homebuyers are interested in those spaces, too.
Different Types of Awnings for Homes
Every house is different, so choosing the best type of awning for your home depends on various factors. There are different types of awnings, and each of them offers its own benefits when it comes to style and convenience. You want to choose a design and material that match the aesthetic of your home and can hold up against your region’s typical weather conditions. This breakdown will make finding the right awning for your house simple.
1. Fixed Awnings
When most people think of awnings, they picture large metal poles secured to the house. Fixed awnings, also known as stationary awnings, are attached to a building’s exterior. They’re stable and reliable solutions built to withstand varying weather conditions.
When installing a fixed awning, it’s crucial to have an expert installer evaluate the space. Since fixed awnings often have to endure intense weather situations, you’ll need to invest in a durable canopy fabric that can collect falling rain and snow. If you live in a region that experiences heavy rain, snowfall and wind, a professional will be able to recommend the material and style that will best serve your home.
Remember that fixed awnings are there to stay, so make sure you know exactly where you want it before having it installed.
2. Retractable Awnings
Retractable awnings are canopies that roll or fold up. They’re a great option because they offer versatility for your windows, doors, decks and patios. When needed, they block out the elements and provide shade. Plus, when you want to soak up the sun, you can easily put them away. In less than a minute, your sunny patio turns into a shady oasis when you choose from different types of patio awnings.
Retractable awnings are the most common because of their flexibility. They’re also relatively easy to maintain because you can store them when the forecast predicts adverse weather conditions. If you love incorporating technological elements into your home’s design, different types of retractable awnings can modernize your home.
3. Motorized Awnings
When it comes to convenience, look no further than motorized retractable awnings. Standard retractable awnings rely on a handle or hand crank to extend and retract. However, motorized types of retractable awnings can be programmed with a sensor, remote control, button or even a motion trigger. While motorized options will be slightly more expensive, they can save you time and money in the long run. Retractable awnings last longer than their stationary counterparts because you can store them during bad weather, so they sustain less damage.
Sensor-triggered awnings take it one step further. They can be programmed to extend when the sunlight beams down, or when the rain starts to fall. They can also automatically roll back up when it gets windy. Motorized canopies don’t just give your home an aesthetic edge — they allow you to make use of the total space of your property without letting environmental factors get in the way.
4. Portable Awnings
Portable canopies awnings, also known as freestanding awnings, can move from one place to another depending on where you need them. The convenience of portable awnings is that you can move them to follow the sun’s path, so you’re always protected under the shade. Freestanding canopies aren’t attached to a structure, while still providing more coverage than a standard umbrella. However, one notable downside is they aren’t as sturdy as other options because they aren’t secured to a building.
Types of Fabric Awnings
At this point, you may be wondering what type of materials awnings are made of. You’ve probably seen metal, plastic and fabric coverings in the past on different homes, restaurants and office buildings. All of the options available offer similar advantages, but not all of them will fit the aesthetic of your home or provide the benefits that you’re looking for. The various awning fabrics can hold out against glaring sunlight and day-to-day weather conditions. Different types of cloth awnings include cotton, polyester and canvas.
- Cotton: Cotton awnings are among the most identifiable options. They’re affordable, versatile, waterproof and breathable. Plus, they’re easy to maintain. To clean them, all you have to do is put them in your washing machine.
- Polyester: Polyester awnings are known for their ease of maintenance. Simply wiping them down with a cloth will keep them in good standing for years to come. Polyester canopies are a great option for letting in sunlight while still blocking harmful ultraviolet rays. They’re also lightweight, mildew-resistant and budget-friendly.
- Canvas: This material offers a classic, natural look for your home and deck. Canvas is a durable solution that comes in a variety of colors and designs. By combining cotton with synthetic fibers, canvas becomes weather resilient and water-resistant. However, it’s important to note that certain printed patterns may fade over time due to excessive sun exposure.
Fabric awning covers are usually treated with either vinyl or laminate coatings. These treatments will make your awning materials flame- and water-resistant, but keep in mind they’re still prone to fading.
Types of Metal Awnings
You also have to option of choosing metal awnings to accessorize your home. Metal solutions come with a larger price tag but are more resilient to weather and wear. Metal awnings have a notable strength against heavy snow loads and wind, which makes them especially popular in colder regions.
- Aluminum: This versatile metal is extremely low maintenance and won’t absorb heat. Different types of aluminum awnings are resistant to UV radiation, and are strong, recyclable and impact-resistant.
- Copper: For trendsetters and homeowners who appreciate craftsmanship, copper awnings are a beautiful ornamental solution. Copper awnings are resistant to corrosion, high temperatures and UV degradation.
If you’re considering using metal awnings, you should know that some metal materials absorb and transfer heat. Depending on your home’s sun exposure, copper and other metal awning materials may not be an ideal solution. Make sure to weigh your options or ask our team of highly trained experts — we’re here to help you find what type of awning will work best for your situation.
Somewhat similar to the concept of metal awnings, polycarbonate is an engineered thermoplastic material that’s strong and sometimes transparent. In fact, this material is so tough it’s virtually indestructible, on top of providing protection from UV rays. As a result, you can enjoy total protection with minimal maintenance needs. Polycarbonate is used in many everyday household items like electronics, as it features dimensional stability, minimum water absorption and high impact resistance. All of these features make it an optimal choice for your home.
Types of House Awnings
You may be wondering how an awning fits into the appearance and functionality of your house. Would individual canopies for each window look right? Do you need one giant awning to cover your entire back porch? Awnings come in all shapes and sizes, so you can browse the various types of home awnings to find one that uniquely fits your house.
If a friend or family member has invested in modern awnings, they’ll likely be able to tell you what factors lead to them choosing the materials, colors and shape. However, there’s a chance their canopy design and material won’t fit your home’s aesthetic or needs. This guide will show you all the different places you can install an awning, and why the direction of your windows has such a significant impact on choosing the right awning for your home.
Types of Awnings for Doors
Since there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for canopies, there are all types of awnings that can improve the appearance of your home, starting with the front door. Whether you have a small stoop or a quaint porch, door awnings, also called overhangs, are designed to protect your entryways from most types of inclement weather. After all, what’s worse than standing in the rain while fumbling for your house keys?
Most door canopies are stationary, so they provide coverage year-round while still allowing complete mobility when opening your door. Along with adding a certain charm to your home’s exterior, door awnings keep your steps and stoop clean. Common door awnings styles include dome, elongated dome, entrance canopy and slope.
Different Types of Window Awnings
Window awnings are both attractive and energy-efficient. By adding window awnings to your home, you cut down on energy costs and enhance your home’s curb value. Awnings with sides are typically recommended for windows, as they do a better job at deflecting the sun’s beams throughout the day, regardless of where the sun is in the sky. The direction each of your windows face will play a huge role in what type of house awning will best fit your needs.
- South-facing windows: South-facing windows receive more heat and sunlight than windows facing north or east. As a result, it’s important to install awnings for these windows — they can decrease heat gain by up to 65%.
- East and west-facing windows: Big windows are usually a huge plus when it comes to finding the right home. But if you have windows that face east or west, it means constant sun exposure. You can reduce solar heat gain by adding awnings above east- and west-facing windows. Afternoon sunlight is known for being hotter, so awnings with sides will provide the best coverage.
- North-facing windows: Windows facing north tend to get the most sunlight in the early morning, so a simple overhang, slated or shutter style awning will offer the right amount of shade.
Types of Awnings for Decks
Decks provide the perfect location for family dinners and social gatherings. That said, on a blistering hot day, the last place your guests will want to be is outside on your deck. Canopies can help create a desirable ambiance that will leave your neighbors envious. Both metal and fabric awnings can complement the outside of your home and provide total protection from the sun and rain. This concept leaves plenty of room for style and color customization.
Retractable awnings are the ideal choice, as they cover the entirety of the deck with one piece of fabric. However, depending on which direction your deck faces, you may want to consider types of deck awnings that have extendable sides. This way, your guests will be protected from the sun and insects no matter the time of day.
Types of Awnings for Porches and Patios
A screened-in porch is an ideal feature for many homeowners. The visualization of spending the evening outside on your porch waving to passersby is what idealistic homeowners dream of. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a roof or covering overhead, your moment is hindered by over-exposure to the sun. What should be a space for socialization and relaxation become uncomfortable by sun glares and mosquitos. Luckily, different types of porch awnings can make your patio comfortable and accessible.
For example, aluminum awnings are low maintenance and have the durability to last for many years. Each type of awning shares these similarities, resistance to color-fading and other signs of wear and distress from environmental and external factors.
Enjoy Stylish, Functional and Durable Awnings From Quality Overhead Door
At Quality Overhead Door, we’ve been servicing Toledo since 1982. As your neighbors, we know what materials stand up to the region’s range of weather conditions. From ornamental style to minimalistic designs, we offer a wide variety of awnings and canopies to provide the perfect accent for your home. If you’re unsure about the different types of awnings for your home, we can help.
We pride ourselves on our commitment to quality, so all of our awnings come from the industry’s most respected and trusted manufacturers. That means we only offer the most durable, proven solutions for every awning type and style you want to feature in your home. From the most advanced awning with sun sensors and remote controls to standard UV protection, we’ve got you and your porch protected and covered.
Contact our experts today for a free estimate.
Additional Resources on Awnings:
- Common Awning Problems and How to Avoid Them
- How to Choose the Right Awning for Your Home
- How to Protect Your Patio from the Elements
- Why Retractable Awnings May Be the Perfect Option for Your Patio