The patio is an incredible outdoor space where you can relax, eat, grill, read a book, or simply just enjoy family time. However, the summer heat can make your patio uninhabitable. Some patio furniture materials may even wear out faster when exposed to extremely high temperatures. Retractable awnings are fabric-roofed structures that can be used to shade your patio from the sun while maintaining its curb appeal. They can extend to cover a part of or the entire patio or retract when not needed.
Retractable awnings are probably among the best types of awnings on the market today. As you decide on choosing them for your patio, there are a few things you should have in mind.
Choose the right size
Ensure you buy an awning that covers a substantial portion of your patio. You could even have it all covered so that you can make proper use of the entire patio space during the hot weather. If you cannot get one in the right size, you can always have it custom made. Various manufacturers make custom retractable awnings for homeowners who prefer something different. Having a customized awning also gives you the chance of choosing a personalized design and style that will complement your patio.
Manual vs. motorized awnings
Retractable awnings can be manual or motorized.
Manual retractable awnings
Manual retractable awnings have a manual extend and retract mechanism. When choosing one, you should ensure that it's properly designed and that you can easily operate the mechanism without using too much arm strength. The downside of manual awnings is that they get difficult to operate over time and may need repairs or replacement of parts to remain functional.
Motorized retractable awnings
Motorized retractable awnings are operated remotely. They are controlled conveniently by the push of a button. Some motorized awnings have electric sensors which cause them to retract when they sense rain to prevent damage to the awning fabric. Motorized retractable awnings are convenient, but they are more expensive than the manual ones. Also, the electric sensor in some versions should be replaced periodically for efficiency.
Retractable awnings require regular maintenance for them to last longer. They should be cleaned on a seasonal basis to get rid of dust, dirt, and debris on the fabric. Metal parts on the manual retractable awnings should be cleaned and the moving parts lubricated regularly for proper functioning. Always retract the awning during a storm or when it's raining to avoid damage to the fabric.