What Are Retractable Awnings and What Is Their Main Feature?

No matter what climate you live in, you want to be able to enjoy the outdoor space around your home. To do this, you must have protection from the elements. Adding a shady structure to your backyard, patio, or front porch can do just that! A hardscape addition such as an awning can provide shade to your lawn, guard you and your furniture against the rain, and ensure your belongings aren’t damaged by other inclement weather. 

Many different types of structures can add shade and protection to your space. We recommend exploring structures such as pergolas or patio covers if you want something permanent. For shade near your house, an awning can be an ideal solution. For something more versatile, try a retractable awning!

retractable awnings and their features from PCUNW

What Are Retractable Awnings?

An awning is a structure that can be attached to a roof, window, or side of a building. It extends outward from the house to provide shade to a window, doorway, patio area, or other space. Retractable awnings are a type of canopy that can be adjusted to suit your needs. They can be extended further or rolled back to adapt to the current level of protection required. This is quite the opposite of fixed awnings, which must be removed or rolled away entirely if you want to change the light around you. A retractable shade can be a significant advantage. It helps create the ambiance and lighting you desire and positions the canopy for adequate protection. 

Two Types of Retractable Awnings

There are two different styles of retractable awnings – motorized arms and manual arms. 

Manual Awnings are the Traditional Choice

A manual arm awning is the classic, traditional shade structure. It is hand-operated – you must insert a shaft into a crank and continuously turn it to roll or unroll the fabric of the canopy. This allows more control over your shade and is usually less expensive than other types of awnings. It is also one of the easiest sunshades to maintain and fix when something breaks. The only drawback is that you may have to leave your comfortable seat and put in a little elbow grease to move the shade where you want it to go!

Motorized Awnings Require Minimal Effort 

A motorized awning is a newer shade developed to take the labor out of the manual crank process. This motor allows you to furl and unfurl the shade from the comfort of your seat or home – simply press a button to change the canopy to the length of your choice. Some shades incorporate smart systems to detect high wind speeds, inclement weather, or rain and retract if the awning could be at risk of damage. This is a tremendous benefit to lengthening the lifespan of your investment. Motorized arms come with a higher price tag and more complex maintenance, but they are easier to use and don’t require manual labor. 

What is the Main Feature of Retractable Awnings? 

The main benefit of this type of sunshade is its mobility and versatility. Other hardscape structures can provide shade, but none are as effortlessly moved or adjusted as retractable awnings. They allow you to change the light depending on your situation – if you want to sit in the shade, unroll the canopy. To catch some rays, press a button or use the crank, and your chair is in the sun! This function can also help you protect your awning from damage or premature aging while it is not in use by simply rolling it up. 

awning installation patio covers unlimited NW

Other Benefits of Retractable Awnings

These awnings aren’t just versatile and mobile – they have many other benefits too! Read on for other reasons why a sunshade could be the perfect addition to your home. 

All Kinds of Weather Protection

Canopies can protect you from direct sunlight and harmful UV rays. However, they can do a lot more! A high-quality sunshade can protect you from rain, and even light snow, allowing you to sit outside during all kinds of weather throughout different seasons. When the rain is over, you can roll your canopy back to enjoy the night stars and moon. 

Their Durability is Unparalleled

Awnings are durable because of the materials used and because they are not employed continuously. Fabrics designed for sunshade use are durable, sturdy, and non-absorbent. They are created to withstand rain, snow, and intense and continuous direct sunlight. Water, precipitation, and debris run off because of the shade angle and the lack of absorbency of the material. This durability, plus its retractable nature, means that this type of hardscape sees less damage and wear and tear than others exposed 24/7 each day of the year. 

Increases Home Energy Conservation

The mobile nature of a canopy allows you to adjust the shade to conserve energy within your home. On cold but sunny winter days, you can retract the awning to let light stream in and help heat your house. On hot summer days, you can unroll your fabric to the maximum capacity to shade your home and keep it cooler. This conserves energy, which not only helps your carbon footprint but can save you money on your monthly utility bills!

Awning Maintenance is Simple

This hardscape element is easy to maintain due to its simplistic nature. The mechanics of either manual or motorized arm types are basic and require little maintenance. If you have a problem, a quick call to a professional repair person will have your shade sorted quickly! 

two types of retractable awnings offered by PCUNW

How Patio Covers Unlimited Northwest Can Help

Are you looking for a retractable awning in Eastern Washington? Patio Covers Unlimited Northwest is here to help! We have years of experience advising, selecting, installing, and maintaining every shade system you can imagine. We work with your needs, property structure, budget, aesthetic, and timeline to find the perfect shade solution for your home. Hiring Patio Covers Unlimited Northwest means you have a trustworthy, experienced professional installing your new canopy or hardscape. Visit our website to check out our services and contact us for an appointment. Let’s get started on your home improvement journey together! 

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