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Awnings come in a large variety of types, styles and materials. There is something for every home and personal preference. Having a covered patio or outside area is ideal for the South African climate and always a lovely addition to add some café-style pizzazz to your home. We share a few of our favourites and a basic 101 when choosing the perfect type of awning for your home.
Retractable awnings are functional and convenient. You can choose between a manual or automated type of awning. It can easily extend over any area you enjoy outside. When you are not using your awning, your awning can retract and be kept safe from the elements. These awnings tend to last longer, as they do not get as much wear and tear over the years. Sensor-triggered awnings are an excellent choice too but come with a hefty price tag.
Wall-mounted awnings are the most popular and usually what we see around homes in South Africa. Adding a stylish touch to your home’s facade, the wall-mounted awning will bring years of joy and comfort. Fixed awnings are permanent until you decide to replace them. If you choose a timeless material, you won’t have to look at something outdated in 5 years’ time. Wall-mounted awnings can be made to specification and in a style that works for you.
Dome – A dome-shaped awning is typically found over small entryways and windows and can be used in archways. The quarter-sphere shape provides similar protection from the sun and rain from all angles.
Concave – Most typically used over a window or door, the concave design is characterized by the inward curvature of the front panel. The side panels can be covered with fabric for a completely shaded enclosure, or left open.
Traditional – The traditional frame is used over smaller areas like windows and entryways, but can also protect patios and decks.
Laminated fabrics like vinyl-coated polyester will be waterproof but woven fabrics like acrylic fabrics may only be water-resistant. Waterproof awnings material is available in three formats and designed to prevent water from penetrating. Amy glover from Awning Reviews writes, “Solid plastic (PVC) or acrylic sheets or panels are used to form the canopy and are waterproof. Laminated covers have two layers attached to prevent water from passing through. The third is the most common and is made of woven acrylic fibre treated with a waterproof sealant”.
She explains further that water-resistant fabric is any material that will withstand a drizzle. The fibres are sealed against moisture or made of synthetic fibre that won’t absorb moisture. The tautness and angle of the awning combine to shed moisture down to the edge.
If you plan on using your awning for shelter from the rain, you want to choose a waterproof material.
Find an awning specialist here.
Awnings are a beautiful addition to any home. They add to the aesthetics and provide valuable protection from the elements. Although the fabric and framework were made to last you years, as with everything else at home, you do need to take care and maintain your awnings. We share our ultimate awning care guide.
Caring for a fabric awning can be left to professionals, or you can do it yourself. There are commercial awning cleaning solutions available, but there are many household products like dish soap that are perfectly safe for your awnings. No matter the product, always test it to ensure it won’t damage your awnings.
Inspect your awning’s frame as well as its fabric. Sometimes the frame gets damaged and it’s important to check it regularly so you can prevent malfunctions. Don’t let foliage and other greenery grow near or on your awning. This can cause debris to build up and damage your fabric as branches grow.
Try to clean your awning at least once a month by clearing any debris and dust. You can easily hose your awning down and let it air dry. Make sure you don’t use harsh chemicals, as they can degrade your awning’s special features like mould and mildew resistance. Make sure you check with your awning manufacturer for care and cleaning instructions.
You can clean the underside of your awning similarly to the topside. The underside often collects grease from open windows, vents, and your braai area. Grease-cutting dish soap is safe to use for this part of the cleaning process. Once cleaned, the material should be retreated to protect it from the elements.
Enjoy your awnings all-year-round and take care of them properly. From enjoying a cold drink under your awnings in summer to sipping a hot, steamy drink in winter, your awning is the perfect addition to create a space you will love and enjoy all year.
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