The struggle is real: you want to enjoy some time outside on a windy day but don’t want to be blasted by the sun’s UV rays. Can you use your retractable awning or will it quickly become damaged by the wind?
Knowing the type of wind load that your retractable awning can handle can help you determine when it’s safe to use – and when it’s best to leave it protected.
Awnings and Wind Ratings
Your retractable awning was purchased for protection from the heat and UV rays. As such, they are not built for extreme wind conditions. In fact, most self-supported retractable awnings have been tested to meet the wind speed of only 30 – 40 kilometres an hour. Oftentimes, that testing was completed without ongoing or irregular wind conditions!
Many of the higher specification awnings come with their wind rating based on kilometres per hour or the Beaufort scale. However, wind can be highly unpredictable. In no time at all, it can change direction and/or pick up speed very quickly. That’s why it’s best to use your retractable awning for sun protection on calm days only.
The Benefits of Wind Sensors
Wondering if a little wind is okay to use your home’s retractable awning? Ask yourself this: am I able to read a newspaper comfortably outside right now? If so, it’s probably safe to operate your awning.
Another option is to install a wind sensor or motion sensor fitting which will safely retract the awning during windy conditions. These are especially useful in commercial spaces, where awnings aren’t managed 24 hours a day. Although they can only be used on electric awnings, they provide many home and business owners with peace of mind on windy days.
The Damaging Effects of Wind on Your Retractable Awning
Awnings with higher pitches are more resistant to the damaging effects of wind conditions, as are stationary awnings or canopies. Designed to tolerate fairly high winds as well as rain, stationary awnings and canopies are a solution for homeowners wanting to avoid regularly retracting their awning.
Large retractable fabric awnings are also usually better in windy conditions. That’s because their covering is held in place on all four sides and the supporting posts are at the front.
When shopping around for your retractable awning, choose a strong vinyl fabric that is better suited for windy conditions. Many times, these fabrics are used alongside reinforced struts and aluminum framework systems that help control the wind better.
If you don’t want to worry about windy conditions any longer, you could always consider installing a screened room. Built to fit your existing property, screened rooms provide the ability to enjoy the outdoor conditions without having to operate a retractable awning.