Posted by & filed under Awnings .

Technology has made many jobs easier in our day-to-day lives. Our outdoor living spaces have improved significantly with the influence of new products and technology available to us.

Outdoor furniture can be quite comfortable and stylish with the use of water-protective materials. Some outdoor spaces have running water with wet bars, outdoor refrigeration and even outdoor televisions – just to name a few of the luxuries that can be found in modern outdoor living spaces! Outdoor wind and sun blinds have also improved significantly with the addition of motorized blinds and awning controls, a perfect complement to a modern outdoor living space.

Jans retractable Awning


With motorized, electric controls, you have the power to arrange your awnings however you like, giving you the convenience of a push-button climate control in your own backyard. This is especially helpful for families with elderly members or members with disabilities. The motorized, electrical controls allow more people to have power over their outdoor space.

All of the awnings, shutters and roll screens can be motorized if this option is appealing to you. One way to apply this feature to your home is with the use of a SOMFY electric motor. These motors are specifically designed for retractable awnings and other “roll up” applications. The design allows for the motor to sit fully contained within the roll tube of the awning, keeping your exterior clean and modern looking without the visible addition of a bulky motor. Some owners appreciate the ability to manually override the motor at any time, as a security feature for added peace of mind.

Not only do automatic awnings and sun blinds provide a labour-free way to unwind or retract your awnings, they allow you to control your outdoor space from outside, inside, and even remotely!

Exterior control: A wall switch is mounted in a convenient, visible outdoor location so that you can modify your outdoor setting at anytime while spending time outside.

Interior control: A wall switch is mounted inside your home, hardwired to the existing electrical system. This is especially convenient if the weather quickly turns, or if you need to adjust your awning late at night.

Remote control: An ultimate feature for convenience and safety, a remote control can be programmed to control your awning from anywhere inside or outside on your property, giving you full access to controlling your awning at any time.

Sun and Wind control: If you are a commercial user, or if you are concerned about the temperature or sun exposure in your home, this control will automatically guard your windows or doors from excessive sun exposure. This awning will have a sensor that can be programmed to suit your exact needs, but can also be manually changed at any time.

If you feel you could benefit from motorized awnings, contact Jans Awnings and Rollshutters.  Located near Ottawa, we can offer you dozens of shade solutions to increase your comfort and decrease your energy bills.

Posted by & filed under Awnings .

There’s no denying it. Winter is just around the corner. Now it’s time to prepare your home for the cold and wet winter season and begin the search for the best awnings for winter. Since we live in an area with four seasons it’s important that we choose products for our home that will withstand these seasons. This includes choosing awnings that will provide plenty of shade and privacy in the mild weather while being durable enough to last through the freezing temperatures and heavy snowfalls of winter.

A town covered in snow

What Is The Best Awning For Winter Time?

The perfect choice to withstand the harshness of winter and provide shade in the summer is to install a retractable awning. These awnings will last year round and will provide outdoor shelter for many years to come. There are several reasons why retractable awnings are the best choice for awning installation in the winter.


Why Choose Retractable Awnings?

Retractable awnings can provide your deck or patio with shelter from the snow. These awnings are built very strong and tough and are able to withstand a mild snowfall. Build your awning with a slope and the snow will run off the awning. This means the weight of the snow won’t weigh down your awing. Having the option to open your awning in the winter will keep your patio or deck clear of snow.

Conversely, there will be times in the winter that you will want to fully retract your awning to protect it from the severe weather of the winter. During heavy snowfall, wind or ice storms its best if you fully retract the awning so that the extreme weight of the heavy snow and ice cannot damage the awning. Severe winds may also cause damage to your awning so it’s best to retract the awning during this type of weather. Having a retractable awning gives you the freedom to choose this option and in doing so provides peace of mind knowing that your awning is protected from the extreme winter weather.


Protecting Your Retractable Awning

You can also prepare your retractable awing for winter by protecting it with a cover. Of course, using a cover means that your awning will remain closed for the duration of the winter season. The type of cover you need depends upon the type of retractable awing that you own. Whether you have an open roll fabric retractable awning, cassette style retractable awing or an open roll awing with a metal hood; there are various types of covers available. Check with the contractor who installed your awing for the best advice on which cover to choose.

Probably the best advantage to owning a retractable awning is that there is virtually no maintenance required. While your neighbour is outside in the freezing cold brushing off snow from their non-retractable awning, you will be inside toasty and warm, knowing that your retractable awning is safe from such winter hazards because you can retract the awning protecting it from the heavy snow and ice.


Don’t hesitate to contact Jans Awnings and get started on having your own retractable awning installed for your home.

Posted by & filed under Rollshutters .

As colder weather descends on the Ottawa region, you’ll be relying more on your home heating system to get you and your family through the winter months. Having an effective heating system is essential to keeping the inside of your home warm and comfortable, but having something on the outside of your home can help too, have you ever considered having rollshutters installed in your home? Rollshutters don’t always come to mind when you’re thinking about home heating and energy efficiency, but they can have an impact on both your comfort and your utility bill.

House Rollshutter

Keep the warm air where you want it

While your furnace is chugging along through the cold Ottawa winter, the warm air it produces can escape through your windows. As a result, you might feel a little chilly even inside your home, and you might be forced to turn the thermostat up even higher. Rollshutters help keep the warm air that you need in the winter inside your home, making for a more comfortable living space.

Rollshutters closed on winter nights, when windows are not receiving direct sunlight, can reinforce your home’s thermal envelope – the shell of the building which acts as a barrier to the unwanted transfer of heat from the interior to the exterior of the house.

Talius rollshutters in particular have been proven to improve what’s known as the R-value of windows. The R-value is a measurement of thermal resistance. The better the R-value of your windows, the more heat they will keep inside your home. When Talius rollshutters are closed at night, they can reduce heat loss through windows by up to 20%.

Save on your winter energy bill

If you’re able to keep more warm air inside your home, your heating system won’t have to work as hard, and keeping your thermostat at a relatively constant level will help you save on your energy bills through the winter. Again looking at Talius rollshutters, studies have shown that when they’re closed at night, you could see a 4% drop in the amount of energy you use on home heating.

A safety note on rollshutters and fireplaces

If you have an open fireplace in your home that you use to supplement your heating system, or if you just enjoy the ambience it creates, it’s a good idea keep your rollshutters open and unlocked when there’s a fire burning.

Other benefits for your home

In addition to the heating and energy advantages that rollshutters offer, they can benefit your home in other ways as well. Rollshutters provide a layer of security for your home by putting a strong barrier in front of breakable windows.

When your rollshutters are down, they can prove to be a visible deterrent for would-be burglars. They’re especially useful if you’re planning to escape the cold and head out of the Ottawa area for a few days this winter. It’s a good call to keep your rollshutters down and locked if you’re away from home for any extended period of time.

Please contact us if you would like any further information about rollshutters.

Posted by & filed under Awnings .

Hopefully you’ve got a lot of use out of your awning over the summer months and enjoyed the shade it provided. But as temperatures begin to dip, it’s a good time to think about winterizing your awnings to help them through the colder months. Even though awnings are constructed with sturdy materials which are meant to withstand heavy rain, bright sunlight, and strong winds, they may not fare as well in colder times when ice and freezing temperatures can subject your awnings to even more challenges. Depending on the type of awning you have, you will have to take certain steps to get it ready for the winter.

Tree branch with snow on it


Give your awnings a visual check

The first step in winterizing your awning is to give it thorough inspection to see how it has held up over the last few months. In that time, the awning could have suffered some damage. Check to make sure that frame, fittings, and fabric are all secure. Have a look at the hardware to ensure nothing is loose, and tighten any parts that need tightening.

If you have a fabric awning, check the fabric for signs of wear, such as small holes or tears in the material. Inspect the stitching for signs of wear, like loose or unraveled thread. If your awning has a valance, it has probably spent most of the summer flapping in the breeze. Check to see if that continuous flapping has caused any evident wear.


Carry out repairs where necessary

If you do notice signs of damage on your awning, take the time to make repairs now, so you won’t have to delay the use of your awning when you’ll really need it in the spring. Setting aside the awning for the winter without making needed repairs can mean you’ll have larger holes to patch and longer tears to sew come next spring. Carrying out simple repairs is also far less costly than possibly needing to spend money on replacement pieces.


Wash away the dirt

The first step in cleaning is to brush off deposits of dirt and debris so they won’t scratch the surface when you do more extensive cleaning. Next, create a solution of warm water and mild soap. Never use harsh cleaning solvents or abrasive products to clean your awning. Test the soapy water on a small, hidden area of the awning to make sure it isn’t reacting unexpectedly to the material. Then proceed to clean the rest of the surface with the solution and a soft cloth. Let the material dry thoroughly before you pack it away.


Dismantle or retract your awning

Many canopies are designed for compact storage and their framework will need to be folded or rolled to make it easy to stow. If the canopy didn’t come with a storage or carrying case, you might want to wrap it in old sheets over the course of the winter to keep it from getting dirty.

In the case of retractable awnings that aren’t going to be removed from the frame, consider using an awning cover to protect it from the winter elements. These covers envelope the whole awning installation to protect it and help keep it free of mildew and moss.

Overall if you have kept good care of your awnings over the course of the year and the weather hasn’t been too harsh on them, your awning should last a long, long time. Unfortunately, awnings, like everything else, can be purchased from a low quality supplier and installed cheaply by an inexperienced company. Here at Jans Awnings & Rollshutters we’ve seen this all too many times and we’ve been called in to install our higher quality awnings as they always bring a higher level of satisfaction. Contact Us to find out more about the awnings we can install for your home.

Posted by & filed under Awnings, Fixed Aluminum Awnings .

Aluminum awnings come in a variety of styles and colours, and they offer sturdy protection from rain, snow, and sunlight. Because they become permanent fixtures above windows, doorways, porches, and passageways, homeowners and business owners need to know that they will hold up well over time. With that in mind, let’s have a look at what makes aluminum awnings the durable items that they are.
Backyard aluminum awning

In comparison to fabric awnings

When comparing aluminum awnings to their fabric counterparts, it’s clear which option is the most durable. Unlike fabric, aluminum can survive exposure to severe weather conditions like gusting winds, intense sunlight, heavy rainfall, and even sizable snowstorms. While a fabric awning may last for approximately a decade, aluminum awnings can sometimes endure for over 40 years before a replacement will be necessary. During that extended time frame, aluminum awnings will resist warping, bowing, and stretching – all concerns that can shorten the lifespan of fabric awnings.

Fabrication and installation

The durability of aluminum awnings comes from their initial fabrication, as well as how they are installed on a building’s façade. The strength of aluminum means that it can stand up to powerful winds without damage, and it will not warp after exposure to sunlight or precipitation.

How the awnings are installed will also bolster their durability. To counter the possibility of snow accumulating and weighing down the awning, it can be installed with a substantial slope. A customized slope can also direct rainfall a safe distance away from the building, which can help prevent foundation problems. Depending on the size of the slope and the awning itself, support beams can be added to help stabilize the aluminum.

As strong and durable as aluminum is, it is also a relatively light material. That makes aluminum awnings affordable and easy to install or remove as necessary.

Maintenance for aluminum awnings

The durability of aluminum awnings makes them easy to take care of. They’re unlikely to need patch up or repair jobs as fabric awnings may require from time to time, especially following a severe weather event. Rinsing an aluminum awning with a hose can keep dirt and debris from building up, and some preventative maintenance can be done by trimming any trees which may come into contact with the awning.

Added benefits

In addition to withstanding an onslaught of rain, snow, and sleet, aluminum awnings can also provide protection against the sun’s harsh rays. Aluminum awnings can be constructed with an insulated layer that absorbs the heat from direct sunlight. As a result, the space that the awning protects will stay a few degrees cooler than its surrounding area. Having that shade can help lower energy costs in the warmer months by letting you run your air conditioner at a less powerful setting.

If you’re looking for an affordable but still highly durable awning that will last for years without a great deal of maintenance, an aluminum awning may be the perfect fit for your home. Contact us to find out about the aluminum awning options available to suit your style and your home’s needs.

Posted by & filed under Phantom Screens .

If you’re looking for a way to keep a breeze flowing through your home during the warmer summer months, you’ve probably considered installing screen doors on your door frames. There are a number of screen door options available that you can tack on to your door frame, but they come with their own drawbacks. That’s where phantom screens come in.

Phantom Screens
Phantom screens are customized screens that fit within your existing door frames. They slide out to provide cover for a doorway when needed, and slide back into the door frame and out of sight when they’re not needed. Here’s a look at the benefits that phantom screens offer over traditional screen doors.


Problems with regular screen doors

One of the drawbacks of traditional screen doors is that they can make it cumbersome to enter or exit your home. If you’re carrying boxes or a load of groceries into your home, it can be tricky to prop open the screen door while working to unlock the main door. Phantom screens stay out of the way when they’re not needed to give you easier access to your main door.

If you’ve lived in a home with a screen door, you know that they can get pretty noisy during a powerful storm. Because of the mesh makeup of most screen doors, strong winds can cause the door to swing open and slam shut. Phantom screens eliminate the potential for all that banging, which isn’t just an irritating sound, but a potential source of damage to your door frame.


Various uses for phantom screens

In addition to overcoming the two problems of screen doors listed above, phantom screens offer a number of utilitarian benefits. When you want to let some fresh air into your home but want to keep insects from intruding, you can slide out the phantom screen from your doorway. The mesh screen ensures that summertime pests of all sizes stay out.

Going beyond insect protection, phantom screens can be manufactured with different types of mesh to offer sun protection or privacy.


Wide doorways? No problem

French doors and wide spaces used to be a problem, but phantom screens can now be installed to cover large openings. For French doors, two screens can be installed, one on each side of the door frame, and pulled together to meet at the center of the doorway. For wider spaces, motorized screens can be installed which cover areas up to 25 feet wide.


Aesthetic value

One more advantage to phantom screens is that by staying out of sight when not in use, they preserve the look of your doorway. That’s not to say that if the screen were to be in use it would detract from the appearance of the doorway. Phantom screens can be manufactured in a number of different colours to match the look of the doors and frames that you already have in place.

If you’re interested in having phantom screens installed in your home, contact us to find out more about the screen and colour options available to you.

Posted by & filed under Awnings, Fixed Aluminum Awnings, Outdoor Living, Uncategorized .

When you want to enjoy your time outside on your backyard patio during the summer months, an awning can provide maximum protection from the heat of the scorching sun. Adding an awning to your exterior space is a very inexpensive way to extend your outdoor living space.

Backyard Retractable Awning

Although most patio awnings are designed for sun protection, some models are designed to protect against rain and higher levels of wind. You will no longer have to be chased indoors by a blazing sun or a sudden shower.

A Great Addition to any Home

A retractable awning can provide excellent coverage during a light shower because the standard awning fabric is highly water repellent. To maximize the awning’s ability to be effective for rainwater runoff, the best pitch is at 14 degrees.

A retractable awning offers the benefits of leaving your patio free and clear of poles and gives a homeowner the option of full sun, part sun or full shade. Since the metal arms are adjustable, you can change the pitch of the awning to your desired position to maximize your protection.

Patio awnings are available using a hand crank manual operation, but for those people who want the ultimate ease of operation, retractable awnings also come with a motorized system. A motorized system offers the convenience of positioning by operating a wall switch or remote control. It couldn’t be any simpler.

Save on Energy Costs

Awnings offer protection and beauty to any deck or patio and help to reduce energy costs while keeping you cool beneath their cover. Awnings can add charm and personality to your home and can transform a plain facade into something extraordinary. Awnings can increase the value of your home since they set your home apart from the rest.

In addition to their attractiveness, awnings keep your home much cooler during the heat of the summer months. They help to reduce air conditioning costs by decreasing the amount of heat that infiltrates the inside of your home by as much as 77%. They protect the interior furnishings from being bleached out by the sun’s rays and reduce sunlight and glare through your windows by as much as 94%.

According to Michelle Sahlin, managing director of the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association, many people do not recognize that more than any other part of the house, the majority of cooling energy in most homes is lost through the glass doors and windows. Awnings provide an effective way of preventing cooling energy loss in your home. This reduction in cooling energy loss benefits the environment because it reduces greenhouse gas emissions and saves money on energy bills for homeowners.

Retractable awnings are ideal for rooms that generate excessive heat due to extreme temperatures of the sun. However, you can easily control the amount of light entering into your home and opt for maximizing brightness on overcast days.

Storage and Care

There are many styles and colours to choose from that would compliment any outdoor décor. If you wish, an awning may remain mounted all year long. Alternatively, you can easily detach the removable awning, which makes storage convenient because it is collapsible.

It’s also important to remember that whether you have a vinyl or canvas awning, they require regular cleaning. Vinyl awnings will require a regular sealing, while canvas awnings that are made with the Sunbrella fabric need to be scheduled for waterproofing and stain protection.

Whether you’re a homeowner or a business establishment that wants to make an impression with attractive, versatile, energy saving, and heat reducing awnings, Jans Awnings has over 15 years of experience in providing customers with quality products and service. We offer a selection of retractablewindow, fixed aluminum, commercial, and aluminum awnings. Contact us today and our team will be ready to provide an awning solution that would suit you and your home’s needs and aesthetics.

Posted by & filed under Awnings .

You can keep your awning in great shape for many years to come by doing a little routine awning care. In some cases, the material used for an awning will be mildew-resistant, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook from occasionally cleaning it. If dirt accumulates on a canvas awning, it can give way to mold and mildew. That not only poses a health risk, but detracts from the aesthetic value of your awning, as mildew can stain the awning’s fabric.

detergent and sponge

Hosing down your awning

One of the simplest, but most effective ways of caring for your awning is to give it a monthly hosing with water. Doing so helps keep dirt from becoming embedded deep within the fabric, which will necessitate more robust cleaning efforts. While a monthly rinse is good practice, you might still want to consider a more thorough cleaning for your awning every two to three years.

Vigorous cleaning methods

Depending on the size and type of awning you have, you may be able to clean the fabric while it’s still on the frame, or remove it and clean it in a washing machine. If you plan to use a washing machine, use mild soaps, cold or lukewarm water, and air dry the fabric. Always follow the manufacturer’s advise as well, when it comes to washing your awning fabric.

To clean the awning fabric while it’s still on the frame, start by brushing off any loose dirt or debris, then hose down the fabric with water. Next, create a cleaning solution of water and mild soap. Apply the solution to the fabric and use a soft-bristled brush to clean. Rinse off the solution thoroughly and let your fabric air dry.

Cleaning the underside

While the top of your awning is exposed to the elements, don’t forget that dirt, dust, and cobwebs can accumulate on the underside as well. Regularly brushing the underside of your awning with a broom is a simple and effective way to keep it in good condition.

Placement and patch-ups

If at all possible, keep canvas awnings away from trees, shrubs, and vines. Many trees, shrubs, bushes, and vines contain an acid that can damage the canvas awning material. Prolonged exposure to this acid can create defects in your awning which will negatively impact both its appearance and performance.

Also keep an eye out for any small rips or tears in your awning’s fabric. Even small tears can become large ones, so use repair tape to close them up at first sight.

Take care when it’s cold and wet

Canvas awnings can be damaged when rolled or unrolled in cold temperatures. The movement of the canvas in cold weather can lead to cracks.

Also keep in mind that water pooling in spots of your awning can cause the canvas to stretch, leading to a poor fit on the awning’s frame. After a heavy rainfall, have a look at your awning to check if water has pooled in any pockets. If it has, try pushing the underside of the awning with a broom to remove any standing water.

If you need any help with caring for your awnings, or you need to replace your old awnings then Contact Jans Awnings for a no-obligation, in-home consultation.

Posted by & filed under Health Risks .

Getting too much sun is never good. Getting heat stroke is downright dangerous so it’s important to learn how to prevent heat stroke before it happens. Finding a little shade can make the difference between enjoying a great summer day and spending that day in your local ER.

Very hot sunny day

The inclination on a very hot day, is to enjoy it until the sun goes down. It’s important however, to take a break throughout the day, grab a drink, and find some shade. You might find in your backyard lots of activities to enjoy, but your outdoor space should include a safe place to relax and take it easy. During the dead heat of the summer months, an umbrella just isn’t going to help much. A retractable awning or adding screening will go a long way in reducing the temperature of your deck. An awning will ultimately reduce the temperature of you and your loved ones. An awning will also reduce the temperature of your deck or patio by as much as 20 degrees. The great coverage that an awning will be provide, will keep you outside longer. A good rule of thumb is to take a beverage break for fifteen minutes every hour. Sitting under your shade structure for a few minutes with a cold non-alcoholic drink will go a long way in keeping heat stroke away.

When learning how to prevent heat stroke from a medical standpoint, it’s having a core temperature of 105 °F. In order for your body to reach this level of heat illness, precautions have been ignored and likely, these several warning signs.


Some of the preceding symptoms of heat stroke include…

  • Severe Headache
  • Nausea and or Vomiting
  • Dizziness and/or Fainting
  • Lack of Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Hot Skin


Any one of these symptoms could be a sign of danger but generally, it is when two or more are experienced, that heat stroke might be present. Simply staying hydrated and out of the sun for a time can have you avoiding this dangerous heat illness and with heat stroke at bay, your backyard will continue to be enjoyed. Without the proper coverage and with too much exposure to the sun, everyone is susceptible to heat stroke. Like many illnesses though, the very young and the very old are most at danger.

If you’ve ever had heat stroke, you know it is not pleasant and the remedy isn’t either. What should you do if you or a loved one appears to be suffering from heat stroke? First and foremost, call 911. While waiting for emergency services to arrive, remove any unnecessary clothing from the person and move them to an air conditioned room or at least into a shaded area. If you give them water, have them take small controlled sips. Too much water may cause vomiting or cramps. If the person’s temperature is 101 or higher, apply ice packs to the groin, armpits, back and neck. Also, putting the person in a cold bath may reduce their core temperature but always ask the 911 operator first before taking such measures.

Just remember that during the summer months, enjoy the heat, but be safe. If you enjoy sitting outside on your deck or porch or what not you can reduce the temperature of your deck with an awning. If you think that adding an awning to your house then contact us today and you’ll be sitting outside on your deck/porch with shade in no time.

Posted by & filed under Outdoor Living .

The summer is upon us in the Ottawa area and so too are the bugs. If you live in Ontario, you share the woes of bug bites, and the remedies that can be as nasty as the insects. Creating a bug free environment with a screened room or retractable screen is a great option. However with outside living in your backyard there are a few other techniques to manage the little critters may just improve your summer.

tick on finger

Traditional Defences

Deet has long since been a controversial substance used as a repellent for mosquitoes and the dreaded black fly. Deet is not appropriate for small children and it is questionable whether the toxic nature of deet is worth its repellent properties. Many sprays come with varying concentrations of deet and it is recommended that you chose the smallest amount needed to keep the bugs away. Of course, no bug repellant will keep away ticks. It’s important to use more common sense than anything in your efforts to avoid the disease carrying tick. When in wooded areas, be sure to wear longs sleeves and pants whenever possible. Also, after any hike or time spent outdoors, check your body and the bodies of any children for any ticks that may have hitched a ride. Ticks will need to be carefully removed and if you should present with a bullseye rash, seek medical attention immediately. After being bit by a tick and experiencing symptoms of Lyme disease, a round of antibiotics is likely in order. Because of the serious nature of illness that ticks can cause, prevention is key.

Alternative Protection

There are many companies making a living off of bug protection. Everything from candles, to belt clips and lanterns. While all likely provide some protection from bugs, they can be expensive. Experimenting with different remedies can be frustrating and hard on the pocket book. Consider your environment and when and where you will need protection from bugs. A camping trip will require a different set of defences than an evening on the patio. Covering up is always your best bet, but to further protect you and your guests, try some citronella or bug coils. These are inexpensive and moderately effective in protecting an area from bugs.

Protection for your Entire Property

In lieu of spraying your property with a crop duster, there are things that can be done to protect you and your loved ones from bugs this summer. Protection that won’t have you worrying about what you’ve put in your body. Bug lights and zappers have grown in popularity, in large part because of their effectiveness and non-toxic nature. These bug attracting lights and bug zappers cover a larger area than many other bug repellent options. Over the years, bug zappers have improved in their design and size. They continue to come down in price and many home owners are opting for this solution to their backyard bug problem. There is, of course the good old fly swatter. You’d be hard pressed to find a home without one.

If you’re seeking new ways to protect yourself from bugs this summer, don’t be afraid to experiment. Staying away from wet areas is a good start. Mosquitoes are often worse around dusk. Even if you are wearing long sleeves and shirts, those ankles are bound to be found and bitten. Protecting yourself from bugs is important not just for your comfort but for your health. While mosquitoes can be pesky, ticks can be down right dangerous. Stay aware and stay safe.