Retractable awnings are a great investment for your home by contributing to your outdoor living space. Not only does a retractable awning add aesthetic appeal to your home, but it also provides lasting benefits for you to enjoy, such as allowing you to enjoy the sun or shade at your leisure. It allows you to personalize your deck or patio for optimal comfort and maximum protection from the blazing summer sun. A retractable awning provides a dramatic effect to the outside of your house and offers the impression of a major renovation. It can also provide some privacy from your potentially bothersome neighbours.
When an awning is strategically placed on your home, you create sustainable savings from the merciless summer heat through lowering cooling costs. These savings occur by blocking and/or reducing the amount of solar heat and UV radiation that traditionally gets absorbed by your house; thereby, reducing the amount of energy it takes to cool your interior space. Your return on investment accrues over time because you have an attractive and controllable way to manage your home’s cooling expenses.
You have the option of a hand crank or motorized awnings, but there are significant benefits to installing a motorized retractable awning. Here are some of the top reasons why many homeowners end up deciding on a motorized system instead of a manual method.
The convenience and ease of operating a motorized patio awning can’t be matched since it comes with a remote control that’s a snap to operate. With the push of a button, you can unroll or roll up your patio awning to the desired level instead of constantly cranking a lever to set the awning to the desired position.
With a remote in your hand, you can adjust your patio awning as the sun changes and never even have to get up to set the position, unlike a manual, which requires more time, more up and down motion from your chair and increased manual labor. You get to continue relaxing while the motor does the work for you.
Motorized retractable awnings are particularly advantageous when a bad rain storm whips up. Would you rather stand outside in a downpour with violent winds while physically cranking a shaft to roll in your patio awning or a touch of a button from the comfort and safety of inside your home?
If you look at the design of manual and motorized retractable patio awnings, you’ll notice some significant differences between them. The first thing that you notice with a manual awning is the “less than attractive” vertical supports or standing frames that can get in the way of your view from underneath, whereas motorized retractable awnings are more aesthetically pleasing.
The supports and frames from the manual style not only obstruct your view, but limit your space as well, which in turn restricts your outdoor living area. A motorized retractable awning allows you to have the most outdoor space, which is probably your goal anyway.
The benefits of motorized patio awnings go beyond being able to retract them automatically. They come with features and accessories that you can individualize, such as synchronizing your awning to sense rain, sunlight or wind. These advanced automated settings not only increase the ease and convenience of managing your patio awning, but makes sure that the awning will stay safe during poor weather conditions. These features allow you the freedom from worrying when to roll in your patio awning during inclement weather.
Over the years, advanced technology has increased the durability and longevity of the materials that are used to make retractable awnings. Materials like the Sunbrella line of textiles are both incredibly stylish and durable. They offer superior fade and stain resistance and clean quickly.
Companies like Jans Awning Products take great care to fully back their products and they’re renowned within the industry through a proven record of excellence. If you’re looking at installing an awning for your home, contact us today and our team of experts will be ready to help.
Awnings can provide you with additional outdoor space and protect you from the harsh rays of the sun or inclement weather. There is nothing more enjoyable than going out to your patio and deck with a good book or drink in hand and enjoy the scenery that surrounds you, under the protection of an awning.
However, with all of the benefits that an awning provides, you’ve created a space that has significantly increased your amount of shade. The benefits of protection can also be problematic for a homeowner who wants to be surrounded by a lush garden, but not all is lost because there is a solution that gives you the benefit of both.
Beautify Your Awning Area
Many properties have shaded areas that homeowners might struggle with when selecting plants that do well in such conditions, and awnings are no different. In this case, you just have to spend a bit of time researching to determine your best course of action for creating a seasonal environment of beauty. You may decide to plant a container garden in the shade or you may want to go the route of shade loving annuals, perennials or a combination of all three.
Vines like Jacob’s ladder and English ivy can make great fillers for your pots as well as some ornamental grass that will tolerate low levels of sunshine. There are also many varieties of Hostas that you can choose among at your local nursery that will fit your awning space nicely. You might want to consider a Lily such as the flax, peace and bush lilies that tolerate shade well and are low maintenance. Many of the perennials that will love your awning shade are foliage greens like ferns. They require little sunlight and spread each year filling in the spaces in your gardens.
If none of the above appeals to your senses, here is a list of the top 25 shade plants that will add enjoyment and beauty to your awning area.
- Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
- Peace lily (Spathiphyllum floribundum)
- Bush lily (Clivia miniata)
- Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum ‘Variegatum’)
- Primrose (Oenothera speciosa)
- Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium caeruleum)
- Meadowsweet (Astilbe spp.)
- Virginia bluebell (Mertensia virginica)
- Columbine (Aquilegia spp.)
- Foxglove (Digitalis spp.)
- Flax lily (Dionella spp.)
- English ivy (Hedera helix)
- Coleus (Solenostemon spp.)
- Fuchsia (Fuchsia spp.)
- Impatiens species
- Variegated ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea ‘Variegata’)
- Variegated lily turf (Liriope muscari)
- Bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis, formerly classified as Dicentra spectabilis)
- Hosta (Hosta plantaginea)
- Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum biflorum)
- Jumpseed (Persicaria virginata)
- Japanese anemone (Anemone hybrida)
- Azalea (Rhododendron spp.)
- Leopard plant (Ligularia spp.)
- Many types of ferns
Whatever plants you decide upon for beautifying your outdoor space in, around or under your awning, a little ingenuity and a bit of creativity will provide you with the space that you desire.
If your home is lacking an Awning and you’re interested in installing one for your home, contact us today and our team of experts will be ready to help.
Roll shutters were a product that came to us from Europe in the 80’s and are now enjoyed by Canadians everywhere. Rollshutters come in many different styles and are designed to do what regular indoor blinds do but with a few added features. Rollshutters will help to protect your home from the cold and heat and add a degree of security.
Windows and doors that have rollshutters installed on them will have a longer lifespan because of the protection that rollshutters give. If you love your big picture window but sometimes feel like you live in a fishbowl, a rollshutter will help as you can let the sunshine in or shut out the world when you want to.
If you’ve made the investment into rollshutters for your home, be sure to clean them two – three times a year. This will not only keep your roll shutters looking good but will give you the opportunity to inspect them and make any necessary repairs.
Step 1 – Raise the Rollshutter
Start by raising the shutter completely. Using a soft brush, clean out the area around the guides. Do this gently so as not to disturb any parts. Keeping the guides clear of dirt and grime will ensure that your roll shutters operate smoothly.
Step 2 – Close the Rollshutter
Next, close the shutter all the way and then raise it up just enough so that there is a little room between the slats. Brush away any dirt and dust that may have settled there over time.
Step 3 – Sponge Off
Completely close the rollshutter again. Grab a sponge and bucket with warm water and a mild detergent. Be sure not to use steel wool or any other abrasive materials on the shutter as steel wool may scratch your shutters. Wipe the rollshutter down, starting at the top and working your way to the bottom.
Step 4 – Rinse Off Rollshutter
Grab a hose and without a lot of pressure, rinse the rollshutter off. Be careful not to get too much water on the compartment at the top that houses the motor and gears. Let the rollshutter dry fully before it is put into operation again.
A little tender loving care will go a long way in keeping your rollshutter in tip top shape so that it can continue to work hard for you and look great. If you need additional help cleaning your rollshutters, or are interested in purchasing rollshutters for your home, contact Jans Awning Products in Burlington, Ontario today.
The hot sun is no match for your awning and it can turn an otherwise uncomfortable space, into one of enjoyment, comfort, and relaxation. When the weather turns ugly, what’s protecting your awning?
Awnings have come a long way in the department of durability. Structures are stronger and fabrics are more resilient. Despite these advancements, extreme weather can wreck havoc on our outdoor spaces. Everything from patio furniture to pools and fire pits. Your awning is no exception and despite their durability, they are at risk, along with the rest of your outdoor space, during inclement weather.
Awnings vs. weather is a fight that will be determined by both you and the quality of your awning.
While there are simple things that can be done to ensure damage does not occur to your awning during a storm, simplest amongst these are to retract your awning. An awning that hugs closely to the house will not be vulnerable to sun, rain and wind. During the winter, this is a no-brainer but during an otherwise pleasant season, it can be harder to remember to take in the patio furniture and retract that awning.
A good retractable awning can hold water but isn’t designed to double as a pool. Most awnings are not water proof but water resistant and aside from a light rain, it is recommended to keep your awning down during inclement weather. Keeping the weight of a big rainstorm off your awning is your safest bet. How much rain your retractable awning can safely take will depend on its pitch.
Sun shouldn’t be a problem for any quality retractable awning. After all, retractable awnings are designed, primarily to protect us and our homes from the effects of the hot sun. Good fabrics will last up to 20 years and are designed to resist fading. They are manufactured and treated so that they will not deteriorate under the constant heat of the sun.
Heavy winds can cause damage to the most stable elements of your home. The retractable awning is no different. All retractable awnings should be retracted during moderate to heavy winds. Wind can damage any number of components of your awning if it’s left to its own defences. Given a strong enough wind, a retractable awning that is left up could actually do damage to your home. Wind is unpredictable and shouldn’t be trusted.
Keeping your awning in good repair all year long will be your awnings best defense. Inspecting and cleaning the mechanisms and fabrics will alert you to any weaknesses in its makeup. Problems and repairs can be made before the bad weather hits. Take care of your awning and it will take care of you. Protect your awning and it will protect you.
Your awning might have lost the battle against weather and have been damaged, or it might be your first time looking at awnings for your home. Regardless of which column you fall into, our team of experts at Jans Awning Products are ready to help. Contact us today and we’ll find the right awning for you and your home.
Whenever people think of patio covers, they tend to think of these structures solely as protection from the glaring summer sun’s heat on a patio or deck.
Although patio covers are typically built for expanding outside space, entertaining and providing shelter from the elements, they can keep your car cooler during the summer heat as a carport.
Not only does it add protection for your car, but it also contributes both functional and aesthetic benefits. It’s a good investment, adds beauty and value to your home, both of which will be taken into account for attracting future potential buyers.
Protection From The Elements:
A patio cover (or roof) can protect your car from the elements; provide a dry storage area for your lawn equipment in addition to using it as a sitting area to escape the sun’s heat. It can protect your vehicle not only from rain, sun and debris, but during the winter months too. A patio cover can help to protect your vehicle from the harsh winter and provides a safe spot for you to enter and leave your car during inclement weather.
Strong and Sturdy:
Because aluminum patio covers can withstand high winds and heavy snow loads, they are a perfect solution for people who live in harsh weather conditions, like Ontario. You won’t have to worry about your patio covers coming apart or being damaged since they are designed for these types of conditions.
Patio covers are flexible and made with high-quality, structural aluminum. Aluminum is low in weight, strong and corrosive resistant, environment and Eco-friendly since aluminum is recyclable. Alloying, which is the addition of other elements such as copper, magnesium silicon and manganese is used to increase the strength of aluminum.
Unlike wood structures, patio covers are virtually maintenance free and designed not to rust, warp, crack, rot or become infested with insects. Any dust or dirt that may accumulate is easily sprayed down with a hose.
They are constructed to maintain their original colour and texture. The high-end aluminum patio covers colour will not fade, since they are powder coated. This means that manufacturers use the same powder coating method for patio covers as they do to paint your car.
Patio covers used as a carport can be free-standing or attached to your existing home or garage. They are fully customizable and available in a variety of trim options. The cover is made of insulated laminated roof panels that snap together tightly to form a strong, structurally sound roof as well as a weather-proof barrier protecting your vehicle from the elements. There is also the option of having an open lattice design and some aluminum patio covers include gutters and downspouts.
Companies like Jans Awing Products offer an embossed aluminum clad insulated roof system with built-in eaves troughs and optional skylights. Their Duraform Roof System can be custom shaped and sized to fit around existing structures such as a chimney, bays and patio spaces to create a convenient covered carport.
Windows play a huge role in the character, airiness and efficiency of your home. Windows allow natural light and fresh air to enter your house, provide a view to the outdoors and can serve as vital emergency exits. However, they’re also responsible for unnecessary heat loss, high energy consumption, cold drafts, and condensation problems.
If you start to notice condensation, drafts or rattling noises from your windows, it’s time for you to think about an upgrade, but for homeowners with used windows that require some attention, not all used windows require a full window replacement. If you are living in a newer home with relatively new windows, but you notice the windows are not performing at their optimal best with heat loss through and around your windows, there are other alternatives to a full-frame window replacement.
Replacement windows are designed to fit into existing window openings. They’re available in a multitude of sizes and come in wood, vinyl, fiberglass, vinyl-clad wood, and aluminum-clad wood. You can choose from 3 basic types of replacement windows:
• Sash kits
• Insert replacements(Retrofit)
• Full-frame units
Sash-replacement kits can give an old window frame new movable parts, including jamb liners and sash. Insert replacement windows consist of a fully assembled window in a ready-to-install secondary frame. It slips into the existing opening and is fastened to the old side jambs. Full-frame replacement windows are similar to inserts, except that they have a complete frame that includes head jamb, side jambs, and sill. These are the only option when the old window frame, sill, or jambs are rotted.
When installing replacement windows, we at Jans Awning Products generally replace the full window, including the old frame to ensure maximum view, insulation and draft-control. This way of replacing windows also makes for a more aesthetically pleasing finish on both interior and exterior and is definitely the best way to make sure that you get full value for your money.
Retrofit windows (also called inserts) fit inside the existing window frames. Only the window stops and old sashes need to be removed. Existing moldings, inside and out, are not affected. Installing inserts are only an option if the old window frame is in good shape, rot-free, and square.
Glazing is the name of the hardened putty that creates a weathertight seal on the exterior the window between the wood and glass. Over time, glazing can become badly cracked or fall off, leaving your window vulnerable to water and rot. Reglazing is a good option for newer windows, which are still in good shape.
Jans Awning Products in Burlington has over 30 years of installing replacement windows. We use North Star Windows, which meet the strict standards for safety and efficiency set by the Canadian Standards Association.
Retractable awnings are a great investment for your home by contributing to your outdoor living space. Not only does a retractable awning add aesthetic appeal to your home, but it also provides lasting benefits for you to enjoy, such as allowing you to enjoy the sun or shade at any time. Also, a retractable awning helps to personalize your deck or patio for optimal comfort, but which type should you choose, manual or motorized?
Both types will do the job, but there are significant benefits to installing a motorized retractable patio awning. Here are some of the top reasons why many homeowners end up deciding on a motorized system instead of a manual method.
Convenience of Motorized Awnings
The convenience and ease of operating a motorized patio awning can’t be matched since it comes with a remote control that’s a snap to operate. With the push of a button, you can unroll or roll up your patio awning to the desired level instead of constantly cranking a lever to set the awning to the desired position.
With a remote in your hand, you can adjust your patio awning as the sun changes and never even have to get up to set the position, unlike a manual, which requires more time, more up and down motion from you chair and increased manual labor. You get to continue relaxing while the motor does the work for you.
Motorized retractable awnings are particularly advantageous when a bad rain storm whips up. Would you rather stand outside in a downpour with violent winds while physically cranking a shaft to roll in your patio awning or touch a button from the comfort and safety inside?
Finally, seniors, people with arthritis, or those with wrist problems, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, may find manual cranking hard on their joints. Automatic motorized awnings can make a difficult process much easier.
The benefits of motorized patio awnings go beyond being able to retract them automatically. They come with features and accessories that you can individualize, such as synchronizing your awning to sense rain, sunlight or wind. These advanced automated settings not only increase the ease and convenience of managing your patio awning but makes sure that the awning will stay safe during poor weather conditions. These features allow you the freedom from worrying when to roll in your patio awning during inclement weather if it knows when to do so itself.
Final Thoughts on Motorized Awnings:
To some, the benefits of motorized retractable patio awnings far outweigh those of manual ones. With a motorized patio awning, you can have the most modern outdoor living space designed for supreme convenience. If you’re in the market for a new patio awning, you can contact Jans Awning Products in Burlington Ontario to learn more about the benefits of motorized retractable patio awnings.
It can be very annoying when you have a beautiful day, a stuffy house, and a window which is stiff or hard to open – if at all. We all need fresh air and ventilation, so what can you do to help open your hard-to-open windows?
There are a number of different reasons why windows stick, so the first step is to discover the root of the problem. Typical problem areas include:
- The hinges
- Another problem in the window’s mechanism
- Expansion of the window or frame
Once you have figured out where the problem is, you can now go about solving it!
It is common that window hinges can rust. The fact that they are exposed to wind and rain means that they can rust easily. First, clean the hinges so that you can see how bad the damage is. Use a household cleaner, then silicon or a dry Teflon spray lube, and then try to move the window a little to see how the mechanism is working.
Look at the top and bottom of the hinges especially, from that you will have to decide whether you would be better off replacing the whole hinge (or hinges).
To replace the hinges, take out the screws and remove the hinge – you might need to use a knife to get through any dried paint that may have sealed shut. Then screw in the replacement hinge.
If you decide to stick with your existing hinges, you might want to keep an eye on them and check that they aren’t getting too rusty. Unfortunately, once corrosion has occurred, it is likely to happen again.
Other Mechanism Problems
Depending on the kind of windows you have, you might have corrosion or other mechanical problems. In which case, you should do the same as above – clean and see if you can save the mechanism or if you think that you would be better off replacing it entirely.
Expansion of the Window or Frame
If you have windows and frames which are made of wood, it is possible that time and the elements have warped the wood. Especially water causes wood to expand and the effect can be that your window won’t open or close. This can often change with the weather – so if it is a particularly moist period, with a lot of rain or dampness in the air, it is more likely that your wooden windows might expand.
If you don’t want to wait for the weather to change, and the swelling to go down, you can try and use a chisel to pry open the window and if the problem persists, you may want to think about sanding down one side of the window or frame.
Especially In older properties, a common problem is that windows get painted many times and the paint can seal the window shut. So how do you un-stick a window? First, try using a Stanley knife to run around the edge of the window and break the seal. If that doesn’t work, try a flexible steel scraper to get in deeper, and only as a last case scenario, try gently with a chisel.
The jamming of windows is a common problem, especially in older properties. Windows which are fitted today are a lot better protected against the elements and therefore much less likely to have problems.
For more information about caring for your windows and window frames, or inquiring about purchasing new windows, get in touch with us today!
A screen door is usually fitted in front of a normal door to either keep out bugs and insects, or leaves, earth and plants during a storm. It means that you don’t have to have your main doors closed, so the air can circulate within the house – which is very important, especially in hot weather.
It is the meshing in the screen door which causes insects and debris to stay outside, so if the screen door develops a hole, this can be potentially disastrous – rendering the screen useless. So if you get a hole in your screen door, do you need to replace the whole door, or can it be repaired?
Repairing Small Holes in a Screen
For small holes, repairs can be made easily. In most cases you won’t need to replace the whole door – a small repair should do the trick. There are a number of techniques which you can use – depending on the size of the hole and the type of material that the screen in made from:
- Buy screen repair kits from a hardware store, which will give you everything that you need to be able to repair the hole – as well as instructions.
- A vinyl or fiberglass screen can be fixed with a small amount of clear nail varnish. Dab it on the edges of the hole to stop the tear from spreading as well as block up the hole.
- If you have scraps of the same material as the screen, you can darn or patch together the hole. For a wire screen, unravel some of the mesh and use that as the thread.
- Use a piece of silicon adhesive to patch up holes in metal or fiberglass screens. You can build up the layers until the hole is fully and securely blocked.
Repairing Large Holes in a Screen Door
For larger holes you will need to decide whether it is worth repairing it, or if you would be better off replacing the entire door. If the quality of the mesh is already poor, it might be worth replacing the entire door.
To fix a larger hole, you will need a square of replacement mesh which is a couple of inches bigger than the hole, all round. You might want to buy it, or use the mesh from an old screen if you have one.
- Start by cutting out the right sized square from your ‘new’ mesh – a couple of inches bigger than the hole on each edge.
- Unravel the horizontal wires around the hole so there is half an inch unraveled on each side.
- Bend the wires along each side so that they are perpendicular to the rest of the mesh – you can use a ruler or a counter edge to get an even, smooth line.
- Put the patch over the screen, so that the perpendicular wires poke through and hold it in place and it is covered entirely.
- Bend each wire individually to close, making sure that there are no bits sticking out which could catch people or clothes.
If you develop a hole in your screen door or window, it is important that you deal with it as soon as possible – both to save your home from unwanted bugs or debris, but also to ensure that it doesn’t spread. A smaller hole is much easier and quicker to fix, and by following these instructions you can deal with the problem straight away.
For more information about doors and windows, get in touch with Jans Awning Products today!
For over two centuries, awnings have played an important functional role by defining the visual characteristics of our streetscapes. All throughout their history, the awning has had great curb appeal both in residential and commercial development. These attractive canopies provided natural climate control in an age before air conditioning by blocking out the sun’s rays while admitting daylight. Awnings proved to be remarkably efficient and cost effective even in their early stage of construction.
From a commercial standpoint, they were central to a building’s primary façade and appearance. Over time, manufacturers designed awnings featuring distinctive stripes, ornate valances, and painted lettering and logos. Because of the vast variety of colour and pattern choices, business owners could select an awning that complemented the building at a relatively affordable package rate. Lately, building owners interested in historic buildings have rediscovered awnings. There are many local “downtown core” preservation programs that helped invigorate the awning’s return.
Although awnings are remarkable building features, they have changed little during their recorded history. Records dating back to ancient Egypt and Syria that make note of woven mats that shaded market stalls and homes. In the Roman Empire, large retractable fabric awnings sheltered the seating areas of amphitheatres and stadiums, including the Coliseum. Over the next two millennia, awnings appeared throughout the world, while the technology used in their construction changed little.
Awnings in the 19th Century
When awnings began to commonly appear on American storefronts, during the first half of the 19th century, they were simple, often improvised and strictly utilitarian assemblies. The basic hardware consisted of timber or cast iron posts set along the sidewalk edge and linked by a front cross bar. During the winter months, proper maintenance called for the removal and storage of awnings.
Canvas duck was the predominant awning fabric. A strong, closely woven cotton cloth used for centuries to make tents and sails, canvas is a versatile material with a relatively short lifespan compensated by its low cost.
Awnings became a common feature in the years after the Civil War. Iron plumbing pipe, which was quickly adapted for awning frames, became widely available and affordable as a result of mid-century industrialization. It was a natural material for awning frames, easily bent and threaded together to make a range of different shapes and sizes. As the awning industry developed, it offered an array of frame and fabric options adaptable to both storefronts and windows.
In the second half of the 19th century, manufactured operable awnings grew in popularity. Operable systems for both storefront and window awnings had extension arms that were hinged where they joined the façade, but the early operable awnings had their own drawbacks. When retracted, the coverings on early operable awnings bunched up against the building facade where it was still partially exposed to inclement weather.
Addressing the drawbacks of the original hinged awning, new roller awnings featured a wood or metal cylinder around which the canvas was stored when the awning was retracted. When fully retracted, only the valance was visible. A long detachable handle (called a “winding brace”), or a gearbox and crankshaft attached to the building was used to turn the roller. Some later models were operated by electric motor.
An expanded variety of available canvas colors, patterns, and valance shapes also appeared during this period. Awning companies developed a colorful vocabulary of awning stripes that enhanced the decorative schemes of buildings, and in some cases, served as a building’s primary decorative feature.
Homeowners found that the new generation of awnings could enhance exterior paint schemes and increase the visual appeal of their homes. Manufacturers developed new awning shapes, colors, patterns and hardware to fit different house, door, window and porch styles. They were an affordable, quick and simple improvement. They also proved to be an easy means of capturing outside space. Homeowners could use awning-covered balconies, porches and patios at any time of day.
Businesses used the expanded repertoire of awnings to draw attention to their buildings with bright colours, whimsical stripe patterns, and exotic scallops. Awnings increasingly functioned as signs identifying the proprietor’s name, goods or year of establishment. It was a trend that would culminate over a century later with awning installations in which shelter was secondary to advertisement.
Awnings in the 20th Century
Awning development during the early twentieth century focused on improving operability. Variations in roller awnings addressed the need to provide an increasingly customized product that accommodated a wide range of storefront configurations and styles. Operable awnings, whether fixed arm, scissors arm, or lateral arm, rapidly gained popularity as customers came to appreciate the flexibility, concealed appearance, and longer lifespan made possible by roller units.
Canvas duck remained the common awning fabric during the first half of the twentieth century. However, its tendency to stretch and fade, and its susceptibility to mildew, and flammable materials like cigarettes and matches motivated the awning industry to search for alternatives.
Shortly after World War II, a vinyl plastic coating that increased fade and water resistance was first applied to the canvas. By the 1960s, vinyl resins, acrylic fibers and polyester materials were all being used to provide a longer-lasting awning cover. Ironically, just when these innovations promised more durable awnings, the fabric awning industry felt the debilitating impact of changing architectural fashion, the widespread adoption of air conditioning, and the increasing availability of aluminum awnings.
Widely available by the 1950s, aluminum awnings were touted as longer-lasting and lower-maintenance than traditional awnings. Though used on small-scale commercial structures, they were especially popular with homeowners. Aluminum awnings were made with slats called “pans” arranged horizontally or vertically. For variety and to match the building to which they were applied, different colored slats could be arranged to create stripes or other decorative patterns.
While aluminum awnings were usually fixed, in the 1960s several operable roller awnings were developed, including one with the trade name Flexalum Roll-Up. Also during this period, manufactured flat-metal canopies were an increasingly popular feature, used in new commercial construction and when remodeling existing storefronts.
New Shapes in the 1970s and 1980s
An increasing reliance on fixed aluminum frames and plastic coverings spurred the development of new awning shapes during the 1970s and 1980s. Mansard awnings, concave awnings, quarter-round awnings, and quarter-rounds with rounded dome ends appeared with increasing frequency. Most had vinyl or other plastic coverings that were touted as being more resilient than traditional materials. Featuring bold lettering and colors that were often emphasized by illuminating the awnings from within, these awnings were common on new commercial strips and were even popular inside enclosed shopping centers and food courts.
Today’s awnings come in a variety of shapes, sizes, frames and fabrics. Fixed, quarter-round, back-lit awnings with broad faces featuring company names, logos, phone numbers, and street addresses function more as signs than sunshades. Relatively new “staple-in” awnings with a shed shape are commonly used on new commercial construction.
Apart from the strip mall, awnings are also reappearing in historic business districts and residential neighborhoods. In these locations, new awnings typically feature fixed frames or operating lateral arms both differing little from the awnings of one hundred years before. Fixed frame awnings have frames made of either aluminum or light gauge galvanized or zinc-coated steel pipes welded together. New lateral arm awnings with powder-coated aluminum frames are an increasingly common choice for building owners who want the convenience of an operable system.
Regular cleaning will lengthen the lifespan of any awning. About once a month the covering should be hosed down with clean water. Choose a sunny day so that the fabric dries quickly and thoroughly. Keep retractable awnings extended until they dry completely. The awning underside can be kept clean by brushing it with a household broom. Regular cleaning helps prevent dirt from becoming embedded in the fabric. At least twice a year the awning should be gently scrubbed using a soft brush and a mild, natural soap (not a detergent) and rinsed with a garden hose. Every two or three years, professional cleaning is recommended.
Let Jans Awning Products help to showcase your home in the neighborhood with the installation of beautiful and desirable awnings. Contact us today and our team of experts will be ready to help.