Awnings over windows and doors give a home’s exterior an extra touch of color and can also make it more energy efficient. On a deck, porch, or patio, an awning creates a perfect place to enjoy a summer afternoon by providing shade. Of the awning fabrics on the market, each has its good and bad points. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of these fabrics could mean the difference between an awning that’s a good fit and one that’s more pain than pleasure.
Available Awning Fabric Choices
Though they’ve probably been around the longest, canvas awnings are not the standard today. One can certainly still purchase them, but synthetic fabrics have become much more popular for many reasons.
Canvas awnings are susceptible to mold, mildew, and rot because of the natural materials they are made from. Canvas is sometimes covered by a layer of synthetic fabric to make it more durable. This coating makes a significant difference in the awning’s lifespan. Sadly, even with a topcoat, it has little hope of matching the performance of a fully synthetic model.
Synthetic awning fabric is generally made from vinyl, acrylic, polyester, or a combination of any of the three. The way that synthetic fabric is formed and how it is coated, backed, and dyed will all make a difference in how it performs.
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Awning Fabric Brand Names
Those looking to purchase an awning will no doubt run into a lot of brand names when deciding on the right fabric. Similar fabrics are often sold under different brand names, and at different prices. In these cases, you might be paying extra for a fabric that is almost exactly the same as another. Don’t fret, however; many times that extra money isn’t going just toward brand recognition. In a lot of cases, the slight price increase goes towards warranty and color selection, which makes it a little easier to swallow.
Replacing an Old Canvas Awning
Worn, fading awnings don’t do much for a house’s appearance, and those that don’t work properly can become quite a hassle. A canvas awning that has mildewed or faded probably cannot be restored. If the awnings on your home have seen better days, a replacement is often worth the money and time.
In some cases, the metal supports underneath the old awning hold up better than the fabric. Make sure to take a good look at them to see if they are worth saving. It will save a lot of money and time if they are. If the entire structure needs to be scrapped, consider the factors in your environment that put them into such bad shape. Every climate has its particular disadvantages; the life of an awning can be shortened by excessive heat, sun, rain, wind, and other natural conditions. Knowing what caused the damage will give you a better idea of what to look for in a replacement.
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