Essential Considerations When Buying a Retractable Awning

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If you recently opened a coffee shop and are looking for ways to attract new customers, retractable awnings are an excellent place to start. The add-on provides the necessary shade for customers who prefer to enjoy their coffee or other refreshments outdoors. Most importantly, retractable awnings come in various designs and colours, which can go a long way in attracting new customers. However, most businesses pay too much attention to the aesthetics of retractable awnings and forget essential aspects. The neglected areas play an integral role in the proper functioning of your retractable awning. Read on for essential considerations when buying retractable awnings.   

Protective Hood

A protective hood is one part that most businesses do not bother with when shopping for a retractable awning, primarily because it is considered an optional accessory. If you are going to mount the retractable awning on a roof surface or a wall without protection, then a protective hood is necessary. The reason is that once you retract the canopy, the first few inches of the fabric will remain in the open and expose the section to the elements. Over time, there will be a visible difference in the awning as the ever-exposed part becomes dirty and shows signs of colour deterioration. If you install a protective hood on top of your retractable awning, you will have an extra layer of protection that will guarantee the fabric stays clean and with consistent colour every time you roll it out.   

Source of Spring Force on Retractable Arms

The spring-loaded arm on the retractable arms of an awning enables the accessory to open and close when initiated. The force keeps the fabric tight when open as well as when rolled. However, what does the retractable awning rely on to provide the necessary tension on the springs? While some awnings use cables, others rely on chains and others on belts. Each has its advantages, and your choice is a matter of preference. For instance, cables can be stainless steel or galvanised, so you don't have to worry about corrosion. Belts, on the other hand, are considered resilient due to their flexibility which makes them the most durable in the group.   

Awning Fabric

Most businesses prefer retractable awnings with customised images or patterns. However, if you are going to order for a customised awning, make a point of knowing which fabric the designs go on. Unfortunately, this isn't usually the case, and while different manufactures use private label fabrics, you cannot go wrong with acrylic. Unlike other awning fabrics, acrylic prevents mildew growth as well as excessive fading even when exposed to the sun for extended periods. Therefore, when you approach a retractable awning manufacturer, insist on acrylic even if the provider has a private label fabric.