Awnings – A Great Shade Solution

As a home owner, if you are looking to add style and elegance to your home’s exterior, while creating an outdoor haven, there is nothing to beat an awning. An awning can be defined as a roof-like covering over a window or door, or above the area of a sidewalk. It serves as a shelter, and is often made of canvas or plastic that is tightly stretched over a light structure of aluminum, iron or steel and sometimes wood.

Sometimes, with the addition of columns, an awning is able to stretch from a building to an entryway, for example, an entrance to a restaurant or hotel. Such awnings help to provide shade from the sun, a shield from strong winds, as well as protection during rains and snow.

These woven mats date back to Egyptian and Syrian civilizations where they were used to shade market stalls and homes. They went on to become rather common in America in the 19th century, and iron plumbing pipes which were used for the awning frames became widely available and affordable. What’s more, because these pipes could be easily bent and threaded together, it made it possible to produce a range of different shapes and sizes. The material used for making the awnings was usually canvas, and although its lifespan was limited, the low cost made it an attractive choice.

Awnings that are made of aluminum or materials other than fabric tend to be more durable, as they do not deteriorate or rip in the winter, under the weight of the snow. Furthermore, while light colored awnings allow light to penetrate and give an airy atmosphere, the fact that more sunlight comes through, makes it less economical.

The most popular awnings are the retractable ones, which include a variety such as the lateral arm type which can provide shade to a patio, and can be retracted with either a motor or manually to let the sun in. The side arm types are used to shade windows, and the tension shade helps to shade sunrooms.

In order to get the full benefit of your awning, you need to ensure that the fabric is cleaned, the debris brushed off and all parts of the awning washed at least once a month. As it is an outdoor product and is exposed to natural elements, it needs to be taken care of in order to preserve its good looks and service life.