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Patio awning is literally the most effective solution that allows you to choose when you want to bask in the sun or hide in the shade by sitting in the exact same spot in your patio. Think of it as an upgrade to the traditional sun umbrella that would keep you protected from the sun during hot summer days, but also shield you from mild rain when the weather is gloomy.
Today, we’re going to talk more about retractable patio awning and show you why this is the product that changed the patio game.
Our Top Picks for the Best Retractable Patio Awning
Easiest to Assemble: Diensweek Patio Awning
With no assembly required (except mounting this to the wall), this is one of the patio awnings that’s the easiest to use and delivers good quality for the money.
Bargain Buy: Best Choice Products Retractable Awning
If you’re looking for an affordable solution to cover up your patio and turn it into an oasis to escape the ruthless summer sun/heavy shower, then Best Choice Products has an excellent solution for you.
Best Motorized Awning: ADVANING Motorized Patio Retractable Awning
Designed to be one of the best products in its category, the ADVANING patio awning is available in multiple size and color options, allowing you to customize how your patio looks to a great extent.
What Is a Retractable Patio Awning?
To understand what retractable patio awning is, one must first understand what awning is. Awning is designed to act as a supplementary roof that’s usually placed next to the wall of a building. It’s meant to provide protection from both sun and rain, acting as a practical and decorative product. While awning can be fixed, it can also be retractable. The latter category is a type of awning that you can expand or retract whenever you feel the need to. That means that if you want to enjoy the beauty of your garden or backyard while sitting outside in the sun, you don’t have to move; you can simply retract the awning and have your deck covered in natural sunlight.
Retractable patio awnings are available in multiple different types, so let’s briefly discuss what you can expect from each:
- Retractable patio covering systems, which are waterproof and may be enclosed on the sides to be used as solar screen shades.
- Retractable lateral arm awnings, which come with one to four tension arms and are usually made with solution dyed acrylic fabric.
- Retractable side/drop arm awnings, which are commonly used to shade windows.
- Retractable solar shade screens, normally made with mesh fabric or acrylic canvas.
Pros and Cons to Patio Awnings
Some of you might be wondering “why do I need a patio awning?”. If you’re not sure whether or not you can actually benefit from having one, we’re going to take a look at some of the pros and cons that have determined other people to buy them or steer clear from them, so you can better assess the situation and determine if this product is worthy of your money:
Pro: They protect your patio. As you already know, pieces of furniture that are exposed to direct sunlight are more likely to start fading and suffer damage in the long run. If you didn’t invest in weather-proof furniture and want to use regular pieces on your patio, a patio awning is an excellent thing to have.
Con: They are more expensive. The benefit of being able to retract the awning comes at a higher cost compared to the price of a fixed model. That’s because more components come into play when it comes to these types of awnings, and the durability of the materials needs to be first-class considering the moving parts of this type of product.
Pro: They have longer lifespans. Because higher quality materials go into making these products, they tend to have longer lifespans compared to non-retractable models. When dealing with bad weather, the fact that you can retract the awning to keep it protected is going to add more years to its lifespan as well.
Pro: They adjust to the weather. That means that you can choose to retract them if you want to enjoy a cup of coffee while basking in the morning sun and you can expand them if the sun is too hot or if there’s rain that’s preventing you from enjoying time spent on the patio. During the winter, they can be retracted to prevent the weight of snow from subjecting them to wear and tear.
Con: Repairs on motorized models can be expensive. When you opt for an electric patio awning, these are designed with motors that can be quite costly to repair or replace if they suffer any damage. Because they have an electric sensor, it will likely end up damaged in time.
Pro: They help save money on bills. During the summer, having the sun shine brightly on the exterior of your home will cause inside temperatures to be high as well, but with patio awnings, you can save money on electricity used to power the AC unit because of the shade that keeps the house cooler. The reverse effect is useful in the winter: a retractable patio awning will allow natural sunlight to warm up the exterior walls, thus keeping the house warmer. You basically win regardless of the season.
Related: Sit Cool in the Shade with the Best Cantilever Patio Umbrellas
Retractable vs. Not Retractable
The main difference between these two types of patio awnings comes down to one thing: flexibility. While a retractable awning can… well… retract, a fixed model will stay in place throughout the entire year. During the summer, these two basically provide the same benefits, with reduced cooling costs and the ability to block the same amount of light for those who want to stay away from the sun.
During the winter is when you can truly start to feel the differences between fixed and retractable awnings. However, the differences between them don’t stop there, so here are some of the things that you should know about them before you decide which one is the best choice for you:
- Fixed awnings stay open during the winter, so heavy snow will rest on top of them, making them more prone to wear and tear.
- Retractable awnings allow sunlight to fall upon the walls of your home during the winter, something that fixed awnings can’t do. By blocking passive heat, fixed awnings increase heating costs.
- Fixed awnings are more difficult to clean because you can’t retract them to make debris fall off the canopy.
- On cloudy days, awnings that are not retractable will block out natural light, causing you to turn on the light inside sooner.
- If you ever want to sunbathe on the deck, fixed awnings won’t allow the sun’s rays to pass through.
- Cleaning the patio is faster with a retractable awning because allowing natural sunlight to fall on the surface of the deck allows for quicker drying
Best Retractable Patio Awning To Stay Cool This Summer
The Diensweek patio awning is a retractable model that comes with plenty of features to look forward to. It brings forth a water-resistant solution-dyed spun-polyester material that rests upon a galvanized steel roller tube and uses cast aluminum shoulders for stability and durability.
It is manually operated using a crank handle and comes ready assembled, so you don’t have to stress over doing everything by yourself. Due to its retracting mechanism, this patio awning doesn’t require any electricity. It uses double steel cables and double springs which promise to be more durable than powder-coated steel. The chrome steel screws are also an interesting and durable feature.
Another electricity-free solution is this one from ALEKO. This retractable patio awning is designed with powder-coated metal parts that promise durability and a product that’s with you for the long haul. It’s made with treated fabric that delivers UV and water resistance, so you can rest assured that you will always be protected as long as you’re sitting under the shade.
You have multiple sizes and fabric colors to choose from, meaning you get to customize the appearance of your patio whenever you opt for ALEKO awnings.
The ADVANING patio awning is available in both a motorized and a manual version, so if you don’t want a product that relies on electricity to function, the company offers a viable alternative that’s just as good as its electric counterpart. This awning is designed with an aluminum semi-cassette hood that shields the motor and the fabric of the awning when retracted.
The remote operation is pretty easy on the electric model, as you receive a remote control for easy accessibility. The cover is made from premium European fabric, meaning it can resist the weather’s elements while allowing you to choose between multiple designs that best match your patio.
Another one of our favorite patio awnings comes from Best Choice Products. This product delivers exceptional quality for the price, being made with great materials and an ease of operation that’s definitely an advantage for those who don’t want to rely on electricity to use their awning.
It uses a powder-coated aluminum frame that supports the water-resistant polyester cover. Furthermore, the material is designed to offer protection from harmful sunlight, so you’ll never have to run around looking for a spot in the shade. It uses a manual crank that’s easy to operate, covering up to 54 square feet of space.
We wanted to make sure you didn’t miss this 8 x 7 feet retractable patio awning by ADVANING, which comes with a forest green and cream-stripe version. This electric retractable patio awning is designed using the same high-quality materials that the brand uses in all its awnings, making sure you get sun and rain protection thanks to the resistant acrylic fabric that’s used to make the cover.
It comes with a three-loop system (which includes a crank loop and two easy pitch loops) to make sure that you stay shielded from the sun at different times of day. The manual crank is an excellent feature whenever you want to operate the awning without using electricity.
Diensweek has made it back to today’s list of best retractable patio awnings with a 12 x 10-foot product that delivers performance for anyone who wants to create a cozy outdoor space. Mostly designed for commercial use, but definitely something you could take advantage of as a homeowner, this electric motorized patio awning is one of the best products in its category.
It is designed with T5 grade aluminum for the frame (having corrosion-resistant properties) and quality polyester fabric which offers plenty of solar protection and has been tested for wind resistance as well. The package includes the mounting hardware needed for installation, a remote control, the mounting bracket, a manual crank handle, and the instructions needed to put the entire thing together.
How to Clean Your Patio Awning
The only truly difficult part about caring for your patio awning is the fact that the cleaning position is somewhat uncomfortable unless you actually take down the cover to clean it. The steps to follow when cleaning your patio awning are:
- Use a broom or a leaf blower to get rid of all the debris accumulated on the awning. If you have a fixed awning, there is no way around this step, but for those who own a retractable model, simply roll it so that everything stacked on top of it will fall on the ground. However, note that if you do this, all the debris will end up falling on your deck, so you will eventually have to sweep it from somewhere. If you can’t reach the top of the awning safely, retracting it and sweeping debris off the deck is a better and more comfortable idea. If you have to reach up top, make sure you use a sturdy freestanding ladder or one that’s safely leaned against a sturdy wall (if possible, have someone hold the ladder for you while you’re using it).
- When you’ve gotten rid of as much of that debris as possible, you want to proceed to spraying the awning with water. You don’t have to use any detergent yet, so you can just use a garden hose for this step. Make sure the water pressure isn’t too high, you don’t want to damage the fabric ahead of time.
- Now you can proceed to making a cleaning solution. The ingredients for this solution will depend on the type of material used to make the cover of the awning. Those that use canvas or fabrics that are designed specifically for outdoor use can be cleaned using a solution made from lukewarm water and mild laundry detergent. If you own metal awning, you can use metal cleaning solvent and water. The important thing is to take into account the fact that certain materials have cleaning solutions formulated especially for them, so you can adapt to the situation you’re facing.
- Scrubbing the awnings will require spreading the solutions across the surface of the material and pouring the cleaning solution in a spray bottle and using that is the best way to handle this. You can use a bucket and a sponge to apply the solution on the surface of the material and make sure that you let it soak for a few minutes. This will allow the solution to penetrate the material and/or dissolve any dry dirt stains, making it easier to clean the awning. You can use a soft bristled brush whenever it’s time to clean the awning. Make sure that you scrub it on both sides of the material.
- If you notice that there are stains that persist on the surface of the material even after scrubbing it, this could be a sign that you need a special solution, depending on the type of stain you’re dealing with. Some of the products that might help are: dish detergent (to help get rid of mildew), grease/paint remover (helps with paint stains), anti-grease solution (for bird droppings), or acetone (to remove any oil stains, but make sure you test it on a small area first, as it might cause fabric discoloration).
- When all the stains are in the way, it’s time to rinse your patio awning. Spray it thoroughly across the entire surface of the awning to make sure that you remove the cleaning solution from all sides. Before rolling or retracting the awnings, you need to allow them to dry because any spot that’s overly moist is a mold and mildew magnet.
How much are retractable patio awnings?
It depends on whether or not you plan on installing these by yourself or want to call in a professional, and the type of awning that you choose.
Are retractable awnings worth it?
Yes, because they protect your patio and your home in more ways than one. They can retract in the cold seasons to let sunshine fall on the walls of your home and heat it up a bit. During the summer, they are very efficient in homes that don’t have an AC unit because they help keep the wall protected from the sun. They’re also great because they protect your deck and patio furniture, and they give you a sunny or a shady place to stay.
What is the best retractable awning?
The best retractable awning is built using a study metal frame and a cover material that’s UV and water-resistant. It’s up to you whether you want a manually-operated or a motorized model.
There are plenty of reasons why a person would choose to install retractable patio awnings. It provides a way for you to enjoy sitting on your patio without having to worry about the weather, but it can also protect the house during summer and winter, by keeping the sun away from the walls or allowing it to shine on them to keep the walls warm. With so many different models available on the market, you can customize these awnings to your preference, and retractable models are all the hype right now.
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