How Much Wind Can Retractable Awnings Withstand?

Retractable awnings are another way to describe a canopy or type of tent/roof-like structure that provides shelter to people from the sun and other elements.

wind resistant retractable awnings

Awnings are constructed with different types of materials and feature different variations, such as the types that retract. Retractable awnings are generally produced with a heavy-duty canvas fabric or lightweight substances such as fiberglass, aluminum, or polycarbonate.

Retractable awnings serve a number of purposes and don require much maintenance. However, one thing you need to be mindful of is wind. How much wind can retractable awnings withstand? In this article, we will examine that question to help with your buying decision.

About Retractable Awnings

Retractable awnings are like regular canopies and they can take up less space when not in use. The concept works really well for those that want to dictate when they are not covered by the awning.

For example, a homeowner may decide to raise the awning during the day to provide shade and shelter from the intense sun. During the sunset hours the awning can retract to present a more visible view of the sky. What happens if a thunderstorm rolls in? You can always retract the awning back out.

Retractable awnings generally have a longer lifespan because you can fold the material up when not in use. It helps with wear and tear, improving the overall lifespan of the product since the elements do not constantly beat on it. Retractable awnings also have a more compact design which opens up the patio or porch when not in use.

They’re typically sold in a variety of slope formats. They are intended to withstand a barrage of different elements and can also add curb appeal to your home when complimented correctly.

Benefits of Retractable Awnings

Awnings serve some very obvious advantages and then some more subtle benefits:

  • It is a great source of shade. The canopy will keep you cooler during the summer and covered from sun exposure.
  • It can help minimize indoor energy costs when placed over a window that draws a lot of sunshine without the coverage of an awning.
  • Awnings can protect outdoor furniture and other items you want to keep dry from rain or wind.
  • It is a great source of privacy from your neighbors. Can also protect from pests and allergens.
  • It is a versatile product that you can use on patios, decks, or in the yard.

Awnings also add value to a home that most homeowners don’t consider. They can highlight the architectural design of the home and even increase curb appeal. Retractable awnings are sold in a variety of colors, patterns, and sizes. They can most certainly improve the style of your facade.

Retractable Awnings & Wind

awning over a balcony window

The biggest concern with any type of awning is wind. Though retractable types fold in to reduce the wear and tear from snowstorms and rainstorms, and can also reduce the impact wind can deliver – it is still a concern, even when retracted.

What wind speeds will an awning withstand?

It is a difficult question to fully answer based on a number of factors involved with the nasty four-letter word that most people despise – wind. However, it is possible to get an accurate assumption based on the product.

Most retractable awnings provide specs in the fine print that include things like a wind rating based on km/h or the Beauford scale. Awnings are generally tested for reliability in labs at wind speeds between 20 and 25 mph. It does not account for winds that beat on awnings steadily for hours, nor irregular gusts which are sometimes more damaging compared to long yet steady wind speeds.

The only way you can know if the awning is capable of handling the common environments around your neighborhood you would need to track the actual wind speeds quite often, which of course most homeowners don’t have time to monitor.

The good news is that retractable awning is much better at surviving intense wind speeds compared to traditional canopies based on common sense. Once the fabric is folded it is not extended away from the house, and thus not exposed to damage from wind.

Wind loves pummeling anything in its path. It is surprisingly strong, just like a high volume of water in a river. It will rip and destroy just about anything. So if you live in an area that’s known for high winds, it definitely is a huge advantage to invest in a retractable awning compared to a standard canopy design.

High-Tech Electric Retractable Awnings

If you live in an area with high volume winds or erratic gusts you may want to consider a high-tech retractable awning. Though they cost more some of the most sophisticated electric awnings are built with a wind sensor or motion sensor fitted on the unit. It can actually read wind conditions and automatically retract whenever the wind speeds get too dangerous.

Though electric retractable awnings are more expensive it pays to invest in them. Even if you don’t live in an area notorious for high wind, it still makes folding up the unit much easier. If the awning is large most users will find it a chore to fold up. And if the canopy is never folded when not in use, what is the point in having a retractable awning to begin with?

Retractable Awnings are the Best at Resisting Wind Damage

There is little debate that if you live in a windy area you’ll want to purchase a retractable awning compared to a standard canopy that doesn’t move after installation.

retractable awning getting installed

A folded canopy will stay away from the path of high winds when not in use, and a high-tech electric version is even more ideal as you can quickly wind it back up when gusts appear out of nowhere.

The wind is inevitable wherever you live. Of course, it’s notoriously bad in certain locations yet it doesn’t hurt to make yourself prepared. Retractable awnings are worth the extra cost as they generally last longer and withstand wind far better.

Of course, there is no canopy that is bullet-proof from the wind. Even retractable awnings are only as reliable for longevity when they are properly folded and stored while not in use. So if you do decide to install one on the interior make sure you will follow up with the proper maintenance to improve its lifespan.

To get the most out of your retractable awning, you’ll have to go with Early Times. Early Times has been serving Chicago and suburbs since 1985. We have unbeatable prices on high-quality awnings and we provide excellent service and installation. Speak to a product specialist about our awnings and get a free quote online today.

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