Awnings are coverings attached to the external walls of a building for providing covering over an area and is occasionally used as a signboard or billboard.
They are used for protection against sunlight, rain, snow and wind and are
generally attached over windows, doors and sidewalks. By using poles for support awnings can be stretched over a large area.
The material used for awnings is acrylic cloth or canvas. Beautiful and attractive patterns can be printed on awnings to get an aesthetic appeal. Today an awning can be made to almost any design, shape and color.
The framework for awnings is generally made of wood, iron, steel or aluminum. Aluminum is preferred as it is lighter than iron or steel. The framework consists of trusses, border frames or space frames.
Awnings attached over the windows protect windows from sunlight and help in keeping rooms cooler. For air conditioned rooms awnings can bring down the electricity consumption by almost 25%. A very good saving.
There are many companies providing awnings. Most of them do free costing and provide free estimates. Awnings are a very popular way for advertising business and come in attractive colors, graphics, fonts and patterns.
Awnings add color and brightness to a place. Awnings can be backlit or front lit. Backlit material for awnings is different than front lit material. Vinyl laminated or coated polyester is used for backlit awnings. The other material used for awnings is PVC coated mesh, Acrylic, Vinyl or resin coated polyester, Acrylic painted cotton/polyester, etc.
It is prudent to insist on fire retardant material/paint on awnings. Generally awnings are not covered by insurance. Some awnings are temporary and can be retracted. Most awnings are retracted during winter to prevent awning damage by collection of snow. The retraction method can be manual or motorized.
The cleaning of awning for removing mildew and stains is fairly easy. It can be done with mild soap and a soft brush. Vinyl awnings mildew easily.
The design of the frame for awnings should be such that no water pools on the top of the awning. Pooling of water on awnings can damage the awning cloth and the graphics printed on it. Wind gusts of more than 25 miles per hour speed can also damage awnings. During strong winds it is vise to retract them.
The graphics on awnings can be printed on by special machines interfaced with computers. The print quality depends on the number of columns per inch (cpi). A 10 cpi print gives a good finish on most awnings. A 25 cpi print gives a very fine finish to the awnings.
In some states you need a permit for putting up awnings. Though for most residential awnings permit is not required and is restricted only for commercial awnings.