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Retractable Awnings: 5 Common Misconceptions

Spring is springing around these parts, and for us at Window-ology, that usually means one thing. Awning season is about to kick off!

Many people choose a motorized, retractable awning for a variety of benefits. If you are considering an awning for your patio, deck, backyard, or other outdoor space, here are five common misconceptions we want to clear up.

A striped, warm stone-colored SunSetter awning hangs over a wooden deck. There is a round black iron table underneath the awning with four chairs of the same material. It is a lightly cloudy day.

"With enough pitch, I can use it in the rain!"

This is the most common and problematic misconception. Even with a steep pitch the water can pool on the fabric near the front-bar. Year after year, water weight continues to be the number one cause of awning damage. The extra weight from the water causes the arms to break at the "elbow" or middle point. One of the greatest reasons for getting an awning is the lack of obstruction underneath because of its V-arm design, but this is also why the awning cannot handle rain: there is no additional support to hold it up under the extra weight of the water.

"I'll just leave it out all the time."

This is the second most problematic misconception about retractable awnings. Retractable awnings are designed to be used intentionally and looked after. It's not 'set it and forget it'. Wind and rain are the largest threats to the awning and if not looked after, a windy or rainy day can mean damage for your awning. When properly used and cared for, the awning is designed to last many years.

"My awning is randomly retracting, must be a faulty motor."

This is a common repair call we get. Majority of the time it's the optional accessory wireless wind sensor causing the awning to retract because its batteries are low. Sometimes, awning owners will misinterpret this and complicate the situation more by replacing the battery in the remote which wipes its connection to the motor. Now, the awning doesn't respond at all! It may seem like a horrible situation but a quick change of batteries in the wind sensor and a quick reconnection of the remote to the motor is all that's needed to get back to functioning normally.

Dual SunSetter awnings are mounted to a two-story home. The upper awning shades a generous balcony from the golden light of sunset, while the lower awning shades the patio. A fluffy palm tree is in the background, overlooking the pool.

"When I'm not using it, I keep it unplugged."

This can cause issues because the motor needs to have a constant power supply. There is a small computer inside the motor which holds the programming for when the awning knows to stop, also called its "motor limits," as well as keeping its paired connection to the remote. If the power is interrupted, it can wipe those settings and will need to be set again.

"My fabric/motor is worn out, time to buy a new awning."

Wait! If the arms and other hardware are in good condition (and they usually are!) it's possible to just replace the motor or the fabric. We'd love to sell you a new awning; but many times a simple repair will put your awning right back to its prime of looking new and fresh. Please note, here at Window-ology we only sell and service SunSetter and KE brand awnings, because each brand has its own unique dimensions and parts. If we are unable to service it, we encourage you to find the brand you have and look up a local dealer of that brand who will be able to help you.

Window-ology is a local, Diamond Certified business in downtown Pleasanton, CA. We specialize in custom blinds, shades, shutters, drapery, and motorized, retractable awnings. Contact us for a complimentary consultation.

We are the exclusive Northern California dealer for SunSetter Awnings, the number one manufacturer in the United States. We are an authorized dealer for Hunter Douglas, Norman Window Fashions, KE, and others.

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