Well folks, it's almost here. I'm talking about the hot Texas sun. Now is a good time to begin preparing for it, and a great way to do it is obviously by adding retractable awnings or shades to your patio. Then you can have sun when you want it, and shade when you need it.
1. Before cleaning any awning fabric, consult the fabric manufacturer for proper cleaning instructions. 2. Brush off all debris.
3. Clean from the bottom and work up.
4. Gently scrub the awning and valance with a soft bristled brush and a mild dish soap such as Ivory Snow, Dreft or Woolite. 5. Wash all parts of the awning. Missed spots show when dry.
6. Thoroughly and completely rinse awning. Film left on the material will leave marks and a chalky residue.
7. About once a month rinse your awnings down with a garden hose and keep the underside of your awning clean by simply brushing with a clean household broom.
8. Keep shrubbery and vines trimmed away from your awnings, they contain acid that can damage fabric. In addition, check awning frames for rust. Though rust is not likely, it can cause deterioration of the frame and lead to fabric stains.
FOR MILDEW AND STUBBORN STAINS
1 cup chlorine bleach
¼ cup mild soap
1 gallon of water
clean with soft bristle brush
allow to soak in fabric for up to 15 minutes
rinse until all soap residue is removed
allow to air dry
repeat if necessary
RE-TREATING THE FABRIC
As part of the finishing process, fabrics are treated with a fluorocarbon finish which enhances water repellency. This finish is designed to last for several years, but must be replenished after a thorough cleaning. We recommend using 303 High Tech Fabric Guard™ as the preferred treatment. Fabric should be re-treated after a thorough cleaning or after five years of use. For more info visit www.303products.com ( Product is available at Home Depot and Lowe’s ).
Nothing is better to us than seeing the satisfaction on a customers face after installing a retractable awning or shade. And what makes it even better is talking to a customer a few years later and getting to hear them say how pleased they are that they purchased a quality awning.
You can sell almost anything, but if your customers are not happy with your products or perhaps your service, then more than likely you won't be in business too long.
Back when we started our business, we decided that our number one priority is our customers, and in doing so we decided that to insure happy customers we needed to make sure that the products we were selling were high quality and that the manufacturers were going to stand behind their products. We feel that we have made the right decisions and the results have been very satisfied customers. And also has resulted in us having an A+ rating from the Houston BBB but in addition receiving the BBB AWARD OF EXCELLENCE, WINNER OF DISTINCTION every year for the past seven years. Thank you Houston.
1. Retractable awnings are essentially large pieces of weather-proof fabric stretched on a frame and attached to a home or business.
2. They need about 6 inches of horizontal unobstructed wall or roof space to be installed.
3. They can be extended or retracted in under a minute, simply by pushing a button on the remote control.
4. Our Rainer Awnings come with a motion sensor so that if you are in the house or away and winds were to pick up, it will retract on its own.
5. Awnings serve an important function: controlling the direct sunlight, which decreases heat and cuts UV rays.
6. If you are a business owner, a retractable awning can expand your capacity without having the need to hire a general contractor or architect.
7. They serve as an outdoor extension to your home or business. The majority of restaurants throughout Europe have retractable awnings for their outdoor seating.
8. When they are placed strategically over windows, they cut glare by 94% and exterior heat by 77%. Therefore, they lower inside temperatures by 8 t 15 degrees and cut air conditioning bills by 2.5 %.
9. Retractable awnings make for sun-bathing, lunch in the shade, a sun-warmed autumn deck and stargazing--all in the same space.
10. And finally let me say, they redeem your patio, poolside and deck areas, making them more than swatches of blazing hot concrete and bleached-blonde wood. You will now have an enjoyable space for eating, talking and entertaining. Best of all they can add value to your home.
Obviously awning season is here and I would like to pass on some information to you that may assist you in making the right decision.
There is quite a few awning manufacturers out there, so what do you need to know about them before making the big purchase?
Lets start with the one you see advertised on TV quite a bit. I won't mention their name but I know you know who I am talking about. The first thing you should know is that this is one of the cheapest made awnings on the market, they get everything from China and if you pay attention to their commercials, they state, "assembled in America". And you may say, yeah but they are inexpensive, which will save me money. My reply to that is you are right, but there is a good chance you may have to replace it in 3 years, and if you have a problem, are you going to be able to get service? I think that they don't have dealers for any length of time. And they sure won't come down from up north to service you.
About 5 years ago I added them to our line of retractable awnings. I found out that they really don't stand behind their warranty very well, and seeing as how customer service is very important to us. I dropped them after a year. Also go online and read their reviews, not good.
Another thing I notice is how some dealers, when you do a retractable awning search will say misleading things to try to make you think they are better than the competition. I can think of one offhand that when you see their ad it states, "life time warranty", when in fact if you actually go to their website, there it states that it is a limited life time warranty, covering the components only. The thing about that is if in fact the components are well engineered and well made they should last a life time. Most manufactures offer a 10 year warranty even though they last a lot longer. To me it is just wrong to be deceptive and doesn't speak well of the dealer.
That being said, there are some really good manufactures out there, but I'm asking you to keep in mind that quality awnings from different manufactures are going to be somewhat comparable in price. When you get a quote that is about half of maybe a quote or two that you already have, then it is buyer beware.
I would like to thank Somfy Systems for providing this information to help you expand your knowledge, and eventually helping you expand your deck or patio.
Cool ways to enjoy your outdoor space
Enjoy your outdoor spaces through the dog days of summer. When warm weather arrives, does your family head outdoors to enjoy your patio or deck? Do they then turn around and head right back into the air-conditioned comfort when summer sun and temperatures make outdoor living spaces too hot to handle
“In many areas of the country, the window of opportunity for enjoying your outdoor space opens in spring and closes when summer’s worst heat hits,” says Tracy Christmann, Director of Marketing for Somfy Systems. “Strong sun, hot temperatures and high humidity can make spending time on your deck or patio too uncomfortable, no matter how much you love the outdoors. Homeowners are always looking for ways to get the most time in their outdoor living spaces.”
If your deck time encompasses a month or two in spring and another in the fall, here are some ideas for how you can make your outdoor living spaces cooler, more comfortable and enjoyable all summer long:
Made in the shade
Fun in the sun is one of summer’s best benefits, but too much sun can keep you off your deck or patio. Not only does direct sun make it too hot to sit out, sun exposure can damage your patio furnishings, the deck itself and your skin. Retractable awnings are a great – and great-looking – way to shield your outdoor living space from getting too much summer sun.
Awnings offer sun protection that can enable you to enjoy your deck more on sunny days, and can even help lower cooling bills by shading window and glass deck doors. Retractable awnings mean you can enjoy the benefits whenever you need them, and hide them when you don’t. Somfy Systems’ motorization solutions have made awnings even handier; a motorized awning effortlessly retracts with a touch of a button. And, an optional sensor, such as the Eolis 3DWirefree (TM) RTS, can detect wind and automatically roll up your awning – even if you’re not home. They even offer a sun sensor that can automatically extend your awning based on the sun’s intensity. Simple innovative operating functions that adapt to your lifestyle.
Wet wins the day
When temperatures scorch, many of us head for the pool. Nothing cools and refreshes like a dip in the water. Adding a pool to your outdoor environment may not be practical, so look for smaller-scale options that can lend the cooling power of water to your deck or patio.
A simple outdoor fountain adds a splash of coolness and the soothing sound of moving water to your outdoor living space. Or, you escalate your cooling efforts by installing a mister. You can find plenty of commercially available options that range from simple misting fans that connect to a garden hose to sophisticated systems that spread a light, refreshing spray over a large area. A simple online search will yield plenty of options, including some available at your neighborhood home improvement store.
Evaporative coolers are another great way to use moisture to cool the air. While indoor air conditioners draw excess moisture from the air to aid in cooling, evaporative coolers use simple physics to cool air through evaporation of water. These coolers draw the heat needed to evaporate water right out of the air – lowering the ambient temperature around the unit. Evaporative coolers work to cool the air the same way sweat works to cool off your body.
In addition to shade and moisture, choosing cooler accessories like lighter-colored furniture and solar lights (which don’t give off heat like incandescents) can help keep your deck and patio cooler for longer this summer.
Look for furniture made of materials that will absorb less heat. That wrought-iron bistro set might look lovely on your deck, but it will heat up hot as a griddle when exposed to hours of summer sun. Fabrics and breathable materials like wicker will handle heat better than dark woods and metal.
The dog days of summer don’t mean you have to give up your outdoor enjoyment. With the right combination of shade and cooling techniques, you can enjoy your deck or patio throughout the season.