Are Retractable Awnings Waterproof?

Folding arm awning on a balcony

Retractable awnings are an excellent way to maximise your patio or outdoor living area. They protect you from the sun and rain and improve your indoor living conditions. However, weather elements such as rain also affect the awning’s performance. Furthermore, the quality of your awning also affects the quality of protection you get.

Let’s explore waterproof and water-resistant awnings and what you should look for when shopping for one

Water-Proof Vs. Water-Resistant – What Is the Difference?

Waterproof and water-resistant are often words that are interchanged, but do they mean the same thing?

When something is waterproof, it’s impervious to water. On the other hand, water-resistant refers to something that wards off the water, but only to a certain extent. Ideally, if something is waterproof, it should resist water penetration no matter how long it has been exposed to water. However, water resistance in fabrics is mostly because of how tightly it’s woven and additional materials.

When a fabric combines waterproofing and water-resistance, it becomes water-resistant. The ability to resist water is also called ‘hydrophobic’ and is indicated as Durable Water Repellent (DWR).

When it comes to testing a fabric’s ability to resist water, there are several things to consider:

  • Permeability: The characteristic of the material that allows water to pass through.
  • Penetration: The surface area a liquid covers when a fabric absorbs it.
  • How things like oil and dirt affect the performance of the material.

Which Fabrics Are Water-proof/Water-Resistant?

Vinyl and acrylic fabrics are water-resistant.

Vinyl Awnings:

Vinyl awnings come as laminated vinyl and coated vinyl. Both materials are strong, durable, and water-resistant. The downside is that vinyl is not as breathable and as flexible as other fabrics, which results in tears, especially in strong winds.

Acrylic Fabrics:

Acrylic fabrics are incredibly durable and water-resistant. You can purchase 100% acrylic awnings or polyester and polyester-cotton blends coated in acrylic. If you have a coated cotton awning or an old acrylic awning, you can also waterproof it by spraying a waterproofing liquid.

folding arm awnings in Sydney

How Do Retractable Awnings Handle Rain, Snow and Wind?

A great retractable awning is water-resistant and can handle mild rain. Most awnings have an ideal pitch to allow runoff, especially in rain and snow. However, retractable awnings are not designed to hold water pools. It’s best to fold your awning in heavy rain to protect it from damage.

Wind can cause severe damage to several parts of your home, including the awnings. Retractable awnings are best folded in moderate to heavy winds. Furthermore, the wind is highly unpredictable, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Prices for Water-proof/Water-Resistant Awnings

The cost of waterproof awnings varies, depending on the size, brand, and operation.

Generally, as you move up in size, quality and motorisation, it costs more.

You can expect to spend anywhere above $1000 to $10,000 on awnings when you factor in customisation, sensor installation, and electrical labour. The best way to find your preferred product’s price is to consult your waterproof retractable awnings supplier.

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