Retractable Roof Buyers Guide
What is a Retractable roof?
A retractable roof is a roof system that can roll or fold away and expose the elements when sunlight is required. During inclement weather, some roofs can be closed to offer protection against sun AND rain. Designed to ensure the user can get the most out of their area by offering the flexibility of opening or closing the system to suit the weather conditions.
A retractable roof is a dynamic sun protection system that allows sunlight and natural light through to your living and working environment whilst keeping out the blinding glare, hothouse effect and rain. They can be constructed as connected to a house or with stand-alone features to cover over an open space such as a pool or dining area.
What Are retractable roof systems used for?
Retractable roofs can be used in a variety of applications for:
- private homes
- commercial applications
Often times, retractable roof systems are used where the owner is seeking more than just protection from the sun and the ability to avoid weather constraints enabling the owner to use their outdoor alfresco space all year round for entertaining.
So, what types of retractable roof systems are available?
What Types of Retractable Roofs exist?
There are various types of retractable roofs to suit all kinds of situations, so the conditions and requirements need to be considered.
1. Without Front Posts or Gutter
One model has no front posts or front gutter. It can be installed onto an existing structure, or integrated into it as may be required. This model provides unobstructed views – without a front beam or gutter, this version of a retractable roof offers the perfect undisturbed outlook.
2. Self-Supporting Retractable Roof
Self Supporting – Other models may have front posts which allow it to be self-supporting, and can come with or without a rain gutter. A system with an integrated gutter system can be used in large areas in single systems or coupled multiple systems side-by-side for greater flexibility.
When deciding if you need a rain gutter or not, consider if the area needing to be shaded partly covers a garden bed or lawn and whether the slope of the roof system would allow the rain to simply run off into the garden.
3. Trapezoid Retractable Roof Systems
Other variations include the “Trapezoid” systems that allow rain to run off to the side instead of the front or fully stand-alone units that create their own structure detached from a home or business. These can be in either the traditional squared-off look or elegantly curved systems that create visually stunning outdoor entertaining spaces.
How Retractable Roof Systems Work
Retractable Roof systems are shade structures that are built alongside an existing building. The roof can be compactly folded away when not in use, then using an automated drive system can be cleverly unfurled at the touch of a button when required.
A motor located at the head of the unit turns belts located inside the roof systems rafters. These belts are connected to aluminium crossbars that are attached to the fabric membrane. When the belts move inside the rafters, so the bars move the fabric along the projection of the system. When the fabric reaches its outermost limit, the membrane is pulled taut for a neat and waterproof finish.
Retractable roofs can use integrated water seals and guttering, which cleverly moves rainwater to the desired drain location. Also available are dimmable 360 degrees LED downlights, the perfect mood-setter for outdoor evenings with friends or patrons.
Using optional weather sensors such as wind or rain sensors provides the added benefit of automatic control even when the user is away.
How to Choose a Retractable Roof
Gone are the days of constructing a permanent roof structure that becomes an invariable asset to a home or building.
Now, the ability to install a retractable roof that offers a choice of sun exposure or an ability to create a covered alfresco area is a standard option and feature for many homes and businesses.
At the touch of a button, roofs can now be retracted or lit up with LED downlight systems, rendering the space useable all year round without being susceptible to heat overload or wet weather.
Factors to Consider When choosing a retractable roof
Are you looking for rain protection or just sun protection? A retractable roof is made with weatherproof fabric that allows the use of outdoor space all year round with flexibility. So if you’re looking for that weatherproof element to your shading solution, then the retractable roof is the best option for you.
There are a variety of options to consider, such as lighting, gutters and runoff and blending your roof into your home design with fabric colours and powder coating. Not to mention, consider if you’re looking to automate your roof with wind and rain sensors, creating an ease of operation and peace of mind.
1. Choose a Waterproof Retractable Roof Fabric
Depending on the type of roof, some Retractable roofs use an easy to clean waterproof fabric that offers 100% rain protection, making a retractable roof the perfect option for all seasons and all types of weather.
2. Choose a Reputable Retractable Roof Supplier
As with any significant home or lifestyle improvement purchase, there are a vast array of options on the market. But the old adage rings true: “You get what you pay for”.
Cheaper options are always available, but choosing a high-quality product first, often saves you money in the long run.
Retractable Roof Systems are considered a long term investment that should operate fault free for many years. A premium supplier offers longer warranty periods for peace of mind. The best manufacturers are also able to provide custom solutions when tricky or unique installation situations arise.
The Helioscreen Difference
With over 30 years of experience in manufacturing the best quality outdoor awning and blinds, Helioscreen has a reputation for supplying a complete and uncompromising suite of outdoor shade systems; each carefully tailor-made to user requirements in our factory on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Our factory is equipped with the latest cutting and welding technology so that all products are made with absolute precision and attention to detail. With goods being dispatched daily to our nationwide dealer network, we pride ourselves in being able to meet the highest demands of modern design and architecture.