The Awnings Blog - Dorchester Awning

The Awnings Blog - Dorchester Awning

While our trained professionals are the ones handling your awning installation, you still want to know about the process, what your options are, and what you can expect afterward. Learn more today.

How Do Retractable Awnings Work?

Digital Strategies Support - Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Many onlookers will find themselves asking a rather common question: “How do retractable awnings work?” Before making an investment, this is an important question to answer. The way a retractable awning will work depends on a number of factors, including the type of arms used to retract the awning and the mechanism through which the awning is retracted. How an awning works may influence a buying decision, so it’s a good idea to stay educated and knowledgeable to select the best awning for you and your needs.

Articulated vs. Telescopic Arms


There are two types of arms that allow an awning to be retractable: articulated and telescopic arms. Articulated arms essentially open in stages. First, the spring-loaded arms extend. Afterward, the other arms extend. These may extend – and retract – either manually or automatically, depending on the type of awning.

Telescopic Arms


The other type of arms is telescopic arms. Telescopic arms use gas-filled cylinders. Over time, the gas may leak and require refilling. Generally speaking, telescopic arms are restricted to awnings which cover a smaller area of space, such as awnings for small patios.

Motorized vs. Manual


Another key factor in how a retractable awning works is whether or not the awning is motorized or manual. These are important considerations, as motorized awnings provide more convenience, but may also be subject to higher repair costs or increased maintenance.

Motorized Awnings


As indicated by the name, motorized retractable awnings are powered by a motor, making them simple to open and close. They are primarily similar to a remote, in that there’s a button to push to initiate the motor. Similarly to a garage door opener, the remote is typically placed on a wall near the awning. Some motorized retractable awnings will even feature special sensors that can detect weather elements such as rain or sun. For example, the awning may detect strong winds and retract to prevent damage, or detect sun and extend to provide shade.

Retractable Awning Materials


Retractable awnings are typically made with sturdy, weather-resistant materials. This helps to ensure that they’ll continue to work through all conditions – rain or shine, all year long. Depending on the area in which you live, your retractable awning may require more attention for basic maintenance or even repairs. Weather is often a significant indicator of the wear and tear that retractable awnings may face through daily use.
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