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Choosing the Right Awning Material

Adding an awning to a home or business can add style and function to outdoor areas. There are many considerations when choosing an awning, and among the most important is the type of material that the awning will be made from. Different materials may better serve different purposes and may affect the lifespan of the awning.

Canvas Awnings

Canvas awnings are common, and can be made from different materials such as polyester or cotton. Canvas awnings were once very popular and can still be purchased today, but these awnings have a number of disadvantages. Canvas awnings are susceptible to mold and decay, so owners must clean and maintain canvas awnings more than other types of awnings. Canvas awnings are also flammable, which may present a fire hazard.

Synthetic and Acrylic Awnings

Awnings can be made from acrylic or synthetic materials, or natural materials can be coated with acrylic or other synthetics to increase the lifespan and reduce maintenance needs. Synthetic and acrylic awnings tend to stand up to sun damage better than canvas awnings and are less susceptible to mold and decay. Synthetic awnings also hold shape better than canvas awnings. Awnings made with synthetic materials usually repel water well and provide a shaded area due to the material’s ability to block light.

Vinyl Awnings

Awnings can be made from vinyl or can be coated with vinyl for increased protection from humidity. Vinyl awnings are heavier than canvas or acrylic awnings. Vinyl awnings are also generally more translucent than other types of awnings, which may serve businesses better when illuminating displays.


Metal and Aluminum Awnings

Metal and aluminum awnings are more difficult to remove than fabric awnings, so they are usually cleaned in place. Metal and aluminum awnings can effectively shade windows to cool homes and businesses. The shading may also help to protect furnishings and materials inside of the building. These awnings may add a unique beauty and elegance to a home or business. Metal and aluminum awnings may be susceptible to rust and denting, however, which may require repair or replacement.

Fiberglass Awnings

Fiberglass awnings are lighter than metal or aluminum awnings. Translucent or opaque designs may be chosen depending on the goals of the home or business owner. Home or business owners may choose a color to be added to the material during construction to create a unique look. Fiberglass awnings should not be painted, though, which may reduce the ability to change the look of the awning as is possible with metal and aluminum awnings. Fiberglass awnings eventually may crack from prolonged sun exposure.