How much wind is too much wind for a retractable awning?

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Sunesta wind resisting retractable awnings in Edmonton installed by Solaris

Retractable awnings are extremely versatile additions to your outdoor area. They protect you from the sun, cool down your home, and come in a variety of colours. Although they have low maintenance requirements,  there are a few ways you can prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your product. One of the main questions that come up when purchasing or up-keeping an awning is how much wind it can take. 

While most awnings in the market are built to withstand some degree of wind, their size, age and brand can significantly affect their performance against the stronger breezes. When selecting an awning for your home or business, it is important to invest in a quality product that you’ll be able to enjoy for many years to come. Notably, Sunesta awnings are designed and manufactured with this idea in mind. They understand the importance of building a long-lasting product that delivers on its promise of enhancing your outdoor experience. As a Florida-based company, their awnings are rated to withstand harsh, tropical storms. They have a high wind tolerance and are the only awning company to receive the Miami Dade County Approval certificate.

As a rule of thumb, Sunesta awnings can easily withstand winds of up to 40 km/hour (about 25mph), but that number may vary depending on wind direction and the size of the awning. Most people would agree; however, it is best to retract their awnings if it’s too windy to comfortably sit outside.

What happens to your awning if there is too much wind?

For the majority of the time, wind damage will result in misalignment of the retractable arms and damage to the motors. During very intense windstorms, however, it is possible that leaving your awning extended could cause the fabric to rip or even damage the wall or roof it is installed on. While possible, such occurrences are not very common, especially for Edmonton, Alberta.  The good news is most retractable awnings damaged by wind can be fixed. Typically, these awnings will just need an arm adjustment or smaller part replacement. Best way to find out what your awning needs, if you believe it could have suffered some wind damage, is to schedule a maintenance call and speak to one of our experienced installers.

Benefits of a Wind Sensor in Awnings 

If you’re still worried about high winds and how they can damage your beautiful awning, there is an easy solution. Wind sensors are discrete and small additions to your awning motor designed to sense wind speed and automatically retract your awning when needed. Solaris is proud to offer Somfy Wind sensors for all Sunesta retractable awnings. Somfy is a leading global brand of motorized home products in the business for over 45 years.  The Eolis 3D wireless sensor, a small battery-powered device, is one of their best products. It can be effortlessly installed on your awning and comes in 3 different colours to match your awning.

These wind sensors are designed to automatically retract an awning based on a predefined wind level. You can set it to retract to a moderate, 12mph breeze to a stronger breeze or near gale, of 31mph. It works by sensing wind-generated movement on the awning arms every 12 minutes. The wireless Somfy Eolis sensor automatically retracts an awning if there is any abrupt wind movement. This is just a safety measure, to keep it safe from unpredictable wind conditions. This sensor is also designed to automatically re-extend the awning once the conditions return to a safe level.

 Somfy Wind Sensors can also be easily installed at any point. If you prefer to lower the initial awning cost, they are a great upgrade idea to invest in later on. Just keep in mind that adding wind sensors at a later date may be subject to an installation fee.  Lastly, wind sensors only work on motorized, not fixed awnings. If you prefer to opt-out of the wind sensor upgrade, which we don’t recommend, it’s best to leave your awning retracted and put away if not in use. While Sunesta awnings are built to last, you should always retract your awning when you are not home. This can help further extend your product life and save it from unpredictable, intense weather changes.

Final Thoughts

Retractable awnings are a great investment and addition to your outdoor living space. Sunesta’s awnings are designed to withstand the elements and keep you, your family, or your clients safe from the sun and heat. While these awnings can withstand a strong breeze, we always recommend adding a Somfy wind sensor. These sensors can be added either during the first install or at a later date.  Either way, they are a great option to make sure your investment is autonomous and safe.  

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