Choosing between metal and fabric awnings is more than just making an aesthetic choice. There are many things that distinguish these types of awnings, and it is helpful to understand these differences before you move forward with having one built for your building.
Harsh Weather Resistance
Awnings provide great protection for your business during harsh weather. This is especially the case during the summers when the heat and humidity can cause discomfort. However, your awnings are going to be a part of your building throughout the entire year, so it’s important to think about how they will affect your building during all seasons.
Aluminum awnings do more than keep the sun away. In fact, they are capable of providing a level of protection to your building from storms. Depending on the design of the awning, you may even be able to use it as a storm window for your building by bringing the awning down. Metal awnings also have the added advantage of being solid enough to handle precipitation such as snow, hail, or sleet. While these conditions are a rare sight in Orlando, it never hurts to be prepared for the worst. Even if you are only looking for protection against the heat, aluminum is still generally the best option as it provides a cooler environment than fabric awnings.
Fabric awnings, by contrast, are not built for extreme weather conditions. They do an adequate job of keeping your windows protected from rain and light debris, but they are not built to withstand high winds like metal awnings. That said, fabric awnings are typically less expensive than aluminum awnings, and they can easily be made retractable for any times that you want the awning out of the way. Fabric awnings also may have more pattern and color options than metal awnings.
Levels of Maintenance
Between fabric awnings and metal awnings, there is not much competition in terms of maintenance. Aluminum is much more durable than fabric because it does not rust and does not require any regular upkeep. Aluminum awnings, under the right conditions, can actually last up to 20 years. This does not, however, account for the fixtures that hold it in place which may need replacing sooner.
Fabric can be given protective coatings that may make it a little more durable, but they are still going to be susceptible to mildew and corrosion. In fact, compared to metal awnings, you will likely have to replace fabric awnings every five to ten years. That said, this may be considered an appealing aspect if you know you are going to want to change your style regularly.
Impacts on the Building
When you select an awning, you have to remember that the choice that you make is going to have an impact on the interior of your building as well as the exterior. For instance, metal awnings are going to keep buildings cooler than fabric awnings. This can be great cost savings as it prevents you from having to run the air conditioning inside your building. However, a metal awning will also make the interior of your building much darker than a fabric awning. Depending on the business that you have, you may not want the interior to be that dim.
If your selection between fabric and metal awning is dependent upon its cost savings then you may want to look to fabric awnings. Why? Fabric awnings are reflective rather than absorbent. This means that they will keep the heat from entering your building more effectively than metal would.
Looking for Commercial Awnings in Orlando?
At Sundance Architectural Products, we have the top commercial awnings in Orlando. With our years of expertise and our commitment to quality, we can help you get the perfect awning for your building, whether you choose fabric or aluminum. If you are looking for commercial awnings in Orlando for your next project, feel free to go to our website for an estimate.