What Is The Average Lifespan of Commercial Awnings

The average lifespan of commercial awnings can actually vary quite a bit, because there several variables that determine your awning’s ability to perform well. Warranties on commercial awnings now generally run between 5-8 years, but yours could easily last much longer than that, especially if you inspect them regularly and keep them clean.

Choose the right design.

Making appropriate decisions about design and materials will ensure your commercial awnings live up to their full potential. You certainly don’t want them to wear out prematurely, and you also want them to retain their smart appearance, so performance is a two-part consideration.

Factors such as geographic location, specific placement of the awning, the functions it needs to perform – signage, shade, visibility enhancement, etc. — and seasonal weather issues can all affect the longevity of commercial awnings.

High-tech fabrics offer special advantages.

The quality of fabrics, even thread, can dramatically affect wear and tear as well as fading that can cause commercial awnings to have a shorter life. You may want vinyl fabrics that are waterproof, or specialized fabrics that are flame retardant or provide extra UV protection.

Dimensionally stable fabrics are less prone to stretching and sagging, so if you’re considering using composite textiles, you’ll want to look for fabric that offers the greatest flexibility and core fabric stability to help your commercial awnings last longer.

Quality construction assures longer life.

Commercial awnings should be constructed of top-quality, professional-grade materials that originate with reputable manufacturers who stand behind their products. They should have smooth frames, with no sharp edges or rough spots that rub against the fabric. Framing should hold fabric taut, to eliminate abrasion from wind-caused movement.

In fact, your commercial awnings will last longest if you insist on meticulous craftsmanship at every step — including installation, which can make or break your project. There’s no point in specifying top quality materials only to nullify that with sloppy or simply ignorant “cost saving” installation.

Poorly installed commercial awnings can present a significant safety hazard, and they may not even function properly. Sure, you have insurance, but if someone gets hurt, your reputation will suffer. Professional installation eliminates those worries.

Metal commercial awnings tend to last longer.

They’re made of materials that are naturally tougher and more durable than fabric. And of course there’s no question of even the slightest movement that could cause abrasion. On the other hand, although aluminum commercial awnings are usually pre-oxidized, steel or wrought iron has to be painted – and maintained well over time – or it will rust. Typically factory-applied paints have a longer life, and can come with warranties up to five years.

Retractable awnings may not last as long.

By their very nature, they’re more vulnerable to abrasion or breakage because they have moving parts that have to withstand repetitive use. If you do choose retractable commercial awnings, ask about whether they can be fitted into fully-enclosed cassette-type holders. These can extend the life of retractable commercial awnings because they keep all dirt and moisture out when the awning is furled.

And speaking of longevity . . .

Commercial awnings protect your indoor and outdoor furnishings from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. That extends their lifespan, making the most of your investment.

And did you know that commercial awnings that shade windows can cool your indoor space by 8-15 degrees? And reduce solar heat gain by as much as two-thirds for south-facing windows and more than three-quarters for west-facing windows? Or that they don’t trap heat or moisture, which means you can use less air conditioning – up to 25% less?

That can add up to substantial savings over the course of a summer, year after year, helping pay for your commercial awnings and bringing you a greater return on that investment, too.

Commercial Awnings

Photo Credit: Joe Lanman via Flickr