FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. How long does a retractable awning last?
The frame part of a retractable awning can last over twenty years, as long as it is taken care of, while the fabric being more sensitive to inclement weather conditions should be replaced every ten years.
2. What fabric patterns are available?
Alutex provides over 300 patterns of solution dyed acrylic fabrics with about 100 of them available exclusively through its authorized dealers.
3. How do I keep my awning clean?
The frame can be cleaned with a spray window cleaner, while the fabric requires a mild soap and water solution no bleach based. For more detailed information on how to maintain your awning, please refer to our "Care and Maintenance" specific instructions.
4. Are retractable awnings waterproof?
Generally the fabrics used for retractable awnings are only water resistant. Vinyl fabrics on the other hand are waterproof but they respond poorly under the rolling action typical of a retractable awning, for such a reason they are used mainly on stationary awnings.
5. Does a retractable awning need to be closed under rain?
Yes. Retractable awnings are designed with the extraordinary feature to be closeable on command. Such feature must be utilized under inclement weather conditions, such as heavy rain or wind.
6. Does a retractable awning have to be installed on a wall?
A retractable awning can be installed on a wall, on a roof or under a soffit.
7. Can my retractable awning stay out all year round?
Yes. Retractable awnings are designed to open or close at your command all year round. In any case Alutex produces and markets a Vinyl Winter Cover easy to install and to remove preventing in this way any accumulation of dirt during the off season.
8. What is a retractable awning made of?
Today's retractable awnings are made of high quality aluminum and acrylic fabric, both materials perfectly feasible for their outdoor use. They are designed to provide you with many years of service.
9. What should I look for when comparing retractable awnings?
You should choose the awning with the highest quality fabric such as Sunbrella or Tempotest; the frame should have stainless steel hardware and be constructed of aluminum powder coated parts.
10. How long does it take to install an awning?
Depending on its size and the skill of the installer, a retractable awning can take up to two hours to be installed.
11. What kind of wind loads can a retractable awning handle?
Retractable awnings are not made for wind or heavy rain loads and they should be brought in with inclement weather, however, they can sustain light rain and wind.
12. Why should I decide to motorize a retractable awning?
In most cases buying a motor is really a personal choice; generally opening or closing an average retractable awning (i.e.: 16'x10') would take less than a minute, but considering the long time service that your new investment will provide to you, motorizing your awning would greatly contribute to your satisfaction. In any case motorizing a retractable awning becomes almost a must when the width and projection are too big to be handled manually with a gear.
A quality retractable awning with motor can start around $ 2,000 and up depending on the size.
14. Can I have my awning frame in any color?
Yes. Although all Alutex models are available in white, most of them are also available in other in stock colors at no extra charge. Check with your Authorized Alutex Dealer which other colors are available with the Alutex model that better fits your needs. In any case, Alutex offers custom color frames on demand thanks to its in house powder coating plant that can supply you with any color frame you desire.
15. What is the difference between vinyl and acrylic fabric?
Generally a vinyl fabric is a plastic coated tarp mostly used with stationary awnings. An acrylic fabric is generally a solution dyed woven acrylic textile available in hundreds of vivid colors and stripe patterns offering the warm look of a natural fiber with the convenience of a synthetic product.
16. How far out can my retractable awning go?
Most retractable awnings can project from 5 feet up to 10 feet. Alutex has retractable awning models able to project also 12', 13', and 14' up to 20 feet. When extra big projections are involved, your installation structure of course is essential.
17. Can my awning be remote controlled?
Yes, most retractable awnings can employ electronic devices able to control remotely your motorized awning. Other devices such as sun and wind sensors, lights, and heaters are also available for motorized retractable awnings. Ask your dealer for more information.
18. Do I need to hire an electrician to have a motorized awning?
No. Today's retractable awnings allow you to simply plug the unit into a regular electrical socket. No electrician is required. All you need is an outlet.
19. Why should I need a hood on my awning?
Hoods complete the product. They represent the natural element under which the awning would rest after closing it. Most of the time a hood represents the right esthetical completion of the awning, although, of course it provides also protection against snow accumulation, rain or soot from close heating systems in a roof mounted situation. Hoods can be added after the awning is installed, if you feel they are needed.
20. Why should I use an Authorized Dealer?
Using an Authorized Dealer is the best way to insure your awning will give you many years of service. Some Fly-by-Night Companies can sell you products but most of the time they are not available for service or disappear in a few years. Authorized Dealers have a track record, they can provide any service you would need: from any intervention your awning would need, to re-covering your awning when you want to change the fabric, to add a motor if you ever become unable to utilized the gear system. To find an Alutex Authorized Dealer simply click the specific link of our web site.
21. What should I do if my question is not listed here?
If you have a question that was not addressed in this forum please call us and speak with one of our awning professionals. They will answer any questions you may have to make the correct decision.