We are often asked at Soltex if folding arm awnings can be used for rain protection. Firstly, let’s look at why folding arm awnings are so popular and how they work.
Folding arm awnings are a popular solution for providing sun protection and extending your outdoor space, all at the touch of a button. Whether above a deck in the backyard or at a café, they don’t require additional posts or multiple fixing points, so they are discreet and can be mounted to most surfaces.
Given they only have one fixing point, the fabric is coiled up in the cassette (similar to a blind) and, when activated, is pulled out from the cassette by folded arms, which lockout and keep the fabric taught. The fabric is typically an acrylic or polyester material. It is water-resistant, but if left out in a downpour, the weight of the water pooling can damage both the arms and the fabric.
The only way to use a folding arm awning for rain protection is to have the awning set at a minimum 15-degree angle to ensure the water will run off from the awning and avoid damage to the arms and fabric. Unfortunately, to achieve a 15-degree angle, you often lose a lot of head height, making the folding arm awning impractical in some situations.
See Below Chart For Clearance Height Based On Angle.
A common installation method with folding arm awning is to mount to the gutter, which for most homes is at a 2400mm high when you reduce that by 970mm, this would make it too low to walk under at full extension.
Soltex works with our clients to achieve the best installation option to meet your folding arm awning needs, often overcoming the difficulties of angle clearance. We manufacture custom brackets, angles, and mounts to fix to any surface and give you maximum clearance to help you achieve a 15-degree angle if required. See below some installation options we can provide.
Folding arm awnings can also be adjusted and the Angle set between 5and 40 degrees. Our friendly team of installers can show you how to adjust your awning yourself, or we can do it for you. Some of the German engineered Weinor awnings can even be adjusted with an Allen key on the outside of the cassette for simple operation.
Folding Arm awning fabric is not your standard fabric it uses advanced technology to ensure fabric lasts in extreme conditions. For example, Dickson Orchestra Max uses a UV-resistant acrylic resin, reinforcing its weather-resistant properties, making it the perfect choice for Café’s and restaurants looking for rain protection and homeowners wishing to not retract their outdoor awning at the first sign of Rain. This resin layer also protects the fabric from dirt, so it is easy to clean. You can learn more about the Dickson Orchestra fabric technology here.
Suppose you would like to leave your folding arm awning out most of the time but are concerned with it being damaged by heavy downpours. In that case, we can pair your Somfy RTS motor with a Somfy Ondeis Rain Sensor so your outdoor awning will automatically be retracted when Rain is detected.
Alternatively, you can have your Somfy motorised awning connected via the Somfy Connexoon system, so you have app control of your awning anywhere you are connected to the internet. So, if unexpected showers or storms develop, you can simply open the app and retract your awning.
If you do require all-weather protection, including rain protection, and a 15-degree angle is not possible, Soltex has you covered with two options for waterproof retractable awnings, either the plaza Viva conservatory awning with the telescopic post for water runoff or the retractable roof system. Both these systems have two posts and require fixing a house or wall, and you can find out more information here.
Please see the full range of Folding Arm awnings available through Soltex on the website. Click here and give us a call to discuss your requirements.