Adding an awning to the exterior of your building projects a welcoming and upscale image, regardless of whether you're running a five star restaurant or a small and simple retail shop. Unfortunately, many business owners are unfamiliar with the various materials used for awnings and choose one based on price alone. In order to get years of reliable use out of your awning instead of replacing it routinely and paying more, find out why vinyl fabrics are the best choice for your commercial awning.
On the hunt for a fabric that the manufacturer will warranty for up to five years or even longer? The multiple layers of vinyl and backing fabric create a very durable material that resists wear and tear after years of beating rain, shining sun, and high winds, so vinyl awnings tend to come with the longest and best warranties for commercial use. Don't settle for a product that is only warrantied for a year or six months since there's a good chance you'll end up replacing the cover shortly after the warranty ends. Replacing an awning cover comes with labor costs along with the price of new fabric, so warranties can save you a surprising amount of money in case of an accident.
Installing an outdoor awning over the entrance of your building is a great way to encourage fresh foot traffic during a rainstorm because you're offering a convenient dry spot for guests to wait out the rain. Of course, this will only work if you choose a material that is completely waterproof rather than just water resistant. Acrylic and canvas will still let moisture through during a true soaking storm, so stick with vinyl and vinyl-laminated materials when waterproofing is absolutely necessary. Adding a vinyl awning is also a great way to prevent water from rushing in the front door if the entryway to your building was improperly sloped.
Many business owners are wary of adding yet another building addition that requires maintenance and routine cleaning. Awnings made of a porous fabric tend to develop stains over the years as leaves fall on the surface and create stains. Mildew growth is also common on acrylic and canvas fabrics because they stay moist after a rainstorm until mold and fungi flourish. Since vinyl awnings are topped with at least one layer of clear plastic for a smooth and non-porous surface, removing dirt and debris is easy and takes a lot less work and fewer chemicals. Stains can't soak into the fabric, allowing you to go longer between cleanings without permanently discoloring the fabric.
That big piece of colorful fabric stretched across the front of your business can act as an advertisement or sign if you print it with your company's name, logo, or a catchy slogan. Not all awning fabrics accept printing. Most materials with a coating accept dyes or inks for printing a logo, but vinyl is particularly good for printed designs because the clear topcoating acts as a sealant to protect the printed design.
Check up on local building and safety codes regarding exterior improvements before assuming you can simply add any type of awning you want. Many larger cities require awnings to have some measure of fireproofing or fire resistance to limit the spread of flames when a fire begins in a crowded commercial area. Almost all vinyl fabrics used for awnings offer some degree of fire resistance, while some are completely fireproof. Even if you aren't required to choose a fire resistant material by local codes, it's still worth the protection to reduce damage to your structure in case of an emergency.
Talk to a company that sells awnings, such as Hightech Signs, for more information.