The simple rule of thumb is common sense but to use a retractable awning in the rain the awning it should be installed with the fabric cover set at a minimum pitch of 14 degrees
Just as the sailor reefs and furls his sails so you too should retract your awning in strong winds and rain. To prevent anything unforeseen happening this should be done at night too to ensure a good night’s sleep!
If the pitch of the awning is less than 14° (to the horizontal) then the awning should really not be extended and used when it is raining. Water may collect on the cover and cause it to sag. This may lead to the awning being damaged or people being injured.
More recent advances in supported and zipped roof systems do enable the use of fabric covers in the rain and at less than 14 degrees but for the self supporting awning a lot more care a and attention is needed.
If your awning has been retracted when wet it should be extended again at the earliest opportunity to allow it to dry.
If the wind speed exceeds that of the permitted wind resistance class (v. the chapter “Technical Information – Fixture of Awnings in accordance to EN 13561”) and in the case of frost or snow the blind or awning must be retracted immediately. If there is snow on the awning it must be removed before the system is retracted. Do not close a unit whose cover is frozen. It must be thawed out first!
An automatic sun, wind and rain sensor or timer that extends or retracts the awning according to the weather conditions is no guarantee that the awning system will function perfectly indefinitely but will prevent the majority of potential problems. It does not, therefore, relieve the owner of the duty to exercise due diligence. In times of absence, e.g. during holidays, at night or in bad weather the awning should be retracted and an automatic control system switched off. Dampness and cold can lead to the cover becoming stiff and the motor safety cut-off to activate. This will prevent the awning from being retracted for a short while.
For more defined products designed for use in the sun, wind and rain take a look at our ‘6 stages of weather protection guide’ >