With the dry warm weather now a distant memory and the inclement weather upon us, awnings can now function to provide shelter from rain showers, that is, with the right pitch.
When using an awning for protection from rain, it is paramount that the angle of the awning is sufficient to ensure water will not collect (form a water trough) in the fabric (as pictured above), which will ultimately result in a mechanical failure. The EU standard for awnings (EN13561) advises that an awning with a pitch of 14 degrees (or greater) the fabric will not gather with water, instead water will run off the fabric.
To check whether your awning has the appropriate pitch, there is a simple calculation you can make. With your patio awning fully open, measure the height (in cm) from the ground to the underside of the leadrail (A). Then add 25cm per metre projection (B) your patio awning is to this measurement. Now take a measurement from the ground to the underside of your patio awning on the wall (C). If this measurement (C) is equal to or greater than the previous calculation, your patio awning has a sufficient pitch for occasional use in light rain showers.
Awnings with a wet fabric (used in rain) should be allowed to dry out first before you retract them, however, if the fabric is rolled away wet (ie the rain is persistent) the awning should be opened up at the next available opportunity to allow the fabric to dry out and to help minimise any rippling and waviness in the material around the seams (where the fabric is joined) and at the edges (hems). Continuous use of an awning in rain showers will affect the look and appearance of the fabric (as example below).
If you purchased an awning from Caribbean Blinds, we go through in great detail at survey the use of the awning and whether your installation can allow for the awning to be used in rain showers or not. We try, wherever it is possible to install an awning with a pitch of 14 degrees or greater and this is confirmed in our detailed quotation to you, however, if you are unsure and want to check, simply call one of our friendly team on 0344 800 1947 with your product serial number (contained in the O&M manual) and we will be able to confirm.