Many residential homes and commercial properties install metal awnings as a way to increase the aesthetic beauty of the structure, and to protect windows and doors from the environment. An outdoor awning can be designed in a variety of decorative options and fabricated from different materials. The most common materials used for awnings are aluminum and copper.
Why Choose Metal over Fabric?
Fabricating and installing metal awnings are by far a superior choice over wood and canvas awnings. Metal will last much longer, and require significantly less maintenance. The metal awnings provide enhanced protection against environmental elements, especially snow, rain and intense sunshine. Each available metal option offers its own advantages. However, copper is by far superior.
An Aluminum Awning
Because of the cost of manufacturing, aluminum is the most common choice of metal when fabricating an awning. Because it is lightweight and relatively inexpensive, aluminum can provide protection against intense sunshine and continual rainfall. When properly constructed, it can provide a durable solution that can last for a few years.
However, even with their functionality, aluminum awnings are often not the most aesthetically pleasing option available. Aluminum does not always hold up well in salty environments or under harsh conditions, and will lose its durability and strength over time.
A Copper Awning
An awning constructed out of copper offers unsurpassed durability and functionality. Copper awnings serve as an optimal investment over the long term for both residential homes and commercial properties. Copper is relatively lightweight and holds up well against harsh environmental conditions including salty air.
Copper is a highly malleable metal that allows artisans to create nearly unlimited styles and designs. The metal can be mechanically treated to produce a high buffed shine with a mirror-like appearance or left to develop its own natural patina. When left untreated, the process of oxidation will naturally occur. The oxidation creates a patina that begins as browns and blacks within a few years. It will eventually fully develop into aesthetically pleasing results that produce a beautiful blend of blue greens, light greens, browns, oranges, and brassy yellows.
The thick layer of patina is a natural protection of the surface of the copper. The more intense the oxidation, the longer the copper will be protected. This is why components made out of copper can last for many generations, with virtually no maintenance required.
Copper vs. Aluminum
Between the two choices of metal, copper offers the lowest maintenance and will naturally resist decay, mold and corrosion while providing superior protection. Aluminum can easily corrode after a few years, which will significantly reduce its strength and durability. Copper develops its own level of protection through a natural patina, while aluminum needs to be protected with paint or other coating options.
Copper has great malleability and can be made into a variety of decorative shapes and styles. Aluminum has limited malleability and restricts the artisan when creating complex designs, styles and shapes. Copper works as a perfect solution when installing metal awnings in hard to access locations because it requires virtually no maintenance once installed. After a few years, aluminum requires a level of maintaining by cleaning and re-coating (painting) to ensure it continues to resist corrosion from the elements.
Installing metal awnings on residential homes and commercial properties can be a great investment. They can serve to protect the windows and doors from harsh climates including extensive rain and intense sunshine. With all of the available options of materials, copper is the superior choice. It allows the property owner to incorporate functionality and style in a metal that provides decades of no maintenance and unsurpassed beauty.