Six Awning Features for Snowy Climates

Tired of snow falling in front of your entryway? An awning may help. However, not all awnings are designed to work well in snowy climates. You have to look for the right features. Here are some to consider:

1. Sloped Shape

Awnings come in a range of shapes -- you can buy broad flat ones or ones that protrude from your home at an acute angle. In a snowy climate, you don't want a flat awning. Opt for a sloped one instead. That way the snow doesn't build up on the awning as much. Instead, it can slide down as it melts.

2. Sturdy Enough to Handle Snow Loads

Even with a slope, the snow may sit on your awning for a while. Whether you are buying a canvas awning or an aluminium one, make sure that the material is sturdy enough to handle the snow loads in your area. Contact the building approvals department in your area for information on your local snow loads, and use this information when searching for an awning.

3. Center Rafters

To increase the stability of your awning in a snowy environment, make sure that it has at least one center rafter. If an awning only has a simple outside frame, it may not give you the stability you want.

4. Built-In Gutters

Keep in mind if snow is melting and falling off your awning, you don't want it landing in front of your door. To prevent that, look for an awning with a built-in gutter. The gutter catches the water and lets it flow down the sides of the awning rather than off the front.

5. Weather-Resistant Material

Your awning needs to withstand the elements both functionally and aesthetically. If you opt for canvas, choose a water-resistant finish and a fade-resistant dye. If you choose a metal awning, makes sure that it is rustproof and finished.  

6. Retractable

If you live in a snowy area, ideally, you need to be prepared for blizzards as well as standard snow falls. Strong winds and driving snow from every direction can be hard on some awnings, but if you opt for a retractable awning, you can take it down when blizzards or other intense weather conditions are forecast. That allows you to protect it from damage.

For more tips on what sort of awning is best for your weather conditions, contact an awning salesperson in your area.