The UAE is known for year round sunshine and is one of the appeals for a lot of visitors to the UAE. What is not often expected is the unstable weather conditions that the UAE experiences at certain points of the year. This often leads to damage to shading systems such as awnings. We cover what to expect and how to protect your awning from such unexpected wind and rain.
Maximum wind Speed
For the awnings we supply, the manufacturer LLaza indicated the maximum windspeed that the awning system can withstand before it should be closed. This windspeed will depend on a number of factors such as the size of awning and the weight of the fabric. You can find these details at the following link indicating by llaza what the max wind speed the awning can withstand. Obviously it is not a great idea to test the maximum limit. We always recommend our customers to close the awning when not in use and close the awning when windy conditions are expected.
What times of the year do we receive unstable weather conditions?
The above chart highlights when the UAE receives its rainfall on average by Month.
Viewing the climate chart, it is clear that most of the higher rains occur in the winter months of the year. December to march.
These are the periods on average that customers should ensure they close their awnings and keep a watchful eye on the weather reports.
The problem of rain!
So why is rain bad for an awning?
This depends on how the awning is set up and what its use case is. For awnings that are angled with a slope then rain will run off the canopy and not collect on the fabric canopy.
For awnings that are installed at a near straight angle, this presents a problem as if it rains, then the rain water will collect in the canopy and if too heavy break the awning.
It is therefore important to ensure that awnings have a small slope and are also closed in rainy and windy conditions. These two factors will ensure the awning has a long life.
What Safety devices can we use to help protect our awning?
There are a number of Safety devices that can be used as a backup when the owner has forgotten or is unable to close the awning. These should be used as a backup only when the owner is unable to close the awning.
|The Sun Sensor from Somfy controls when a awning can open and close based on sunlight. Schedule the awning to close when it gets dark and open when the day starts.||Only Opens and closes based on Sunlight. Not for wind and rain.|
|The Eolis Shake Sensor can close an awning when it senses vibrations on the awning caused by wind. This battery operated device is attached to the front of the awning and will send a signal to the motor to close if there are wind vibrations.||Ideal for windy situations but wont detect rain.|
|The Sun wind wind sensor automates the opening and closing the awning based on measuring wind speed and sunlight. The system is installed on the all away from the awning and might not be as reliable as the shake sensor.||Ideal for windy situations and sunlight. Wont always pickup wind if far away from awning. Wont detect rain.|
|The Rain sensor from Somfy detects rainfall and sends a signal to the motor to close.||Detects rain but does not detect wind.|
Who is responsible for ensuring that the awning does not get damaged by wind and rain?
The responsibility for ensuring the awning remains damage free is the customer. The above devices are additional safety features to ensure that the awning is closed. The first step must always be the customer closing the system.
It is the customers responsibility to ensure the awning is closed when wind and rain is expected.
How to check on the weather forecast in the UAE?
It should be noted that Siri and Alexa don’t always give accurate indications if rain and wind are expected in the UAE. We always suggest as a first choice to subscribe to the National Centre of Meteorology to check the latest weather reports. (www.ncm.ae) . Additionally their twitter feed notifies if heavy winds and rain are expected. They have an android and ios app where you can view the weather forecast for the UAE
Additionally the Windfinder website shows the current and forecasted wind conditions in the UAE.