Pros and Cons of Aluminum Carport and Patio Covers

Aluminum carports and patio covers have become a popular and attractive home improvement. The product itself has been in use for years. As a light weight and durable material, aluminum can be a great alternative to stick built or steel structures. Features, colors, and styles have evolved over the years to give homeowners many choices. Today we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these popular aluminum structures.

Advantages:

1) Durability – My parents have been living in the same house for over 30 years. Their patio cover was installed in the late 1960s, and is still standing and functional. This product will stand the test of time with little more than a cleaning once a year. Most companies engineer their units to withstand wind and snow loads. As a result, baring natural weather disasters, your patio cover or carport should give you years of use.

2) Attractive – As stated above with a little maintenance your carport or patio cover will stay looking good for years. The aluminum pans will never rust. There are a variety of colors to choose from and several styles of framework that should satisfy any homeowner.

3) Structural simplicity – Because of the light weight nature of aluminum, a patio cover can be attached directly to your patio slab, and carports can be attached directly to your driveway. Also attachment to the house requires minimal anchoring. Note: some areas may require posts to be set in concrete, check with the codes department in your area. One of the best advantages of Aluminum structures is the minimum fall required for installation. Aluminum carports and patio covers require only ΒΌ” of fall /ft. spanned. A shingled roof requires a minimum of 4″ of fall /ft spanned, which often creates problems with head room on the outside.

4) Functionality – Very few home improvement projects can provide the quality usefulness that an aluminum patio cover or carport can. Patio covers over decks and patios offer escape from direct sun and weather, and can make them much more useful and enjoyable. Aluminum carports (free standing or attached) can provide great shelter for your vehicles when a garage is not available .

Disadvantages

1) Bird Nests – The W-pan aluminum is notorious for attracting birds. There are several plugs that manufacturers offer and it is highly recommended you insist on these at the time of installation. They do add cost but will save you from the endless hassle of cleaning out the pans.

2) Trees – All Aluminum carports and patio covers come with built in gutters and downspouts, in the fall if you live in a wooded area leaves are a constant problem. Since aluminum structures do not require as much slope on the roof, leaves and debris is much more likely to accumulate. The most common problem I see is where this accumulation of leaves is left unattended, stopping up gutters, backing up water and ultimately causing the panels to bow and leak.

3) Rust on framework – Most aluminum patio covers and carports are installed with steel bar joists, and posts, and while painted before installation, the natural exposure to the elements will eventually cause the parts to show rust (especially at ground contact)

4) Hail – The single most, problem with aluminum carports and patio covers is hail. We replace several of these each year. Because of the light weight nature of aluminum a hail storm can leave small unattractive dings in the panels. Most homeowners insurance cover this and in most cases if hail is hard enough you will have other damage to your home

As a contractor for many years, I have learned to appreciate the functional beauty of aluminum carports and patio covers. The advantages of these products far out weigh the disadvantages. Almost all the disadvantages can be prevented with simple maintenance.

Finding the Benefits of Having Patio Covers

Patios are extremely common in most homes in the U.S. For entertainment purposes, there is probably no better place to hang around in than an open space like a patio. One can hope to have a gala time here at get-togethers with friends whom one has not met for some time due to everyone being busy in their lives. At some homes, the children enjoy themselves in the backyards while the patio serves as a resting place for their parents from where they can keep a watch on them and indulge in some quiet and peaceful reading too. Find the benefits of having patio covers in this article.

Just as some home owners love to use the outdoor kitchen area as a place to socialize, the patio too serves such a significant function at many houses. One can spend nice and quiet hours here all by oneself or together with other members of the family, so that it acts as a gathering spot for the entire family. For all your precious items at home, you use covers to protect them and keep them looking nice in the long run.

The patio too is no different and requires patio covers to maintain their beauty and longevity, especially since they are exposed to the elements of weather. This space, as we know, is good for acting as a dinner area for those times when you choose to have an informal one with your close buddies. If at such times, the weather plays spoilsport, it is going to pose a problem for you if there are no patio covers in place. It would be a source of shame since your friends would not be able to gather there due to the simple reason that you never thought of installing patio covers. In order to avoid such likely situations, it is best to get patio covers without further delay.

On the one hand, these covers would ensure the enhancement of beauty of your valuable patio and its protection in the long run; on the other hand, you would be able to utilize this area for multiple functions that would be of great joy to you and your family. Due to exposure to the unpredictable weather during the year, the patio could acquire damages which can clearly be avoided by having covers in place.

It is highly advisable to purchase patio covers if you have not given a thought to it before reading this. Imagine the rain falling, while you sit there enjoying with everyone, completely safe from getting drenched. It is important to get good covers installed that will guarantee longevity. If you have complete protection, there is no harm in placing your TV or your computer out there. In fact, many people have made this into a practice. Wood would be the best option for this area as it imparts a very subtle and soothing look, blending in seamlessly with the background. Some also like to use metal frames for the covers of their patio. Contact a manufacturer to know which type will be the best for you.

Benefits and Styles of Patio Covers

Patio covers install over your outdoor space to offer protection from various elements. When you want to get the most out of your yard, this installation can help you achieve this goal. Explore various materials and styles to enable you to choose the unit that meets your needs.

Benefits

The furniture and other accessories you keep outdoors on a patio will receive ongoing exposure to weather. Whether you have wood, plastic, or metal furnishings, these items will wear down from the elements. Cushions and throws could also get wet in the rain. Even the patio itself will receive ongoing wear from the weather. Sun and wind can result in fading and damage over time. Rain, hail, and snow can also cause significant damage to furniture.

The shade provided by patio covers can keep the temperature lower on the patio. This temperature difference can be as much as 10 degrees. The shade can also help keep your home cooler due to the shaded windows. The result of this shade can be a lower cooling bill during the summer.

With a shaded outdoor space, it’s likely that your family will use this area more often, even during the summer. This can add to the total living space of your home. Many homeowners find that adding this structure will increase the overall value of a home.

Materials

Wood lattice or solid covers are a popular choice. With lattice, you control the amount of shade with the spacing of the slats. It’s possible to achieve up to 60 percent shade with lattice. Many people choose lattice because it allows some sun to shine through, which can benefit potted plants growing in this area. For full shade, opt for a solid expanse overhead made out of wood.

Aluminum patio covers are environmentally friendly and durable. They come in a variety of styles and colors and are suitable for any style and decor. Aluminum materials are inexpensive, yet attractive and effective for providing shade and protection from the elements.

Some aluminum structures have baked enamel surfaces. Baked enamel has a variety of benefits because it will not peel or chip. The baked enamel also comes in a variety of colors to match any home exterior and patio style.

Maintenance

Many homeowners keep their patio covers in place year round, especially those who live in warm climates. Even in regions that get snow, leaving the structure in place can help protect this area from damage from precipitation. It’s best to dismantle an aluminum cover at least once each year to perform cleaning. Annual cleaning will prolong the life of the cover by reducing cracking and dulling. Wash a wood structure periodically. You may also need to seal and stain or paint the wood surfaces to protect them from moisture. With regular maintenance and cleaning, it’s likely that these structures will last for years.

Boost the usefulness and beauty of your outdoor space by adding an attractive structure over it. Your family will enjoy the space more, and you can help preserve the life of your furniture for many more years.