Installing blinds in your outdoor entertaining spaces is a wise investment, not only do they transform your alfresco area into a functional space that can be utilised all year round, they add to the visual appeal of your home and can add serious value to your property. Nu Style Shutters is the leading manufacturer of custom outdoor blinds in Perth, and we often get asked just how ‘waterproof’ our blinds are and how much protection they actually provide. Let’s take a look at some of the factors which play a role in determining how effective your outdoor blinds will be.
The Fabric Type
There are 4 different grades of fabric and this determines how much airflow, water and vision you will get:
- 94% Block Out – the most common fabric for custom outdoor blinds as it provides excellent weather protection whilst allowing an fairly transparent view. During wet and windy conditions, a light mist may make its way through, especially if you experience a south-westerly storm or heavy downpour in Perth and live close to the cost.
- 99% Block Out – allowing only 1%, it’s almost impossible for water to penetrate through. Moisture may be seen on the inside, but rain will not spray in. This fabric is very popular for coastal homes that are ocean facing, however the downside is less light is able to flow through the view is slightly more obstructed.
- 100% Block Out – typically fabricated from canvas, this will prevent 100% of water penetration, however the internal space can become more humid due to a lack of airflow and any view will be blocked entirely, the canvas is available I a wide range of colours and is still a soft but durable furnishing for your home.
- Plastic – available in clear and tinted colours such as bronze and smoked, plastic blinds are commonly found in cafes and other commercial spaces. While they do prevent all water penetration and allow for a seamless view to the outside, the enclosed space will often suffer from extremely high humidity and nowadays these are seen mostly in commercial applications not residential.
As an experienced and established outdoor blind specialist, we stand behind and endorse the HVG brand of fabric for the ultimate weather protection, however as a custom company, we can source other fabrics to suit our client’s specifications if required with access to the entire Serigo Ferrari, Ricky Richards, and Vistaweave range.
The Model You Choose
Different operational styles of blinds have different block out capabilities.
Crank Handle – A crank handle by design is not a fully sealed outdoor blind, as it has gaps on the sides as well as at the top and bottom. Even if fitted with a valance or side channels, water is likely to make its way through the gaps.
Ziptrak®, Galaxy and Universal Blinds – These are fully sealed, and typically water can only enter underneath the bottom bar if the floor is not level. There are various seals available ranging from 10-30mm to help prevent water entering underneath, however these are an additional cost and may detract from the aesthetic appeal. Generally, with these products any water that makes its way into the enclosed space is due to existing uneven floor levels.
Retaining Warmth as Well as Preventing Water and Wind
We have discussed wind and water penetration, but we also commonly get asked if outdoor blinds will keep an enclosed space warm. The answer is absolutely! If you turn an outdoor heater on when your blinds are down, warmth will be retained exceptionally well. Even the 94% fabric is ideal for keeping a space warm, as only 6% per square meter is open space, 94% of heat will be retained. Often, you will find that you need to turn the heater off or down after 30 minutes, even if it’s cold or raining outside
If you are renovating, building or looking to make your alfresco area usable in all weather conditions, get in touch with Nu Style Shutters as soon as you begin planning, that way we can help you understand the best way to finish your alfresco walls and floors so you can get the best results from your outdoor blinds. For more information, advice or for a free quotation, contact us online or give our friendly team a call on 1300 798 776.