Canopies have been adding shelter and a note of interest to buildings for centuries. In decades past, most canopies were made of fabric, which provided comedy relief in old cartoons, with characters either falling from the roof and tearing through the canopy or rebounding off one. Needless to say, fabric canopies are not very durable.
A metal canopy, on the other hand, will last for decades while providing the perfect place to shelter yourself and your customers from sun, rain and snow. Canopies also give you space for your business name, logo and other eye-catching designs to lure people to your business.
Canopies can be attached or free-standing add-ons to steel buildings, providing a cost-effective covered space you can also use for identifying your company.
Uses for Canopies
As we mentioned above, canopies provide shelter from the rain, snow and sun. In the south, shelter from the sun is a necessity. A cool area to wait or stand for a few minutes is a welcome respite from the blazing summer sun. Alternatively, if your building is in a rainy region, your employees and customers probably appreciate a place to furl umbrellas and shake off excess water before entering the building.
Canopies are also used for carports, to protect the vehicle from hail damage or keep it cooler in the sun. Drivers and passengers have a chance to get out and protect themselves before going out into the weather. Walkways from the parking garage or parking lot are welcome for the same reasons as are covered drive-through passages and service windows.
Canopies are perfect toppers for an outdoor eating area, covered patio or a greenhouse enclosure to expand the space in your building. As a bonus, canopies over doors and windows can help minimize the heat and light from the sun, saving energy and lowering your utility bills.
The Benefits of Metal Canopies
Metal canopies add to your curb appeal, creating an area ripe for unique designs and lettering. They are endlessly customizable and easily changed as the occupants change. They can be incorporated into each building’s structural design to enhance its appearance.
Branding is an important part of promoting your business and a canopy supplies a billboard that doubles as cover from the elements. Canopies can be seen far down the road, handy for first-time visitors to find you.
Beyond the aesthetic appeal and usefulness as shelter, canopies made of steel are durable, stable and long-lasting. They come in a variety of styles and profiles from flat to sloped to curved, all meeting local building codes and standards. Also, steel canopies require little maintenance to preserve their usefulness and look.
Examples of Canopy Use
- Parent and bus drop-off areas at schools, childcare facilities and daycares speed pick-up and drop-off. Children and parents can line up out of the rain or sun while waiting for their turn to check in or pick up a child.
- Store-front entries are welcoming to customers on their way into your store or for a brief respite for people on the sidewalk, who may become first-time customers. Canopies add charm to your retail establishment, encouraging window-shopping. They also minimize the amount of water getting dripped on your floors.
- Dock covers improve the appearance and conditions for boat storage. Metal dock canopies may be the deciding factor when people look for places to dock their boats.
- Stairway canopies make outdoor stairs safer by keeping them dry and providing pedestrians with a clear sight of the steps. Multifamily residences, commercial buildings and municipal walkways all benefit from canopies during rainy or hot, sunny seasons.
- Loading areas benefit from canopies. Covers keep goods dry and out of the sun while sheltering those unloading the trucks. Another loading area that can benefit from a canopy is a valet parking area. Drivers and passengers can disembark under cover and keep the rain or snow out of their cars as they change places with the valet. A cover may also enhance the size of the tip if the customer isn’t trying to keep from getting soaked.
- Balcony canopies improve looks and livability for apartments, offices and condominiums. Covered balconies are especially attractive in rainy or sunny weather as areas to get a bit of fresh air without going down to the main floor.
- Parking canopies are a great benefit to employees of a tenant lease building or in apartment complexes to protect the automobiles from rain and damage. The cost of building parking canopies is must less than building a parking structure garage.
Why You Should Go with a Metal Canopy
As we said above, canopies were made historically with fabric. However, even the strongest fabric stretches, fades and tears when it is exposed to the outside environment year-round. Canvas duck is still popular but remains attractive only if it is rolled up or stored. Even then, fabric is prone to mold and mildew and it is not very fire-proof.
Steel, on the other hand, can keep its color and shape almost indefinitely. It does not catch fire or grow mold. With the right gauge steel, even hailstorms can’t damage the canopy. High winds and other threats to fabric canopies don’t bother steel canopies. Steel is so durable, the canopy could last for decades, remaining usable through multiple building or homeowners.
A steel canopy also provides another way to save energy inside your metal building. Awnings and canopies were long used to block sun coming through windows and doors before air conditioning came along.
In historic districts, metal canopies that duplicate the look of old-time town squares and downtowns can be created as such areas are becoming gentrified. People often look back on certain period of time fondly and canopies can help create the right environment for such fantasies.
Canopies on every building along a street invite pedestrians to saunter down the sidewalk, gathering under cover to converse or get out of the rain. Umbrellas can't duplicate canopies in these respects. Umbrellas cut people off from each other, tend to bend or blow away in the wind and cause everyone to hurry about their business.
A canopy invites everyone to slow down, enjoy the shade or wait out a sudden shower in relative comfort. A steel canopy isn’t going anywhere, it just stands there and lets everyone stay dry or stop to cool off.
For your next building or retrofit project, consider adding a metal canopy to your design.