Outdoor Blinds for Your Balcony: 5 Things to Consider Before Buying!
Don’t go in blind.
With its clean, sleek look, it’s no surprise that more and more homeowners are fitting their homes with track-guided blinds in their balconies. But before hopping on the bandwagon and purchasing the first set of blinds you see, it pays to do a little research to ensure that you’re getting the top quality blinds you deserve.
Here, we share five tips that will help you make an informed decision on choosing the right outdoor blinds for your balcony.
1. Proper protection from the elements
It’s a well-known fact that outdoor blinds help block out the afternoon sun and UV rays. In fact, track-guided blinds are also able to keep out a fair amount of rain and dust.
However, one thing that many people fail to consider is the wind factor. With Singapore’s high-rise landscape, strong winds are more common than you think – in 2021, wind speeds in the Admiralty hit 49.3km/h, while the strongest wind speed in recent years was a whopping 133km/h in Tengah!
Not all blinds are made equal: Ziptrak blinds with double-side welded side splines keeps the blind fabric firmly within the track amidst strong winds (left), whereas other blinds may be left compromised (right).
So, if you live on a higher floor and enjoy the luxury of frequent cool breezes, you may wish to invest in a stronger system like the original Ziptrak blinds, with their proven ability to withstand wind speeds of up to 139km/h as well as pounding torrential rains.
Type of fabric
Considering the ever-present heat and humidity we experience on our sunny island, choosing the right type of fabric for your outdoor blinds can make a world of difference – because this has implications on the levels of light, wind, and rain that can enter, and even the amount of air-conditioning it can retain.
For example, Ziptrak comes in six different types of fabrics to choose from, depending on your needs:
- PolyWeave 5%: a polyester and vinyl mix that offers minimal protection from the rain, but allows homeowners to retain external visibility
- PolyWeave 1%: retains less visibility than the PolyWeave 5%, but offers top-notch privacy, weather protection, and noise reduction
- FiberWeave 1%: a fibreglass and PVC mix that boasts higher tensile strength
- RainOut® Frosted: a fabric offering with a frosted glass effect, which also boasts the best rain protection in the market
- RainOut® Blackout: a fabric with a black-out effect – perfect for those wanting an immersive home cinema experience
- PVC: clear, marine-grade PVC that balances solid external protection and visibility
In general, it’s good to remember that the greater the level of protection, the less visibility and ventilation you retain. Check out the table below for an even clearer comparison of all the fabrics offered:
A lowdown of factors to consider when choosing the right fabric for your lifestyle needs
2. Unobstructed views up to 6m wide
Does your balcony boast an unobstructed million-dollar view? If so, don’t let your fittings get in the way of enjoying it.
While traditional blinds can only go up to 3m before needing a centre post for support, Ziptrak’s PanoView® blind is the only one in the market that can go up to 6m wide in high-rise apartments. That means a guaranteed seamless, unobstructed view without needing unsightly posts that obstruct your view.
3. Ease of maintenance and ability to keep out pests
With our busy lifestyles, it helps when there’s less housework to do. So, if you’re in the market for some outdoor blinds, look for ones that are easy to maintain – or even better yet – keep pests out as well.
While most blinds can keep flying insects at bay, Ziptrak takes this a step further with their patented PestOut® pelmet – a dual brush system that prevents insects from nesting within the pelmet, while conveniently brushing the blind fabric every time it's moved.
And should you wish for an occasional thorough wipe, all you’ll need is a soft cloth and a mild or heavily diluted dishwashing liquid solution to wipe it down.
4. Installation methods
It may not be something you’d immediately pay attention to, but trust us – the last thing you want is to invest in outdoor blinds, only to be disappointed by the way they're installed (be it with shoddy silicon application, or with rusty screws).
So, it pays to run through every detail with your retailer before committing to a purchase. It’s also good practice to ask about the parts they use, as inexperienced retailers may make the mistake of utilising parts meant for interior blinds and curtains.
5. Warranty and aftercare
Unlike air or water filters, you won’t be able to replace the blinds yourself, so try looking into the fine print to know what you’re getting into. For instance, ask your retailer if service warranty is included on top of hardware warranty – if yes, check if that includes transportation and diagnostic charges, as they’re not covered by certain retailers.
Ziptrak, for example, provides a 5-year product warranty for motorised blinds and 10-year warranty on its manual spring component, with no hidden fees or costs. Should repairs be required, rest assured that you won’t be treated to a bevy of unpleasant surprises (read: extra charges).
Ziptrak: quality outdoor blinds you can trust
With all that they can do to affect your home’s aesthetic and comfort, a good set of outdoor blinds is most definitely worth investing in. And be it material options, workmanship or post-purchase customer care, Ziptrak offers the best in class at every step of the way. Head on over to Ziptrak’s website to find a retailer near you today.
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