Let’s shoot the breeze about a subject that gets a surprising amount of “air” time here in the Rocky Mountain West.
I’m referring, of course, to the wind.
According to The Denver Post, it’s not unusual for the Colorado Front Range region (including the Denver area, and particularly the western suburbs) to experience winds of 100 miles per hour (or more) at times during the stormy seasons.
Citing information from the Colorado State University Climate Center, the Post notes that, while often presented in the form of brief gusts, strong (and even severe) “down slope winds” are common when air cascades rapidly over the crest of the Rockies and races out to the plains.
The article goes on to list the highest recorded wind in Colorado history as occurring on Longs Peak (near Estes Park) in 1981, when the gust hit 201 miles per hour. The Post also characterizes Boulder as one of America’s windiest cities, where a breeze clocked at 147 mph was recorded in 1971.
he National Hurricane Center (NHC) uses something called the “Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale” to describe “hurricane force winds” and their likely effects:
- Winds of 74-95 mph – “Category 1” – are described as very dangerous winds that “will produce some damage.”
- When Mother Nature sends winds of 96-110 mph – “Category 2” – the NHC describes these as extremely dangerous winds that “will cause extensive damage.”
- Winds of 111-129 mph – “Category 3” and still not unheard-of in Colorado – will create devastating damage, according to the NHC.
- 130 mph or more? The NHC describes these “Category 4 or 5” winds as creating catastrophic damage.
Fallen trees and power lines… damage to homes… even total destruction of structures can occur with these extreme winds.
You know those sturdy metal street signs you see around the neighborhood… the ones that tell you what corner you’re on? A storm in southern Colorado recently brought such fierce winds sweeping down the plain that these signs were bent to the ground… almost like hairs that’d been combed down.
Wind-Damaged Awnings Can Often Be Repaired…
If your property gets a blast of hurricane-strength wind, your awnings will be susceptible to damage, of course… and might even be ruined beyond repair.
But while winds of this strength are not unheard of around these parts, far more common are the gusts of 30-50 mph which can still wreak havoc with your home or business awnings… but which might leave them in good enough shape to repair.
The top awning pros in the Denver area can repair or replace the fabric, restoring your awning and even giving your property a fresh new look.
In some cases, even damage to the mechanical parts of the awning can be fixed.
Ask your awning experts for options… can the damage your awning sustained in last year’s storms be repaired for the coming summer season, or do you need to replace the entire awning? But watch out: some “fly by night” companies only want to sell you a new awning.
Take care to note how seriously you think they’re taking the budget-saving option of repairing a damaged awning before simply suggesting a total replacement.
… And Some New Awnings Can Even Protect Themselves From Damage
If you’re replacing your awning – or having an awning installed on your property for the first time – consider a retractable product that features the latest in weather sensing technology.
It’s not hard to imagine here in Colorado: It’s a nice sunny day, and you’re enjoying your retractable awning. You decide to leave for a couple hours, to go to lunch or run errands, only to return to find your awning in shambles due to a fast, isolated storm that blew through while you were briefly away!
Get a weather-sensing awning, and you won’t face this problem. The latest technology lets the awning sense when the wind is kicking up, and actually retract (close) itself automatically to minimize the chance of damage (as long as the power stays on).
(It’s best to close your awning whenever you’re going to be away from it for more than a few minutes.)
In fact, this wireless weather-sensing technology can often be added to an existing awning for a few hundred dollars.
Don’t blow it. There’s nothing you or anyone can do to keep fierce winds from attacking your Colorado property… but get the right awning product installed by the best awning professionals in the area, and you’ll have done everything that can be done to bring beauty and comfort – and peace of mind – to your outdoor living space this summer.