I have a restaurant with a deck that they wish to enclose to be able to utilize year round rather just in the summer. What are the alternatives?
Clear Window Screens for Patio Enclosures
Clear windows are often requested on Rainier Power Screens. We offer this product only on our Series 5 housing, as that causes the least stress to the clear vinyl and reduces problems associated with clear windows.
We also only offer our clear windows utilizing Strataglass. Strataglass is a premium clear vinyl with the best visual clarity, does not yellow and is scratch resistant. Of all the clear vinyl products available, Strataglass is the most stable and durable.
Despite that, clear vinyl’s lack of structure makes this system less stable dimensionally. This creates a bit of a problem with Rainier’s side retention system, which is engineered for a precise fit. We mitigate this somewhat by producing clear windows with solid vinyl perimeters and mullions to provide some strength and support.
We have many successful installations of clear vinyl windows, but due to the lack of dimensional stability of the clear vinyl, we do not offer a warranty for his product. Regardless, many dealers still sell the product successfully.
Following are some guidelines to reduce problems with clear vinyl windows:
- Train your customers not to operate them in sub-zero weather.
- Do not retract them when they are wet. The worst situation is a wet vinyl retracted prior to a big freeze – the clear window can be permanently damaged.
- Do not use abrasive cleaners on clear windows – Strataglass provides cleaning instructions.
- Clear windows are less problematic with cable systems.
- Clear windows have fewer problems in moderate climates and in interior/clean room applications.
- Expect call backs when you sell a clear window – they may require adjustments due to the lack of structural integrity of the clear vinyl; these will be more common with big temperature changes.
Mesh Screens for Patio Enclosures
We had one client install a large number of clear windows screens at a venue on the Jersey coast. Those windows performed poorly due to installation issues and improper deployment, and created nothing but problems for the owner. The installer was a subcontractor to a dealer who had purchased our screens through a distributor – in other words, there was a lot of finger pointing.
We went out, examined the problem, and recommended replacing all the clear windows with mesh and reinstalling all the side tracks properly. The owner requested Rainier complete this project given the frustration with the previous installation company (a sign company). We handed the project off to Rick Sisco with Country Awning. Rick completed the project and the owner was so delighted he ordered 12 additional units!
The patio is now used year round and in all weather conditions. Referrals are the best testimonial and this once very unhappy business has sent Rainier a number of very large screen jobs that utilized our 95% mesh.
Following are reasons we recommend mesh screens over clear windows:
- They are far more durable and carry our full warranty including the 10 year manufactures warranty on the fabric.
- The mesh is structurally superior to clear windows without the problem of expansion and contraction associated with clear windows thus eliminating frequent call backs.
- You are not limited to Series 5 – any of our profiles will work.
- They function properly when wet.
- They retain heat and generally keep the patio enclosure dry.
- They are easier to clean and maintain.
- The view from the interior is acceptable.
- They are much less expensive than a clear window.
- They provide great solar protection during bright, hot summer days, thus they tend to get used year round. Clear windows increase heat gain on an outdoor area in the summer.
Rigid Windows for Patio Enclosures
Rainier Windows are a proprietary semi-rigid polycarbonate window system that is appropriate for patio enclosures, particularly those not requiring frequent removal. These are commonly utilized at a restaurant that installs them for the winter months and completely removes them for warmer weather. Rainier Windows screen 98% of harmful UV rays, protecting people and furniture while offering insulation and sound deadening attributes for your enclosure.
Virtually shatterproof, our top of the line Rainier Diamond Windows have 250 times the impact strength of glass and 30 times that of regular acrylic and are certified safe by the National Transportation Board for transportation applications. The clear portion is permanently bonded to fabric using our patented procedure. We generally recommend Sunbrella for Rigid Window Enclosures, however the process can be used with industrial vinyls as well.
Because a Rainier Rigid Window cannot be rolled, hinging or sliding the windows can be utilized for opening and ventilation. Rainier developed a unique tracking systems to enhance the operational capabilities for windows. We offer a single, double and triple track system. The top of the window panel has a keder which slides in the track – when installed in a double or triple track, the panels can be moved like a sliding glass door. In the summer, they can be removed completely.
This is a premium product – much more expensive than the above alternatives.