What Is The Best Motorized/Retractable Screen

What Is the Best Motorized Screen.

It's time for another moment with Kip: That place where a kind intelligent person understands knowledge is power.

I am often asked what is the best motorized/retractable screen system on the market. The answer is simple: MagnaTrack, hands down, no question asked. Am I a little biased? Absolutely. Not because we install them,

A picture of a three story home that is gray in Palm Coast Florida.

MagnaTrack and Florida Living Outdoor Team Up.

but because I understand physics and math don't mislead.

So, if you want to know what makes a motorized screen the best, it is crucial to understand the components that make it function: They are the difference between not-so-great and outstanding results.

Definition and Components:

Let us start with the basic definition of each component or MagnaTrack:

  1. The Housing Unit: A protective box that houses the internal roller and screen.
  2. The Internal roller: A cylinder-like tube that the screen rolls around as it goes up and down.
  3. The Motor: The mechanical components that move the internal roller tube deploying or retracting the screen.
  4. The Screen: The part of the motorized screen that provides protection against bugs or Mother Nature.
  5. Side Tracks: The Components on each side of the patio or lanai opening that both the screen and the weight bar traverse when deployed or retracted.
  6. Weigh bar: A weighted bar at the bottom of the screen that works with gravity during deployment and assists in creating a secure seal when it meets the floor.


The Most Important Components of A Motorized Screen.

Now, if we had to narrow it down to the two most important components, it is a no-brainer: The Tracks and Motor. The other components are important but can be reduced to the wall thickness of each component and the toughness and durability of the screen’s fabric.  I like Kevlar or Dyneema in mine.

Let's start with tracks. There are two tracks on the market: Fixed tracks or tracks where the inner tracks separate. A fixed track is attached to the wall and does not absorb external forces. The separating inner tracks use magnets or springs to allow absorption. Zippers, cables, or Keder-based systems hold the screens in the tracks as it traverses up and down. Zippers are easily dislodged from the track, and cables kink. The Keder base system uses sailboat technology and is preferred.

The next most important thing in a retractable screen is the motor should possess obstacle detection. In other words, if it comes down and hits a chair, the screen goes back up. Understand the number one thing that create service calls is when something is in the path of the screen. That motor keeps spinning and binds the screen in the housing unit.

As the owner, I'm not too fond of service calls. But… if you use a zipper track based system get use to the term service call.  MagnaTrack motorized screen system eliminates 98% of typical service calls, and is the only self correcting screen in the world.  When combining the ballistics fiber based screen (Kevlar) with the separating inner track, we have a product that can withstand a Cat 5 Hurricane.

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