Product Review: The Pros and Cons of Roller Blinds

In this article we will scrutinize Roller blinds, we will give you the low down of what to expect, what to look for and what to watch out for…

Roller Blinds are great, they are definitely the most popular option for most windows for the last few years. With growing demand has come larger ranges and more delicate fabric options, some being questionable and some standing the test of time.

A lot of the factories went the route of importing massive ranges, with floral prints, stripes, designs. textures and patterns, most of these either weren’t stable enough for our climate or cost a fortune and didn’t sell so they have discontinued most of it. What is left are the popular sellers that will last and have a good track record for withstanding the Durban and South African climate.

So lets begin Roller blinds come in 4 Formats or Fabric type options: Sheer weave, Translucent, Block out and Eclipse/ Zebra Blinds.

The Pros and Cons of  Sheer weave Roller Blinds.

There are very little downsides to Sheer weave roller blinds besides the ones that apply to roller blinds in general. They are easy to use, durable, low maintenance and fall within the Group 1 Fabrics that are the cheapest of all roller blinds. They can be cleaned with diluted “Clean Green” detergent and scrubbed lightly with a nail brush for stubborn dirt. These blinds act as light filters and proved shade and glare reduction making them ideal for office blocks or non road facing windows. The downside to this option is that direct sunlight still passes through and can still heat up a room when exposed for longer periods. An additional block out blind can be added to these windows but that literally doubles the cost of that window, so choose wisely…

The Pros and Cons of Translucent Roller blinds.

Translucent fabrics is the middle of the road when it comes to blocking light… Its not see through, but it doesn’t block out all the light. The problem i have with these blinds is that when they are down the light coming through the fabric tends to change the look of the fabric and color. Some fabrics are ok, but a lot change in shade, some also highlight the weave or fabric texture which again can be a positive or a negative depending on your tastes. Also in time as they fabric ages and collects some dirt, this too is highlighted by the sun when the blind is down. In my opinion, if you want a roller blind, go for block out as the blind will keep its color no matter the time of day and if you want some light, then raise the blind accordingly… Most Translucent fabrics tend to be quite fibrous, meaning that if they are exposed to moisture or water splashes on it then they will absorb it along with dirt and once they are dirty, you will most likely need a professional cleaning company to come in and clean it.

The Pros and Cons of Block out Roller blinds.

Block out roller blinds are somewhat miss leading by their name. Although the fabric is 100% Block out and are the best type of blind to do the job, alone, they are not 100% block out, let me explain.

Similarly with roman blinds and curtains the light will hit the fabric and bounce off the walls and find a way in… This can be remedied in 2 ways, either making the blind Face fix (measuring and installing the blind over the window / Opening) which is better than a recess blind, still not 100% though, or by adding side channels… Side channels aren’t a bad option, but they can look a bit bulky in smaller windows and again add to the costs. They sometimes also can’t be color matched to the blind itself and tend to be quite noticeable.

The fabrics come in a wide range of textures and patterns, depending on the Brand the Agent stocks, but as you know the Fancier the fabric, then more costly they become and most of the time, the more maintenance or TLC they will need to keep them in good shape.

The Pros and Cons of Eclipse / Zebra Blinds Roller blinds.

These blinds are great, they have all the benefits of  roller blinds and venetian Blinds combined.  They come in many colors to suit your tastes and style with lots of accessories for that final touch. BUT they aren’t for everyone… These blinds have two layers of fabric which allows for the blocking out effect or the slightly open / see through effect or can be rolled up to expose the whole window, the down side with 2 layers is that there is double the chance of the fabric rolling skew, insects can also get caught inside the two layers causing stains or marks and with 2 layers there is more friction, so if the blinds are being raised in full daily, these delicate fabrics tend to start fraying sooner than their single layered, cheaper equivalents. These blinds also tend to absorb moisture and collect dust so when they need cleaning, you would need to call a professional that deals with delicate fabrics. The upside with getting custom made blinds is if or when the blinds need replacing, you can get the fabric replaced without having to buy a brand new blind, keep in touch with the Agent that sold it to you and contact them if you require any repairs or maintenance.

Common faults with roller blinds.

Roller blinds are one of the least problematic blinds on the market, however nothing is perfect. The common issues found with roller blinds is the chain, it either snaps or the chain joiner comes undone due to mistreatment. If they are pulled up or down to hard, the control can get un aligned and jam. some manufacturers don’t put stoppers on the chain which causes the blind to over roll. This can lead to the fabric dragging on the floor and getting dirty or cause it to roll over the front of the tube causing unsightly gaps on the side of the fabric or cause it to roll skew and hit the brackets on the side damaging the fabric.  Also the fabric, if left down with the door or window open can blow around and cause ripples or worse in the fabric and start to look untidy if done repeatedly. We have also had cases where someone has stepped on the bottom rail while the blind is down causing the fabric to pull out of the locking tape, something that’s easy to fix, but caution must be taken when approaching these types of blinds. We have also bee asked to come repair or see what could be causing a blind to fall off the wall / window before and a common fault is the incorrect installation of the product. If the blind isn’t tight enough within the brackets, it can cause the blind to fall off relatively easy.

I think that covers it all, if you have any concerns or situations that you feel need to be covered in the or future articles, please feel free to call me on 082 301 2445.

Thanks again and until next time.

Jarred Baney