Outdoor Shades For Heavy Winds
The Fortress™ Zipper Track System is the strongest retractable shade available against the elements, insects and critters. Available up to 20 ft w x 13 ft h, in a multitude of solar shade fabrics, it allows outward visibility and daytime privacy while taming the harsh sun.Withstands winds up to 50 mph.
Maximum Dimensions: 20’w x 12’h (240″w x 144″h) Crank operated or motorized.
The Fortress™ Zipper Track System is the strongest custom made retractable shade system against the elements. It is ideal for totally enclosing a patio, pergola or covered roof area against high winds, insects, critters, dirt and the elements.
The deluxe all-weather outdoor solar shade fabric is actually "framed out" with sturdy, non-rusting powder coated extruded aluminum parts. But this system is different from the standard outdoor shade with side rails and housing. With the Fortress™ Zipper Track System, the fabric is actually constructed with heavy duty zippers on the sides. These zippers lock into slotted powder coated aluminum side rails so the wind cannot blow the shade out of them. The shade glides up and down smoothly and can be stopped at any position. Powder coated aluminum housing at the top comes in a choice of six matching colors. The bottom weight bar is fitted with a brush that ensures a flush fit to the ground.
Transparent, all weather, outdoor solar shade fabrics cut the heat, glare and fading of outdoor furnishings. They turn outdoor areas into comfortable living spaces. On your exterior windows, outdoor solar shades stop more heat than indoor ones. The 10% openness blocks 90% of the light, 5% openness blocks 95% of the light and 3% openness blocks 97% of the light. Eastern and western exposures generally require tighter weaves. Solar shade fabrics provide daytime privacy with full vision out. Darker colors give sharper outward visibility and better glare reduction. The mesh allows air to pass through for ventilation. Also available in Insect Screening.(Insect Screening does not offer any solar protection.) All fabrics contain Microban, a biocide to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew. We use wide fabrics to help eliminate the need for seaming. All seaming is sonically welded so it will not come apart.
Fortress™ Zipper Track outdoor shades are perfect for water front vacation homes in which high winds may be an issue. Instead of moving big pieces of outdoor furniture inside when you leave for a season, enclose them with the Fortress Zipper Track. When you return simply hose down the tracks to make sure they are clear of dirt and debris before lifting the shades. For crank operated shades, one hand brace provided PER ORDER. Shades can be raised in windy conditions but must be lowered in calm conditions so the zipper can lock into the slots in the track.Fire Rating For Solar Shade Fabrics National Fire Protection Association NFPA No. 101 "Life Safety Code" How Our Shades Are Meticulously Assembled and Packed
DON'T ROLL SHADES DOWN in windy conditions--however, you may roll them UP in windy conditions.
Housing box and side rails must be mounted flush with each other. Housing must be level. Side rails must be plumb and parallel.
Watch the shades when you are operating them. Stop the shade if it is not operating correctly. Do not continue to operate a shade that appears to be jammed. Reverse the direction and inspect the track for debris, etc.
Keep tracks clear of debris. Hose the shades and tracks occasionally, especially if you have not operated them for a while.
Lubricate the zippers and PVC inserts inside the rails with a dry silicone spray regularly to ensure smooth operation.
Do NOT use oil based lubricants as these will cause dirt to build up and affect the way the zipper operates.
It is best to cover all openings and have them all up or all down. If you have most closed but a few open and it's windy, air pressure will build up inside and the shades that are down may malfunction
Motors do not have a manual override.
Fortress Shades are designed to be installed so that the wind hits them from the front for best results. If you mount them with the back facing the wind it is more likely that the rails could be forced off by the shade fabric and bottom bar being forced against the fronts of the rails.
DO NOT ROLL THE SHADE DOWN IN WINDY CONDITIONS!
Fortress Solar Zipper Track
General Info about Motors
Our standard outdoor motor is the XQ5 Premium Radio Controlled Motor with a built in radio receiver. These motors have a 5 year warranty. They are cost effective and reliable and have all the options of Somfy motors EXCEPT they do not work with home automation. If you need home automation, you will need to order the Somfy Motors.
As with all motors, the factory programs the remotes to the motors and you merely set the limit stops. Instructions for programming limit stops are found on the Installation/Videos tab. Motors can be ordered on the left or the right. XQ5 Motors have an antenna in the motor head and come with an 8’ power cord. (16’4” and 32’9” power cords are available, and may be cut shorter as long as there is enough to create a 'drip loop'.) Somfy Motors have an antenna inside the 6' power cord (12', 18', and 24' power cords are available. Do not cut shorter than 3' as you will compromise the antenna.)
Motors plug into grounded outlets. You may hard wire them, but must install a shut off switch for each motor so you can disconnect each motor from power separately should you ever need to reprogram. Motors are 120V and draw about 1.6 amps. Outdoor shades with motors are best ordered with housing boxes to prevent water from getting into the motor. Make sure you create a drip loop to keep water from running down the cord into the motor head. (This means you run the power cord down from the motor and then up to the outlet so the water will drip off the bottom of the cord and can't run up the cord.) Operating temperature range for motors is 14 degrees F to 104 degrees F (-10 degrees C to 40 degrees C.)
If you are installing your shade in a completely weather tight pocket, you may order a motorized shade with exposed roll brackets. Call for pricing. Remotes and surface mounted wall switches are all wireless. They enable you to control one or more motors with one receiver. They are either single channel when ordering just one shade or multi channel which can operate each shade individually or as a group. See Motor Accessories Link for more information.
Motors do not have a manual override.
XQ5 Premium Motor Controls
White Smart Line Handheld Remote
Hand held Smart Line Remotes come as 1 channel or 5 channel and are available in white only. They have table/wall support with a re-verso transparent bracket that allows the transmitter to stand on a table or to be fixed on the wall.Battery is CR2430. (5 channel remote has 5 separate channels plus an 'all' channel.)
White Wall Mounted
Surface Mounted control is a wireless wall switch and avoids cutting into drywall. It does not require an electrician. Available as single channel or four channel it is battery operated and easy to install. The remote can be used as a hand held or a wall mounted control simply by sliding on and off the surface mounted bracket. Available in white only.
Slim Line Timers available in both black and white. The timer is a multifunction remote with 90 channels display and timer. You can program up to 6 groups of 15 channels each. It also has a clear plastic wall bracket.
Wind Sensor ( Click To Enlarge)
SOL One Channel Remote
Climate Sensors Wind Climate Sensors and Sun and Wind Climate Sensors are available and automatically control your motorized shades based on current weather conditions to help prevent damage. Please read Installation Instructions on the Installation Tab before installing these items. Wind sensors can be programmed to retract the shade between 6-31 mph. The sensors plug into a standard grounded outlet. You can set the shade limit stops with any QX5 remote. You so not need the SOL remote. If you have the Sun and Wind Sensor, you also need to order the SOL one channel remote to turn the sun sensor function on and off. It is best to have one sensor for each direction your shades are facing as the wind will come at the shades differently. When wind higher than your setting is sensed for a duration of 2 minutes, the shades will automatically retract. Once the wind speed has lowered to below your setting and has remained lower for 20 minutes, you will be able to control your shade with your remote. If you have the Sun and Wind Sensor, the shades will go down by themselves when the wind stops. Bear in mind that the 20 minutes is from when the wind is reduced. If it goes back above your setting before the 20 minutes is up it will be yet another 20 minutes before you or the sun sensor can lower the shade. In other words, if you have the Sun and Wind Sensor, after the 20 minutes of calm, if the sun is still shining on the sun sensor, the shade WILL go back down. If all you have is the wind sensor, it will not. SOMFY MOTOR CONTROLS Somfy offers a variety of ways to control you shades that go beyond the simple RTS hand held or wall mounted single and wall mounted remotes. Use the following information to select the right accessories to control your environment and safeguard your shades. REMOTES 1 Channel Remote Multi Channel Hand Held Remote (4 individual channels for shades or groups of shades, and one channel for 'all' 16 Channel Hand Held Remote Wall Mounted 1 or 5 Channel-available white, ivory, and black. Wireless. We recommend that you also order a hand held remote to program your limit stops as it’s difficult to do with the wall mount units. Wireless Wall Switch The DecoFlex ™ RTS Switch is battery-powered and a completely wireless wall switch that provides an ideal way to control motorized products when entering or exiting a room. Available as either single or multi- channel it is available in white or ivory. TIMER & REMOTE If being used with one shade, the Telis 1 Chronis timer can be used to set the limit stops. For more than one shade you will also need the multi channel remote to set the limit stops. The timer can be set to lower the shades once a day and raise them once a day. If used in conjunction with the wind sensor, the wind sensor will raise them as described above, and you can lower them with your remote after the wind dies down, but the timer will not lower the shades again that same day as it only sends one ‘lower’ signal and one ‘raise’ signal per day. SUN & WIND SENSOR You must have a special ‘Soliris’ hand held remote to set the sun sensor, which can also be used to set your limit stops. Wall mounted remotes can’t set the sun sensor, so if you want one of those it would be in addition to the Soliris. The wind sensor plugs in with a transformer and can control multiple shades. It is best to have one for each direction your shades are facing as wind will come at the shades differently. You can set the wind speed anywhere from 6-31 mph. When wind higher than your setting is sensed for a duration of 2 minutes, the shades are automatically retracted. The sun sensor lowers the shade when it senses enough light. When the light dims (either because of nightfall, clouds, or shadows from trees etc.) the shades are retracted. If the sun sensor has lowered the shade, but the wind exceeds your setting, the wind sensor will over ride the sun sensor and raise the shade. Once the wind is reduced to below your setting for 15 minutes with the sun shining on the sensor, the shade will be lowered again. Bear in mind that passing clouds and shadows will raise and lower the shade possibly many times a day, with the wind sensor also raising it for wind. You may disconnect the sun sensor and just operate it manually, but you can’t disconnect the wind sensor as the shade will then behave erratically, searching for a signal from the disconnected wind sensor every hour. You must purchase the Soliris Remote for programming the Sun Sensor. RAIN AND SUN SENSOR You must have a special ‘Soliris’ hand held remote to set the sun sensor, which can also be used to set your limit stops. Wall mounted remotes can’t set the sun sensor, so if you want one of those it would be in addition to the Soliris. Solar-powered, so there is no need to plug the sensor in. We would recommend this for vinyl shades, when you want to have the shades lowered whenever it rains. You can set the rain sensor from condensation/fog to heavy rain. Snow will also activate the sensor. The sun sensor would be set to raise the shade when it senses enough light. When the light dims (either because of nightfall, clouds, or shadows from trees etc.) the shades are lowered. If the sun sensor has raised the shade because it is sunny, but the rain exceeds your setting, the rain sensor will over ride the sun sensor and lower the shade. This would take care of sun showers. Once the rain is reduced to below your setting for 2 minutes, with the sun shining on the sensor, the shade will be raised again. Bear in mind that passing clouds and shadows will raise and lower the shade possibly many times a day, with the rain sensor also lowering it for rain. You may disconnect the sun sensor and just operate it with the remote, but you can’t disconnect the rain sensor as the shade will then behave erratically, searching for a signal from the disconnected rain sensor every 20 minutes or so. MY LINK (App is free, but you buy the MyLink) You must have a regular hand held or wall mounted remote to set the limit stops. My Link is a smart phone app that you can use to control your shades from afar. You won’t have a way of knowing if your shade is up or down from the app; you would have to have some sort of home security camera for knowing this. If you use it with a wind sensor you would be able to lower the shade again with the app as long as the 15 minutes of reduced wind has gone by, again you would need to have a security camera that would tell you if the shade was up or down. My Link has a built in timer that you can set for 5 scenarios (5 ups and 5 downs a day.) If used with a wind sensor and the shade was put up because of wind, you could have the shade automatically go down again at a preset time—as long as the wind was not blowing at that time.
Fortress Solar Zipper Track Construction
Fortress shades are wind rated at 50mph. Shades must be mounted to the underside of a beam/ceiling or to the face of a beam/wall, and cannot be 'end mounted.'
Side Rail System Fabric has industrial zippers on the edges which lock securely into the side rails. Order with L Channel brackets when inside mounting for an easy installation. Side rails are approximately 2" wide, available in 8 colors.
Housings are powder coated extruded aluminum housings to hide and protect the roll. 5 1/2" Square housings are available in 8 colors. Also available with 4 1/2" housing on shades up to 14' x 10'.
Bottom bar: Powder coated aluminum to match the side rails and housing. Fitted with a brush to seal the shade to the floor. (When fully retracted, there will be about 2” of bottom slat and ¼”—1/2” of brush that will still hang below the housing.) Standard Pile Brush 1/2". 2" Pile Brush available to compensate for slanted floors.
Splines: Fabric is secured to the roller with a sturdy spline that runs the full width of the shade. The ends are sealed to prevent the fabric from sliding.
Components are all made of corrosion resistant materials (powder coated aluminum, powder coated steel, stainless steel, or galvanized steel.)
Hand Brace: Each crank operated shade ORDER comes with ONE free properly sized hand brace. Move the hand brace from shade to shade to operate them. Comes in your choice of 3 colors. Available in 48", 60", 72", 84" and 97" long, you may order extras for convenience.
You will need to supply your own lag bolts for mounting your shades.
Insect Screen is very easy to see through, tear and puncture resistant. Not intended for solar protection.
10% openness means the fabric is 90% dense and keeps out 90% of the sun.
5% openness means the fabric is 95% dense and keeps out 95% of the sun.
(Best for Eastern and Western exposures.)
3% openness means the fabric is 97% dense and keeps out 97% of the sun.
(Best for Eastern and Western exposures.)
Darker colors provide sharper outward visibility and 10% more heat rejection than lighter colors. Shades need to be retracted under windy conditions.
*Shades larger than 120″wide x 117″high will require a horizontal sonically welded seam approximately ½” wide.
**Shades larger than 96″wide x 94″high will require a horizontal sonically welded seam approximately ½” wide .
***Shades larger than 126″wide x 123″high will require a horizontal sonically welded seam approximately ½” wide.
These fabrics include microban antimicrobial additives which inhibit the growth of stain and odor causing mold and mildew.
We are happy to send you up to 6 swatches per shade type.
PWC Black, PWC Bronze, PWC Dark Beige, PWC Gray, PWC Ivory, PWC Light Beige, PWC Sand, PWC White
Fortress Solar Zipper Track
Some videos may show components that do not look exactly like the ones you will receive (for instance, the housing box is square shaped and does NOT have brushes) but the procedure being demonstrated is correct. The clip that shows the programming of the remote actually has a Grande shade in the background, which is why you can detect a gap beside the fabric. Your Fortress shade will be sealed in the rails.Note that programming instructions on the videos are for Somfy motors. If you have the XQ5 motor, please refer to the pdf instructions for how to program.
For a flush mount 5 1/2" . If mounting inside a ‘pocket’ you will need about twice this depth to install the shade.
Q: What is the fabric width?
Fabric zips into side channels. There is no gap.
Q: Will Solar Shades save me money?
Exterior Solar Shades are the best defense against the heat. They started in Europe as a way to keep buildings cool. Because they absorb the solar radiation before it passes through and needs to be reflected out, they keep the interior much cooler. Darker colors on the exterior absorb more light and are therefore 10% more effective than light colors against the heat.
Outdoor Shade Warranty
OUTDOOR SHADE WARRANTY North Solar Screen, LLC warranties:
Motors, remotes, sensors, controls, for 5 years
Cranks, housings, side rails, cables, cable hardware, fabric seams, for 10 years
IF INSTALLED WITHIN 3 MILES OF SALT WATER, cranks, housings, side rials, cables, and cable hardware have a reduced warranty of ONE year. Fabric and motor warranties are unchanged.
Suntex 97, Suntex 95, Suntex 90 fabrics for 10 years; Clear Vinyl, and Soltis Blackout for 5 years.
Shades must be installed correctly per instructions. We will request photos and videos of your installation.
Shades must not be left down in winds greater than the product is rated for. We may check historic wind speed data in your area.
Good for original owner of shades only.
Under no circumstances are installer fees covered, regardless of whether it is a warranty issue
Replacement parts are sent Ground. If expedited shipping is desired you may pay the difference between Ground and expedited shipping.
HOLES IN FABRIC
Please see our slide show on the Products Page that shows how carefully and meticulously our shades are manufactured and shipped. There are no sharp instruments on site. Fabrics are cut with state of the art lasers, seams are sonically welded, and our tables are rounded and smooth. All shades are thoroughly inspected before they are carefully packaged to ensure they are pristine. Therefore rips, tears, or cuts in the fabric were either caused by the shipping company, opening the boxes with knives or scissors, or happened during installation.
SHIPPING DAMAGES (on receipt)
If shipping damage exception number is obtained from carrier, all damaged/missing parts are replaced free of charge if reported within 30 business days of delivery. Photographs showing damaged packaging and parts are required.
If shipping damage exception number is not obtained from carrier, all damaged/missing parts are replaced free of charge if reported within 5 business days of delivery. Photographs showing damaged packaging and parts are required. IF YOU DO NOT REPORT WITHIN 5 DAYS THE DAMAGE CLAIM WILL BE DENIED AND YOU WILL NEED TO PAY FOR THE PARTS AND THE SHIPPING. YOU MUST RETAIN THE PACKING MATERIAL SO THE CARRIER CAN INSPECT IT OR THE CLAIM WILL BE DENIED.
NOT AS ORDERED OR DEFECTIVE (when installing)
If reported within 60 days of receipt of the original order, replacement parts/shipping are free of charge. If reported 61 days or more after receipt of original order, replacement parts are free BUT YOU PAY SHIPPING.
Defective means fabric mis-weave, bad powder coat finish, lumpy seams, non working motors or remotes, non working crank gears or clutches at installation time. We may request photos and videos.
Not as ordered means wrong size, color, fabric, lift system, cable anchor hardware, etc. We may request photos of what you received.
Our confirmations detail shade dimensions, fabric dimensions and colors, and all the specifics about the construction of the shades you are ordering. Because we are not on site, it is your responsibility to carefully read them to verify that they are correct when you OK the order.
There is a +/- 1/8” production tolerance. For wrong size you must send photos showing the product being measured. We may also request other photos/videos.
DAMAGED (after installation)
We will request photos and video and measurements to try to determine the cause of the problem (for example, failed welds, holes in fabric, cables pulling out, shades rolling crookedly, shades jamming in tracks.) Most of these problems are caused by shades being left down in more wind or colder temperatures than they rated for, issues with the installation causing the shade not to track or roll correctly, parts of the structure it is installed on interfering with the fabric and damaging it. If it is determined that the cause is weather or installation related you will need to purchase replacement parts and pay for shipping regardless of when you report it.
If it is determined that a factory defect caused it, if reported before 60 days from receipt of the original order, replacement parts and shipping are free. If reported 61 days or more after receipt of the original order, replacement parts are free BUT YOU PAY SHIPPING.
If motor fails in the first 60 days we will send you a new motor and label for sending the bad motor back no charge. If it is after 60 days you will be charged $50 for shipping (pickup of bad motor and delivery of new one.)
Before any replacement motors or electronics are sent out, a full trouble shooting session with our factory tech must take place, and the correct photos/videos requested sent to us to see if the problem may be an onsite issue.
Evidence of water in the motor will void the motor warranty
Operating motorized shades without using the cable guides or side rails voids the motor warranty.
Expedited shipping for replacement parts
Damage caused by weather (wind or temperatures that the product is not designed for)
Damage caused by improper installation or installing in ways that are against our
Normal wear and tear, wear from fabric rubbing on walls, posts, or any part of the structure the
shade is mounted on, or extra bolts you wrongly installed on the shade.
Damage to plastic hand brace handles from being left out in the sun or hanging on the shade
Rusting to stainless steel or steel components if within 3 miles of salt water or adjacent to a chlorinated
pool (warranty reduced to one year)
Please notify North Solar Screen, LLC at the time of order if you have a preferred shipping carrier. It is imperative that you open all shipments upon delivery while in the presence of the delivery person(s) and inspect the product for damage. If damages are concealed, it is very important that claims are filled immediately. North Solar Screen, LLC will not be responsible for claims that cannot be collected due to non-reporting of damages in time.
Clean the surface carefully to make sure there is nothing abrasive on the clear vinyl window by flushing with clear water.
Apply either IMAR 313 Clear Vinyl Clean & Protect or Sumner Labs 210 Plastic Cleaner and Polish. These are both spray cleaners. Wait 20 seconds or so and then wipe with a soft cloth—microfiber is the best (not paper towels)
If you accidentally scratch the clear vinyl window, you can polish the scratches away using Sumner Labs 210 Scratch remover. This comes in a flip top bottle. Follow up with IMAR Strataglass Protective Polish if necessary.
NEVER USE: Windex, Rain-X, Pledge, Plexus, Simple Green, Orpine, car wax or any other harsh cleaner.
Sponge with a solution of one cup mild detergent with one cup household bleach in three gallons of water. Avoid rubbing too hard. Rinse thoroughly with clear water and air dry by hanging shade in a roll down position. If you see mildew on the fabric or do not see any but know it is a problem in your area periodically scrub or sponge the fabric with a commercial mildew remover or 1 part bleach to 3 parts water and rinse thoroughly. Avoid skin and eye contact when working with bleach solutions.
“Just wanted to let you know we received and installed our solar screen and it looks great. It fit great and blends in beautifully. When it is rolled up, it is hardly noticeable. With the help of the videos on your website, the installation went very well. ”
Tom Ashman, PA
“The installation went smoothly. The instructions were clear. I like the way the shades look and operate. They blend nicely with the décor of the porch. They do a good job of blocking the winds and sunlight. The North Solar Screen experience was very good, they made the process easy.”
Kelvin Bogle – Westminster, CO
“The zipper track shades work great. I’m very pleased. This is the introduction but there will definitely be more orders.”
W Britz – Wheatland, WY
“We had a bad storm and they held their ground, just as advertised. Nothing got wet nor ruined. Great product.”
How to Measure for the Fortress Zipper Track Shade System
Inside frame mount, measure the width at the top, middle and bottom. Take the narrowest dimension. We will deduct a total of ¾” to allow for fastening heads and “L” mounting channel thickness. Always use the longest dimension.
Outside, flush/surface mount, measure the opening dimensions. To allow for the side tracks which are each 2” wide, we will add 5” to your opening width to make up for any irregularities. Side rail height will be from the top of the housing box, which is 5 ½” tall, to how far down you want the shade to drop. The side rails will be about 2” longer than needed to allow for any variances. Adjustments will need to be made on site.