Frequently Asked Questions

Can I leave the blinds down on windy days?

A: Ziptrak® blinds are trusted by thousands of Australian homes and businesses to provide an enjoyable outdoor living space. The strong and robust system is commonly installed throughout coastal regions and locations prone to high winds. If you are considering the wind speed, or wind rating for Ziptrak®, please take note of the following information:

In windy conditions, blinds should be left down and locked, or fully retracted – half way is the most vulnerable position. During severe weather events, your blinds should be fully retracted.

You may find Ziptrak® spring-balanced blinds are a little tricky to operate during windy conditions due to the pressure of the wind on the blind material. Use your hand to push against the blind material to reduce this pressure and then operate the blind.

Care must be taken when operating motorized Ziptrak® blinds in windy conditions. They must be supervised whilst raising and lowering at all times.

Installation is crucial to determining the performance of your blind in wind.

What are the maximum dimensions for Ziptrak® outdoor blinds?

A: The recommended maximum dimensions for Ziptrak® blinds are 6000mm wide by 3500mm high when using Sunscreen Mesh, or 5500mm wide by 3000mm high when using Clear PVC. Ziptrak® components including the top tube, spring and bottom bar are upgraded in size, and therefore strength, as the blind becomes larger. This allows the Ziptrak® system to perform at all sizes up to 6 meters, providing ease-of-use and superior wind performance.

Ziptrak® Fabricators will automatically upgrade the components of your system in order to strength your custom-made blind for larger openings. Importantly, there may be a difference between the size and appearance of the tube, pelmet or bottom bar, that should be considered when installing a large blind and small blind next to each other. Depending on the size of the blind and choice of material, there may be a single or multiple vertical seams between separate panels of blind material that have been welded together.

Ziptrak® is known in the industry for being a strong and robust outdoor blind system with premium wind performance and longevity.

Should I buy PVC or Sunscreen mesh blinds?

A: This depends on the type of protection you are looking for. If you want to block wind and maintain the temperature in your outdoor living space, whilst ensuring a clear view outside, PVC blinds are the best option. If you prefer to have some airflow, but primarily block sun and glare, then shade materials will be most effective. Sunscreen mesh materials can also block a high degree of wind and rain (up to about 96%), whilst also somewhat maintaining the temperature within your space.

Sunscreen mesh fabrics provide privacy during the day, allowing you to see outside but restrict the view into the outdoor area. At night, the opposite occurs; you won’t be able to see beyond the fabric, whilst someone standing outside will clearly be able to see in if you have a light on within your outdoor area. Motorisation is only recommended for SunScreen mesh blinds, not clear PVC.

What is a pelmet? Do Ziptrak® outdoor blinds have a pelmet?

A pelmet is a framework mounted over the top tube of the blind to conceal and protect the blind material and internal components. Ziptrak® offers a fully enclosed pelmet, designed to protect the blind for longevity and provide seamless visual integration with your decor. The pelmet is made from aluminium or steel and is available in a wide range of standard Colorbond® colours or with the option to totally customise the colour to your choice. Uniline over-roll pelmets can be used for Ziptrak® blinds as well, however, it will protect the roll from the top and front only. Cast aluminium pelmet end plates are utilised for a heavy-duty, long-lasting system. You don’t need to have a pelmet protecting your blind, although it is highly recommend, especially if the blind will be mounted in an unprotected location.

How are Ziptrak® blinds different to other brands?

A: Ziptrak® is a brand of outdoor track guided blinds, protected under patent and invented in Australia. Customers should check whether they are purchasing a genuine Ziptrak® system.

Ziptrak® is the leading brand of outdoor blinds, with a range of differences to competitor products, which combined, make a considerable difference in the operation and longevity of your system. Over 400 retailers in Australia stock our brand, whilst we also export to international markets. Ziptrak® is the trusted solution by thousands of households and businesses around the world, demanding a robust, long-lasting and easy to use outdoor blind.

Only Ziptrak® blinds have a centre-lock-release, which allows you to unlock both the left and right locks simultaneously from the middle. We are also the only system that allows you to lock and unlock the blind from both the inside and outside.

Next, Ziptrak® also has a unique method for attaching the blind material to the vertical tracks. We only utilise the finest materials with exceptional engineering and a patented design. Our system has a strong reputation within the industry, and is often imitated but never duplicated. This results in a secure hold, even with minor house movement and wind pressure on the fabric. The Ziptrak® system will not rattle in the wind, unlike many of the other brands. We also have unique optional extras such as the SolarSmart 100% solar power motorised operation.

Can Ziptrak® outdoor blinds be operated using a crank handle?

Ziptrak® blinds were invented and designed to avoid the time, hassle and energy required to operate a blind with a crank handle. Ziptrak® blinds are spring balanced which means a user can lower or raise the blind by simply moving it with their hand, leaving it securely in any position. Whilst a crank handle can take a minute to fully lower a blind, a Ziptrak® system takes a matter of seconds.

Can Ziptrak® outdoor blinds be locked?

A: The bottom bar locks into position with two locks at the bottom left and bottom right in order to keep the blind fully down and secured in high winds. If you are outside of the outdoor area and you would like to be able to unlock the blind, ask your retailer for a “reverse lock” addition to your centre-lock-release system. This will allow you to operate the centre-lock-release which faces the inside of your entertaining area, although you are on the outside.

These locks are not designed for use as a security measure. The blind system should not be used as barriers for babies or children. The centre-lock-release mechanism is not child-proof.

What is the recommended thickness of clear and tinted PVC for Ziptrak® blinds?

A: We recommend to use 0.75mm thick clear or tinted PVC for Ziptrak® blinds. 1mm thick PVC can be used too, however, there is no advantage using 1mm thick PVC in our opinion, and with larger Ziptrak® blinds it can even be a disadvantage, because of the 1mm thick PVC is heavier.

Can I motorise PVC blinds (Cafe blinds)?

Unfortunately not. PVC can become stiff in cold weather, which can prevent the PVC from sliding down the Ziptrak® vertical tracks. The PVC stiffness is not a problem with a manually operated Ziptrak® blinds, but in a motorised Ziptrak® application, the weighted bottom rail cannot always overcome the PVC’s stiffness.

What is a pelmet? Do Ziptrak® outdoor blinds have a pelmet?

A: A pelmet is a framework mounted over the top tube of the blind to conceal and protect the blind material and internal components. Ziptrak® offers a fully enclosed pelmet, designed to protect the blind for longevity and provide seamless visual integration with your decor. The pelmet is made from aluminium or steel and is available in a wide range of standard Colorbond® colours or with the option to totally customise the colour to your specifications. Uniline over-roll pelmets can be used for Ziptrak® blinds as well, however, it will protect the roll from the top and front only. Cast aluminium pelmet end plates are utilised for a heavy-duty, long-lasting system. You don’t need to have a pelmet protecting your blind, although it is highly recommend, especially if the blind will be mounted in an unprotected location.

Can I have motorised Ziptrak® blinds?

A: Yes. Motorisation of Ziptrak® blinds is a popular and convenient option for many people. Only Ziptrak® blinds with a SunScreen blind material can be motorised, using 240V/AC tubular motor with an obstacle detection feature. Motorisation is a good choice if the blind is mounted in a difficult to reach place, or regularly operated by people that will have troubles manually operating it.

For commercial applications, motorisation is perfect for operating a large number of blinds at once.

Strong wind can hold the material of a Ziptrak® blind preventing it from sliding down the tracks, therefore, we recommend that motorised Ziptrak® blinds will be supervised by the operator while they are moving.

Is it possible to install Ziptrak® blinds if the opening is more than 6000mm?

A: Yes, Ziptrak® blinds can easily span large openings. There are two options if your opening exceeds the maximum recommendation for a single blind:
1) A permanent post
2) A Ziptrak® removable post

These options allow you to have two or more Ziptrak® blinds next to one another with a separating post. Either post can be provided in both steel or aluminium and powder coated to match the other Ziptrak® hardware (side tracks, pelmet and bottom bar). The Ziptrak® removable post can be uninstalled within 60 seconds and offers a completely open span once removed.

Do I need council approval to install outdoor blinds?

A: Generally most councils do not require residents to apply for approval for the installation of outdoor blinds. However, seek independent advice specific to your given council and requirements. Buildings in a community group or managed by a strata may have restrictions that you should consider before deciding to install outdoor blinds.

How can I take care of my blinds?

A: Please click here to learn more about how to look after your investment.

Taking care of your blinds is important to their successful operation and visual condition into the future. Please ensure you correctly understand how to maintain the surfaces before attempting to clean. Users should be particularly careful with PVC blinds.

If you’re interested in cleaning your outdoor blinds click here to learn more about our cleaning product, Swiftee™ !

What colours are available?

A: In terms of the blind material, there are two categories; shade or PVC. Your local retailer will be able to offer you a range of blind material options, in different colours and degrees of visibility, to compliment your structure, décor and outdoor furniture. Ziptrak® does not manufacture or sell the fabric or PVC that is utilised with our track guided blind system.

The colour of the Ziptrak® system componentry (pelmet, bottom bar and vertical tracks) is also customised to your individual requirements. A standard range of Colorbond® colors is available for powder-coating the componentry to compliment your building (roof, guters, alfresco area). Additionally, you can custom select practically any colour for power-coating, although this generally adds cost compared to selecting from the standard range.

What are outdoor track guided blinds?

Ziptrak® is a patented outdoor track guided blind system, invented in Australia. Most blinds allow a user to lower and raise the blind, utilising the material of the blind to provide light control and privacy. Track guided blinds take this a step further, securing the blind material at the left and right within vertical tracks.

The blind material is always held within these tracks, and the tracks are mounted to the wall. This results in a protective layer that controls the flow of air and restricts dust, dirt and insects from entering. The blind won’t flap in the wind and there is no unsightly cords, ropes or latches. The sealed system allows the user to trap warmth within their outdoor area during winter, and block the heat from entering during summer.

There is a bar at the bottom of the material, which the user controls with their hand or via a remote for motorised operation. The bottom bar can be left at any height along the track. When fully retracted the blind rolls into itself at the very top, hidden by an optional pelmet. When fully down, the bottom bar locks (outdoor blinds only) at the lowest point to secure the blind, providing a secure and tensioned hold. Non-motorised blinds are spring balanced, so that the weight of the blind material is substantially reduced for the user. This results in a blind that can be lowered or retracted at the touch of a finger.

What is the difference between Cafe Blinds and Shade Blinds?

The term Café Blinds generally refers to a clear or tinted plastic PVC material as the skin of the blind. This style of blind provides a complete barrier against wind, dust and insects, as it offers a solid layer of plastic. Shade blinds refer to a mesh or canvas material, which has small holes throughout, allowing a minor degree of airflow, but still blocks dust and insects. Shade blinds block a higher degree of sun and glare compared with PVC materials, and often result in more privacy. Café blinds will be more effective at locking in the temperature that exists within the area. Please note, that if you are looking to motorise your blinds, Ziptrak® only recommend motorisation for SunScreen mesh blinds, not clear PVC.

What type of surfaces can the blinds be mounted to?

A: Your local retailer will be able to provide you with a customised solution for mounting Ziptrak® blinds. Generally, most installers will be comfortable installing onto wood, steel, brick and concrete surfaces. If you are in an area susceptible to high winds, or are looking for a very robust installation, make a note to request stainless steel rivets are used fix the Ziptrak® track to the Ziptrak® bracket channel.

There are a range of mounting options available for discrete and modern installation. Ziptrak® offers the most flexible and innovative system on the market, making it perfect for simple or complex installations.

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Ziptrak Usage Guide

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