If you have a retractable awning, then you know just how versatile and convenient they can be. However, they also require some routine maintenance in order to be sure they stay in good shape and work as they should for as long as possible. The information detailed below will be a great place for you to start with regards to caring for your retractable awning properly.
Protect your retractable awning from the elements:
Since retractable awnings are retractable, they are fairly protected from the elements, but you will still want to put in some effort to make sure you are going the extra mile to keep yours in the best condition possible.
Protect the awning from rainwater – Make sure you have retracted the awning when you know rain is on the way. If you don't get to it in time, make sure you do so as soon as you can. Puddles of rainwater can cause the fabric to stretch out, causing future problems with the awning.
Protect the awning from high winds – High winds will catch the fabric of the awning and cause it to lift, which can also stretch it permanently. Always try to have the awning retracted as soon as you start to hear or see the winds move in. If you aren't able to retract the awning before the winds come, keep in mind that it's better to be late than to not retract it at all.
Protect the awning from ice-caused motor damage – It's best to have the awning retracted when you know the temperature is going o get near freezing. Otherwise, you run the risk of the awning developing ice on it. If this happens and you don't know it is icy, you can damage the awning motor by trying to retract it with an icy layer on it. Therefore, your best bet is going to be to wait for the ice to melt or to pour warm water on it to help the melting process go faster. Once there is no more ice on it, you can safely retract it.
Protect the awning from snow – You never want to leave the awning extended when there is the chance of snow. Snow can be heavy and really stretch out its fabric when it weighs it down. If you come outside to find snow on the awning, you want to brush it off immediately, make sure there is no ice left on it and then retract it.
Protect the awning from mildew – Retracting your awning once it has been exposed to rainwater, ice or snow will leave it susceptible to milder. Therefore, you want to extend it on the next nice day you have and be sure to give it a good cleaning, then allow it to fully dry before you retract it again.
Protect the awning from added weight and/or stress – Keep in mind that you never want to put any added weight or stress on the awning. This means making sure people don't throw wet towels or other items on it to dry them, kids don't attempt to hang from them and they aren't used for any other purpose than providing you with shade.
Protect your awning from the mechanical breakdown – If your awning has a manual crank, make sure you are gentle with it and that it moves smoothly. If you notice that it is hard to turn, then you want to determine what the issue is and take care of it before you go any further.
Protect your awning from dirt damage – Retracting a dirty awning can make the dirt get ground in and it will become more and more stubborn. This is why it's a good idea to sweep off the fabric about once a month and spray it down as needed. Keep in mind, anytime you spray the awning down, you want it to be completely dry before retracting it. If the awning is going to take a bit of scrubbing, you can use a liquid dish soap and a nylon brush to clean it.
To learn more, contact a company like Lockhart Gene & Son Canvas Awnings.