If you are a homeowner in a northern state, you can dramatically increase the life of your awning with a few simple steps. Most residential awnings should last more than seven years, and with a little preventative care, it will be around much longer.
With proper care, the functionality and ease of use will also improve. This is why with the approach of winter, you should be able to adequately prepare so that when Spring comes, it will be in a very good condition to be used again, and again.
Before looking at how to prepare for winter, it is important to take note of the fact that there are different types. When you understand this, then it becomes easier to take care of your home and prepare same for winter. The various types of awnings are as follows:
Open Roll Fabric Retractable Awning
This is best suited for verandas, upper floor balconies, and underneath eaves. It is a very economical way of protecting yourself from the direct rays of the sun and mild rainfall. It comes with exposed fabric roller, with a compact rail which is positioned at the front. For this type of awning, the best covering material is very soft vinyl.
Open Roll Awning With Metal Hood
The benefits of this type depend mainly on your geographic location. For those homeowners who are in snow-prone regions, this type may not make the best purchase due to the metal hood. This is mainly because there is the possibility of snow getting trapped in-between the hood and the fabric roll.
Cassette Style Retractable Awnings
With this particular type, the retractable fabric is enclosed in a full metal casing, which is why it is called “cassette”. When the fabric is retracted, the cassette casing is what protects it from dirt, dust, wear and tear, and other elements that might lessen the lifespan. The moment retraction is initiated and the fabric is remaining just a few inches to be retracted, the arms of the cassette are raised which in turn, allows a tight connection to the front bar against the metal cassette. Finally, the torque sensing motor is able to detect a complete retraction of the bar.
These are the three types, and now it is time to look at how to prepare your awning for winter. Listed below are some tips that would help you to take proper care and at the same time, prepare it for winter. They are as follows:
Check For Damages:
Before you start preparing for winter, you should take your time to check it for damages. Some of the damages to look out for include tears, worn parts, and others. You should ensure that the stitching is not unraveling at any point. Make use of valance, you should check to know if there is any wear as a result of being exposed to harsh elements. Should there be the presence of any issues, it is important that you have the damages corrected before it is packed up for the next season.
Clear all Debris
This is a step you should take seriously when it comes to preparing winter. You should take your time to dust it off. In doing this, you remove any leaves, dirt, pollen, and other debris that has gathered on it while it was in use. This way, you will be able to minimize chances of getting tears or scratches during washing by any sharp debris that is already on it.
Wash Your Awning
The next step in how to prepare to wash it. This step should be carried out with a soft washcloth and soapy water. As tempting as it might be, never make use of any harsh cleaners that are advertised to clean tough stains. You should also stay away from abrasive scrubbers as they will only end up damaging the fabric. Rinse thoroughly with clean water after washing.
Don’t Leave Out The Removable Parts: As you clean the fabric, it is also important that the removable parts are also cleaned. One of such removable parts is the valance. Having also faced the harsh elements, the valance is bound to be dusty. Go ahead and wash, dry up, roll up, and store the valance for the next spring season.
Take Down Awning Fabric and Store for Winter
If you have a retractable model or one in which the fabric can be removed, then this will greatly extend the lifespan. The metal bracing should be waterproof and without the material to crack during the cold weather, the entire unit will age incredibly slowly. If you are unable to remove the fabric, you may consider hiring a handyman to unfasten the brackets and store the entire unit including metal framework. This should only be handled by either a trained professional or someone who installed the unit if it is an off the shelf model. This is only necessary for people who live in the most northern states or face extreme weather. Before you pack up your awning, it is important that you leave it to dry completely. Air drying is a better option. When it is completely dry before it is packed up for the next spring, it will minimize or completely eliminate the possibilities of mold or mildew building up on the awning while it is tucked away for winter.
Sweep the Awning after Snow
If you leave it up for the winter, you will want to periodically brush the snow from the top. The frigid temperature along with the weight from the snow can lead to warping in some frames and cracking with vinyl material. You do not want to use a water hose to spray it off as the water may freeze creating a new set of problems. The two best options are either a large broom or brush with an extended handle. This allows you to push the snow aside. As you are doing this, you will want to be cautious not to create a hole in the fabric as it may be more rigid than the Summer months.
Open Roll Fabric Retractable Awnings
This is that type of awning that is best suited for verandas, upper floor balconies, and underneath eaves. It is a very economical way of protecting yourself from the direct rays of the sun and mild rainfall. It comes with exposed fabric roller, with a compact rail which is positioned at the front. For this type of awning, the best covering material is very soft vinyl.
These are just a few of the tips on how to prepare your awning for winter. If you feel it is something you might not be able to do on your own you can seek for professional help. This way, you can be sure of your investment being protected during the winter season from all the harsh elements accompanying it.