Awnings That Last – How to Maintain Them
Awnings are on the first line of defense for protecting homes against harsh weather. Maintaining them is essential to the lasting protection they offer for your indoor and outdoor possessions.
Aluminum awnings require little work. A simple spray of water and wipe down of the framework is easy to do at the start of the outdoor season. More frequent washings are better if you live in a salt-air environment. If the awning is retractable with a motor, be sure to avoid getting the motor wet.
Stationary Fabric Awnings
Fabric awnings are also tough; but by nature, they are more delicate than aluminum awnings. Stationary fabric awnings should be pitched sharply enough so that rainwater runs off quickly. Brush off any loose dirt that has collected on the awning, then hose it down and let it air dry. A gentle annual scrubbing using a non-detergent cleanser and a soft bristle brush will keep it looking great. Be sure to trim any plant life away from the awning since growth on or near them can damage the fabric.
Retractable Fabric Awnings
If the awning is retractable, these especially need to be treated with care. Retractable awnings should always be retracted completely in inclement weather to avoid:
- pooling of water (awnings are generally not designed to handle sustained water weight)
- wind damage
- freezing of the fabric (which can damage both the fabric and the motor)
Cleaning can also be done by brushing away loose dirt, hosing it down, and letting it air dry. Be sure the fabric is completely dry before retraction to preserve the life of the motor. A gentle scrub with a non-detergent cleanser and a soft bristle brush will get the job done. Every two to three years, a more thorough scrub down of fabric awnings will provide the chance to remove stubborn stains and give the awning a deeper cleaning.
Awnings are the first responders when it comes to protecting your home from extreme elements. In other words, they take a beating so your home doesn’t have to. Keep them in top shape with simple and regular maintenance and preventive care.