Awning Maintenance And Care: All You Need To Know

Person giving maintenance to an awning

Whether you already have a retractable awning at your home or business or are considering adding one soon, you may be thinking it will require plenty of work to keep it properly maintained. However, awning maintenance is much easier than people imagine. 

In fact, when you get in the habit of performing cleaning on a regular basis, you will find that caring for your awning is simple. As for what you should or should not do, here are some tips to ensure your retractable awning has a long and beautiful lifespan.

Awning Maintenance and Care Tips

1. Lubricate the Moving Parts

Once you have chosen a retractable awning and had it installed, remember to lubricate its moving parts at least once every year. This will ensure your awning opens and closes with as little effort as possible, keeping it quiet while doing so. For best results, use a dry silicone spray.  

2. Wash the Awning Fabric

One of the most important aspects of cleaning your retractable awning will be to wash the fabric once annually. After hosing it down to get rid of loose dirt and debris, use mild dishwashing detergent and a soft brush to gently scrub the fabric. Make sure you rinse off all the soap from the awning fabric, since leftover soap can leave a chalk-like residue. Before retracting, let the fabric dry, making sure no water has puddled on it.

3. Keep Shrubbery Trimmed Away from the Awning

One of the best things you can do in terms of awning maintenance is to keep nearby shrubbery trimmed away from the awning fabric. Along with getting your retractable awning dirty, the shrubbery’s leaves contain acidic compounds that can permanently stain the fabric. Also, it’s a good idea to keep it trimmed away from the lateral arms and awning frame, since vines could get tangled up and make it difficult for the awning to retract.

4. Don’t Use Insect Repellent for Awning Maintenance

If you are trying to keep bugs away from your deck or patio, don’t make the mistake of using insect repellant on your retractable awning. While the good news is that bugs will disappear, the bad news is that any repellant that makes its way onto the fabric will set the stage for stains, since the chemicals will reduce the fabric’s ability to resist water or mildew.

5. Inspect Your Awning for Damage

Though your Rollac retractable awning is made to withstand the toughest of conditions, this doesn’t mean something unexpected can’t happen now and then. Thus, while you are busy with your awning care and are cleaning your awning’s fabric, take a look at the frame and lateral arms to see if there are any visible signs of damage or rust. 

Should you notice something that may prevent your retractable awning from operating properly, make arrangements for immediate repairs. If you continue to use an awning that is damaged, a small problem may turn into something much bigger.

6. Don’t Overuse the Awning’s Motor

While the motor on your retractable awning is heavy-duty and made to last, that doesn’t mean you should put unnecessary strain on it day after day. To keep your awning’s motor in great shape, only extend your awning when you know you or others will be outside for an extended period of time. By constantly opening and closing your awning, this could shorten the motor’s lifespan.

7. Use the Right Amount of Tension

When many retractable awning owners extend their awning, they make the mistake of trying to make it too taut, especially if there is a breeze. This is particularly true of those who have a manual awning. To keep the proper tension on the awning fabric while still letting the arm of the awning have enough flexibility, we suggest you retract the awning one-quarter turn.  

8. Awning Winter Storage

If you will not be using your retractable awning during winter, follow a few tips for proper winter storage. First, put the awning in an area that is very dry and well-ventilated. Also, be sure the storage area you select is one that is free of mice, squirrels, or other wild critters, since they could do substantial damage to the awning while it’s in storage. Finally, don’t use a plastic bag for storage, since this is a surefire way to trap moisture and leave you with an awning covered in mildew when you retrieve it once the warm weather returns.

9. Don’t Have a Fire Under Your Awning

While it sounds like common sense, you would be surprised how many people damage their awning by having a fire or outdoor kitchen underneath it. In the best-case scenario, the heat produced will leave the awning slightly tinged from the fabric burning. In the worst-case scenario, you could find yourself with a retractable awning that is on fire. 

To avoid either of these problems, use good judgment and leave the heat and flames far away from your awning.

10. Water Accumulation Strains Your Awning

When you think about water on your awning fabric, the first thought you have is the possibility of it leading to mildew. While this is a concern, another thing you should remember is that letting a large amount of water accumulate on our awning can add a significant amount of weight to the structure. 

As a result, the extra weight may strain the awning’s lateral arms and frame. Should this occur often over a period of time, this could damage these and other components of your awning, making repairs a necessity.

Learn More About Awning Maintenance

Now that you know a bit more about various aspects of awning maintenance and care, it’s a great time to finally get that retractable awning you’ve always wanted. To learn more about the many styles of retractable awnings available today, contact us here at Rollac. Featuring a team of experts who can answer your questions, we can help you get the perfect awning for your home or business.