When you've invested in a quality awning, the right care and attention are important to ensure that you get the longest possible life from it. Although the summer season is in full swing, it's a good time to start thinking about what your retractable awning is going to need to get through the winter safely. The better prepared that you are when the leaves start falling, the sooner that you'll be able to get your awning packed away and protected for the cold season. Here are some tips to help you prepare and pack your awning for winter.
Cleaning Things Off
It's best to pack your awning away before the temperatures start to drop below freezing. You'll have to wash the awning before you pack it away. If it's too cold outside, it's likely to freeze and cause damage to the fabric. Start in the mid-fall season so that you can clean it up and get it put away before the weather gets too cold.
Use a garden hose to rinse the awning completely. This will remove any loose debris or leaves. If there are any stuck-on dirt spots, you'll want to use a soft brush to get rid of them. For surface dirt that needs a bit more attention, you can add a few drops of mild detergent (such as a gentle dish soap) into a gallon bucket of water. Dip the brush in soapy water and scrub the problem areas gently.
Make sure that you're dipping the brush frequently to keep it damp with cleaning solution. Otherwise, you risk damaging the fabric. Then, rinse the surface clean with your hose.
Drying Things Out
Leave the awning out until it has dried completely. You don't want to roll it up until it's completely dry because even a small amount of moisture can cause mold and mildew growth on the fabric, which will destroy your awning.
Rolling Things Up
Retract the awning all the way. Look for any hanging fabric or loose threads that you'll need to tuck away. Then, secure the seasonal cover over the awning mount. The cover should snap into place over the top of the awning case. These covers protect the awning and the motor components inside from any damage due to winter weather.
Retractable awnings should last for many years provided that they are well-maintained. If there are any signs of damage on the awning while you're packing it up, it's in your best interest to have the damage repaired by a professional before putting it away for the season. Then you can roll it out and clean it for the spring without worrying about the damage getting worse during the winter.