Adding a retractable, self-supporting awning helps provide shade and block rain from your patio without restringing air flow in your home. They offer a more contemporary design compared to their traditional canvas awnings since they are attached to your house with strong folding arms that support their entire weight. When retracted, the awning is totally hidden from view, hence a perfect combination of utility and style.
Since they are installed in the outdoors, they are prone to harsh elements, and you must take care to maintain the beauty, look and function of your patio awning. Here are a few good practices that will help keep your awning almost new.
Wash your awning every other month
Although they don't require much maintenance, scrubbing and rinsing off your awning using a garden hose is sufficient to maximise life and value. Make sure you gently bloom away any leaves or debris before washing. If you notice a few stains, a soft-brittle brush and a cleaning solution should do the trick.
Make sure the fabric is completely dry before retracting as residue water can lead to mold given the right conditions.
Retract your awning during long intervals such as winter
Many awnings are fitted for purely sun protection and cannot withstand severe winter conditions such as heavy rains of snow fall. Make sure you roll up your awning in case of rain or high winds, as rain water will stretch the fabric overtime or lead damaged hardware.
Alternatively, you can choose to install an electric awning with an inbuilt wind or rain sensor, that will retract automatically in case of harsh elements. This allows for a quicker response if nobody is home to retract the awning.
Make sure you trim the nearby tree of plants
Although modern awnings are made of high-quality materials, overhanging tree branches can lead to scratches or damage. Also, keep in mind that dry leaves or seedlings can lead to persistent stains that are hard to clean with a regular cleaning solution.
If your awning hangs underneath a tree, it is more likely to gather natural debris, which will double the cleaning requirements. Although you might be tempted by the additional shade the tree provides, make sure to keep overhung branches well-trimmed to maintain the quality of your awning.
Keep in mind that retractable awnings are primarily designed to provide shade and should not be left unattended when not in use. If you live in an area prone to sudden winds, make sure you investigate the possibilities of a retractable fabric system that is specifically designed to withstand more that just calm, sunny days.