Here in Western Washington we have beautiful scenic views. Outdoor living is part of our joy, but it has been known to rain a bit, now and then. Also, spring and summer bring pleasant afternoon and evening events with family and friends, but often require sun glasses, wide brimmed hats, and fans to let us enjoy the views and keep us comfortable.
Retractable awnings are reliable additions to our lives.
Retractable awnings are designed to protect you from the harsh, damaging rays of the sun without essentially reshaping a structure or hoisting obstructive support poles. They keep the elements, and the heat off you. Shading your eyes from the bright sunlight is a blessing. Simply extend the awning for instant shade and protection. Awnings decorate your outdoor space to give it a more attractive look. However, retractable awnings go further to not only provide a comfortable and protected outdoor living space, but they can be put away with the touch of a button.
Contrary to permanent deck covers or patios, retractable awnings are fixed to the house. They can mount on the wall, on the roof, or underneath an eve or soffit. They can extend over the deck or patio whenever they are needed to provide complete control over the weather . . . on your terms. In addition, they can have sensors to automatically bring them in if a storm comes in. A common feature of these retractable awnings is they are custom made by the manufacturer to fit the length and width of almost all decks and patios. They are made with durable fabric and come in different colors and patterns.
The awnings come with options for motorization with remote control or wall switch. They can retract underneath a protective hood, or, they can tuck away into a very modern cassette that hides very well on the house. The awnings can be operated off of a smart phone and are easily integrated into smart-home automation systems.
A retractable awning is among the most beautiful and favorable accessory to any home or office and it does not block the view. Its design allows it to be self-storing when retracted. However, for it to enhance and prolong your outdoor lifestyle, it requires proper care and maintenance. Taking steps to add life and maintain the appearance of your retractable awning will make it remain an essential part of your exterior design.
This article will, therefore, mention tips about proper care and maintenance of retractable awnings to prepare you, if you are considering a purchase of a retractable awning.
Tips To Maintain Retractable Awnings in Good Condition
First of all, in order to maximize the durability of the awning, ensure you retract it when:
- You plan on being away from home for a long period
- Severe winds of about 15-20mph and stronger are predicted. Since winds are un-foreseeable forces that rapidly change direction and intensity, the lifting up effect can damage retractable awnings.
- With sufficient pitch, the awnings will shed water in a light rain. Be very aware of water pooling in heavier rains and adding a lot of weight to the arms.
- Do not leave your awning out in snow. Frost and snow are fine when the awning is retracted.
The ideal weather condition to extend a retractable awning is when you are relaxed outdoors reading the paper or dining with family and friends.
- Keep your screens and awning clean: most fabrics utilized in the making of awnings are mildew resistant. Nevertheless, if foreign materials and dirt collect on the fabric, mildew damage can occur.
- Keep vines and hedges far from your awning: some plants give off acids which can be damaging to fabric or the hardware parts. Trim shrubbery and vines to keep them far from the awning.
- Once every year, lubricate moving parts with a lubricant preferably a dry silicone spray.
- Do not use your awning in rain or storm conditions
- To clean or remove stains, do not use spot removers or strong solvents. They can tarnish or bleach the fabric
- Do not use excessive force to extend or retract a crank-operated awning
- Do not use any pesticide on the fabric because they can cause induce fabric staining and hinder water repellency
- Do not allow stagnant water to collect on the awning. If water starts to pool, bring the awning in.
- Do not expose your awning to hot temperatures or direct flames. The smoke, fumes, and grease can coat and discolor the fabric.
- Do not allow any debris, like twigs, stones, and leaves to be rolled up with the awning
How to clean your awning
Cleaning retractable awnings prolong and safeguards their good appearance and service life. A fitting cleaning timetable begins within the first year you get your awnings.
Once every month, rinse your awning with a garden hose. Take care to confirm that the fabric dries up completely before retracting the awning. The underside of the awning is cleaned by brushing it with a simple household broom.
Regular upkeep means once in a year cleaning with extra care when soiling and stains appear.
Step by step cleaning method of retractable awnings
- Consult the fabric manufacturer for the correct cleaning instructions before cleaning any awning fabric.
- Start by cleaning the underside of the awning by slowly brushing with a soft bristled brush.
- Remove all dirt and debris with a dry, stiff brush.
- Softly rinse the topside of the awning using a garden hose, be careful to keep the water stream off the motor.
- Get rid of any small stubborn marks with a soft cloth or brush and a gentle, non-bleach, non-detergent soapy solution.
- Rinse the awning completely and carefully with clean water. Any film left on the fabric leaves marks and chalky residues.
- Use an approved conditioning solution in case the fabric finish needs waterproofing.
For more information on awnings and sun shades, please call Tacoma Tent & Awning at 800-658-5041 or 253-627-4128 – Visit online – tacomatent.com/custom-retractable-awnings/