The leaves were raked. The vegetables are harvested from the garden. The garden furniture is safely stored in the garage. With a satisfied smile you go inside and know that everything has been done to prepare your home for the winter.
But wait! Your retractable awning needs some love before the snow flurries begin.
Depending on where you live and what type of retractable awning you have, you can use this in winter to keep your terrace free of snow, or just sit outside and enjoy the occasional sunny day. Some people even keep them open all year round and don’t even have to keep their furniture because the retractable awning protects them efficiently.
Here are four steps you need to take to prepare your retractable awning for winter, whether you use it all winter or keep it safely stowed until spring.
- Unroll the awning and inspect it for cracks or damage that may have occurred during the summer. Cracks and fissures can worsen as temperatures drop and ice and snow build up on them. If the fabric frays in an area, it is more likely to dissolve as it gets colder. You should also check the valance of your retractable awning (if any) as it is more prone to wind damage and wears out faster than other parts of the awning.
- Dust your awning. While it may seem unnecessary, pollen, dust, dirt, and leaf fragments have most likely accumulated on your retractable awning in spring, summer, and autumn without you knowing it – not to mention that animals are likely to have run over it. These elements together can sometimes leave a greasy film on it. As soon as the temperature drops, this additional dust freezes on your retractable awning and causes further damage and wear and tear on the fabric.
- Wash and dry your awning thoroughly. Most awnings only need to be washed with soap and water as anything stronger can damage the fabric. You can then dry it off with a soft cloth. Air drying is not recommended as this can cause streaks. Manual drying also prevents mold and mildew from building up. Since some parts may be more difficult to reach, do the best you can. If the sun is shining, it’s okay to let them dry with a cloth after drying, as long as you’ve wiped them down as much as possible beforehand.
- Pull your awning back to make sure it closes properly and no fabric is hanging out. Every time you clean your awning, it is important to ensure that nothing is damaged. Not to mention that you want to keep it as clean as possible if you don’t want to use it over the winter.
The best retractable awning brands It is recommended to buy a retractable awning with cassette or semi-cassette so that the awning is not damaged in winter. When a retractable cassette style awning is closed, the roller tube, fabric and arms are completely covered in one housing. With a half cassette, only the assembly rod and the roller tube are covered.
By properly inspecting, dusting, washing, and drying your retractable awning before heavy snow sets in, you can better protect your financial investment and ensure that you can use it easily next spring.