Awnings and Storm Preparedness
January 1, 2019
Home and business owners that live in coastal areas should consider hurricanes and other storms when selecting new awnings or scheduling services for existing awnings. While the summer and fall seasons are usually wonderful times for relaxing beneath an awning, these seasons also bring the threat of storms with high winds. Preparing for storms can help to avoid dangers and damage caused by improperly secured awnings.
Fixed Frame Awning Dangers
Fixed frame awnings may detach from buildings and cause damage to surrounding structures as well as injuries if not properly secured for storms. While building codes require fixed frame awnings to be rated to withstand winds of up to 75 miles per hour, many must contain warning labels requiring owners to remove the fabric during storm warnings. Damage to bare awning frames is also highly likely during storms. To avoid these hassles and the potential for damage during storms, home and business owners may wish to schedule fixed frame awning removal before the peak of storm season occurs.
Awning Fabric Removal Procedure
If a fixed frame awning is in place and the fabric must be removed, it is important to follow the proper procedures. Failure to properly remove the awning may cause damage to the fabric, the frame, or the building. Awning fabric removal may be a complicated process, and should be performed by more than one person to avoid injuries.
To properly remove fabric from a fixed frame awning, the following steps should be taken:
- Set up ladders or scaffolding that is appropriate to the height of the awning
- Cut all cords securing the fabric to the rafters, the wings, and the front bars of the frame using cutting pliers or a heavy-duty knife
- Raise the fabric from each corner towards the head of the awning, which is usually against the wall
- Slide the awning fabric off the track, being careful not to snag or damage the fabric
- The awning fabric should be rolled tightly during this process, which will be made easier with assistance
- The awning should not be dragged against surfaces such as the wall, as this may damage the fabric
- If multiple awnings are being removed, each awning should be labeled for easier reinstallation
Retractable Awning Benefits
Retractable awnings make storm preparation more convenient. Retractable awnings can simply be rolled up with the touch of a button or the turn of a crank to minimize the drag on the fabric during a storm. This is especially helpful when unexpected storms hit or when winds become stronger than anticipated. Retracting the awning decreases the probability that the wind will cause the awning to become unattached. To further decrease the risk of damage, retractable awnings may be removed professionally, if desired.