Troubleshooting: How to Fix Awning Problems When They Arise
January 1, 2019
Awnings can help protect you and your home from hot weather, giving your balcony, patio, deck, and even outside windows a break from the sun’s potentially harmful rays. Quality awnings can also add style to your home and give each part of your house a unique architectural touch. Even high-quality awnings can start to look worn over time, especially if they’re getting hit by UVA and UVB rays all day long. That doesn’t mean you need to start shopping for new awnings right away.
Keep reading to learn more about awning care and how to fix common awning problems when they arise. With a little work, you can make many issues that pop up as awnings age a thing of the past. These tips will work for many residential and commercial awnings as well.
Cleaning Dusty or Fading Awnings
Your awnings protect you and your home from the sun, but to do that, they need to take a beating from the sun, snow, rain, wind, and any other outdoor conditions that are prevalent in your area. Over time, that means that awnings start to look a little worse for wear even if they’re very well made without proper awning care.
One of the best things you can do to make sure your awnings look their best is to clean them properly. To start, you’ll want to sweep or clean awnings with a broom to remove any debris and dust. You’ll want to do this before you use any sort of liquid. Taking your awnings down whenever possible will allow you to remove as much dust as possible. Heavy-duty vacuums can also be used to get embedded dust and debris out of your awnings before further cleaning.
Washing Outdoor Awnings
Once your awnings get dirty, they won’t look as good as they did when they were new. The good news is that awning care for items designed for outdoor use is easy.
Use a pressure washer on the lowest possible setting to remove embedded dirt and debris that can’t be removed with a broom or heavy-duty vacuum. Or, if you are concerned about the integrity of older fabric or seams – use a medium to stiff brush with soapy water solution (rinse thoroughly). On Solution dyed acrylic fabrics (such as Sunbrella) – you can include a cup or two of bleach per bucket of water. It won’t hurt the fabric, but be careful of anything below the awning. If you have removed them from the building, allow the awnings to dry after washing before storing them away. Damp awnings can also promote growth of mildew.
Awnings that go up and down—often referred to as retractable awnings—have moving parts like rollers, springs, cables, chains, etc – which may not work as well as they used to once they age. In many cases, moving parts will begin to squeak or the mechanism may no longer be smooth.
To fix these moving parts, first inspect them for damage. In most cases, moving parts won’t be damaged unless something has hit them. Apply a lubricant like Silicone or Teflon Silicone to your moving parts, taking care not to get the lubricant on the fabric material (or items below the awning). If using a spray applicator, consider using painters tape to cover areas before spraying. Use a tarp to protect furniture and the deck from spills and drips until any excess lubricant has stopped dripping.
Tears and Damage
Tears and damage in residential or commercial awnings can make yours less effective and unsightly. For large tears, it’s best to contact the experts at Dorchester Awning directly so we can help you make durable, long-lasting repairs. In other cases, it is possible to fix awnings by gluing on patches over small holes or even stitching patches in place. Commercial customers who have large awnings can purchase patch repair kits from Dorchester Awning. For smaller or residential awnings Dorchester Awning can work with you to assess how to address a repair.
Avoid using items like duct tape to repair awnings since it can ruin the finish of your awning or damage the material permanently, making the problem worse. Contact Dorchester Awning to learn more about repairing aging awnings and making existing ones look new again. The New Dorchester Awning Company can also help you retrofit or replace existing awnings.