A residential awning can make your patio a much more pleasant place since it protects from both rain and sun. This increases your enjoyment of your backyard because you will be able to take advantage of your patio no matter the weather. An awning is an investment, though. The following can help you keep the awning in great condition so that it serves you for many years.
Close it after use
Leaving the awning open is a recipe for disaster since a single strong wind gust can bend hardware or damage the fabric. When the awning is not in use, retract it completely so it isn't exposed to the elements unnecessarily.
Never store it wet
There's one exception to the above rule -- if the awning is wet. In this case, do not fully retract it unless the wind is a danger. If there is wind danger, you need to fully extend the awning as soon as it passes so that it can dry. Storing an awning wet can lead to mold and mildew, which can cause permanent damage and discoloration to the surface of the awning.
Rinse it regularly
Most dirt on your awning will consist of soil that blows on when the awning is open. For this reason, cleaning is easy -- simply rinse the top and bottom surface with plain water. You can use a sponge and clean water to lightly scrub any spots that are particularly soiled. Avoid using soaps or high pressure to clean the awning, as these can damage the waterproof and sun resistant coatings on the awning surface. Wash on a warm, sunny day so that the awning dries quickly.
Mend small tears
Occasionally, a small tear may develop. Generally, these aren't a concern if you patch them up quickly before they have a chance to get larger. Awning repair kits are available that have patches and the proper glue to hold them in place. To use, you clean the area to be patched, then cut a patch slightly larger than the tear. Completely coat the patch in glue and then press it into place. Make sure the glue dries completely before storing the awning.
Consider professional refinishing
If your awning is looking particularly rough and needs a deeper cleaning, extensive patching, or a hardware repair, call in a professional awning service. They have the tools and knowledge to clean an awning properly or to reapply faded coatings so it performs like new again.
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