Storing Awnings for the Winter

Residents in Utah have long used awnings to keep their patios shaded, their homes cool and their skin protected from destructive UV rays. In order to ensure that awnings remain in pristine condition, they should be kept clean and properly stored. Residents who live in areas that receive heavy snow should consider removing their awnings and storing them for the winter. 

Before storage, awnings must be thoroughly clean. Mildew, a type of mold, thrives in dirty places and can damage awning fabric. Residents should brush off dirt and debris with a soft bristle brush, hose down their awnings with lukewarm water and gently scrub them with a mild soap and water solution. Detergents should never be used when cleaning awnings, as they can wear down the protective acrylic coating fabrics like Sunbrella use to give awnings their water repellency. 

For stubborn stains, awnings may be removed from their frames and soaked for approximately 20 minutes in a solution of one gallon lukewarm water, ¼ cup mild soap and ½ cup non-chlorine bleach. Strong laundry detergents and spot removers should never be used on awnings, and they should be hand-washed, never put in a washing machine. Before storage, Utah residents must be sure their awnings have been thoroughly rinsed and air dried. Awnings should never be exposed to intense heat, as they may shrink. Deep cleaning can wear down the awning’s acrylic coating, so it must be retreated after washing with water repellant. 

Awnings must be stored in cool, dry places, so as to discourage mildew growth. As long as the storage space is well ventilated, awnings may be stored in a Utah home during the winter. If the home is not a suitable place, most awning manufacturers in Utah will provide removal, cleaning and storage services at reasonable prices. When the weather warms up again, they will also reinstall the awnings to be enjoyed during the spring and summer. 

Unlike fixed awnings, retractable awnings do not need to be removed during the winter. Though they should still be given a thorough cleaning, they can simply be retracted before the first heavy snowfall. Awnings should never be opened during freezing temperatures, and they should always be retracted during high winds and heavy rains.

Additional awning care includes not planting tall trees, vines or plants near awnings, as they can damage the structural integrity of the awnings’ frames and fabrics and make cleaning more difficult. Grills and fire pits should never be used near awnings, as the intense heat and smoke can ruin them. Finally, in order to keep awnings in good condition, nothing should hang from them, including heavy chimes and small children. 

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Posted by on Dec 1 2012. Filed under Landscaping. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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