Winterproof your retractable window awnings to keep them in top shape for years of summer shade. Even in warmer southern climates, weatherization may still be necessary to protect your awning from cold temperatures, harsh winds, and frost.
Inspect for damage
Sweep off leaves and debris so you can check for any signs of damage on your awning. Look for small holes or tears, and repair them before you pack your awning away for the winter.
Threads will begin to unravel once the holes open, and before you know it, small snags have become gaping, unsightly holes. You don’t want to pull out your awning in the spring to find it unusable.
Clean your awning
After you sweep off all the loose dirt and leaves, thoroughly clean the awning to remove all the dirt that has accumulated there during the year. Ideally, you’ll do this on a warm, dry day. But if the weather has already turned cold or wet, it may be uncomfortable or dangerous to spray a hose up at your awning. In that case, remove the fabric from the metal frame and spread it on the ground to clean it.
Start by spraying the awning with a hose. If you see spots or stains, use a scrub brush and a bucket of mild soapy water to clean them. You might find that mildew stains are difficult to remove, but you should avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach. Bleach can damage the fabric, and although it may get rid of mildew stains easily, it will shorten the life of your fabric awnings.
A soft brush, mild soap, and some elbow grease will keep your awning looking like new for years. Don’t forget to inspect the frame and make sure all hardware is clean and working properly.
Store your awning properly
Some people take their awnings down and store them during the winter. But if your awning is retractable, it has a place to hibernate; make sure the cover is installed securely and there are no pieces hanging out. If your awning isn’t retractable or you don’t want to remove the fabric, you might opt to buy a protective awning cover to use for the winter.