Retractable awnings are nowadays very common in residential and commercial premises. One major benefit derived from them is that they allow users to have the sun when they want or shade when they need it on their patio or deck especially during summer. But, are they durable? How long can they last? Well it would be wrong to specify the number of years that your awning will last as it largely depends on how you take care of it and material used to craft it.
Retractable awnings that are made from high quality woven acrylic fabric material can last up to 5 years. Virtually all quality awnings in the market come with a comprehensive warranty that is tailored to cushion you from unexpected expenses. The manufacturer will service or give you a brand new awning if the current one gets worn out before the warranty expires. Based on this fact, it is recommendable to read and understand the warrant to know when to request for a refund or free maintenance service from your supplier or manufacturer.
Let us proceed and look at some time proven tips on how to take care of this type of awnings like a professional.
1) Cut any twigs and hanging leaves above it:
Hanging twigs can easily be swayed by wind and cause gross damage on the awning. They may also fall on the surface during windy weather conditions resulting in serious damage. On the other hand, accumulation of leaves on the surface can stain the material and compromise its beauty and elegance. To avoid all this issues, it is recommendable to cut any twigs and hanging leaves above the awning.
2) Avoid dragging it on abrasive surfaces such as cement:
When moving it from one place to another, be careful not to drag it on abrasive surfaces as this may aggravate the rate at which it wears out. This is because the material is very soft and relatively delicate. A professional can help you relocate and install it correctly. This will save you money and time that would have been spent shopping for a new awning every now and then.
3) Inspect it for small tears:
Due to harsh outdoor weather conditions, the material may develop some flaws after some time. Such flaws need to be rectified as they can easily increase in size if left unattended to for a long period of time. Hence, take time to repair any small tear that you see on the canvas. Otherwise, you will be forced to purchase a whole new retractable awning after a few months. The metal frames are prone to rusting and this can permanently stain the canvas material. It is recommendable to re-paint them after every 4-5 years to prevent any build up of rust.
4) Avoid using charcoal grills under the awning:
It is unwise to use charcoal grill to roast chunks of meat or sausages because it produces a lot of soot which will in the long run stain your awning. Unlike other stains, soot forms permanent conspicuous marks that are very hard to get rid off. You might be forced to use strong detergents and brushes that will fade and lower durability of the awning considerably. It is totally fine to use other cooking appliances that do not produce soot.
5) Retract it during harsh outdoor weather conditions:
Canvas material used to make awnings is very vulnerable to harsh outdoor weather conditions such as heavy rains and snow. So, if you want it to last for many years to come, retract it during such conditions.
6) Keep it clean:
This is one of the supreme ways of boosting durability and prolong lifespan of your awning. Be sure to use a detergent that is friendly to the canvas material. Use a soft bristled scrub brush to get rid of the stains and debris that may have accumulated on the surface. Rinse off all detergents using clean water and allow it to dry completely before retracting it. If possible, apply a water repellent on the surface to create a protective later against environmental depletion.
Warning: Never add bleach in your cleaning solution as it can cause your fabric to rot.
Bottom line: Durability and lifespan of your retractable awning is dependent on the maintenance practices that you apply.