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According to the U.S. Department of Energy, awning canopies can reduce your home cooling expenses by up to 61%. These awnings reduce the entry of warm wind to your home so it retains the coolness in your home even during the summer season.
In this post, we will discuss the main reason to winterize your awning, the risks if not, and how to prepare it, in particular:
When the winter season comes it’s necessary you start to winterize your awning. That means you should store them in a safe place while being protected from wear and tear due to cold, strong wind, and snow.
This is how you save from hefty expenses because you already have a complete, new, and ready-to-use awning when the spring season returns.
Good maintenance will extend its life and avoid damage from debris, buildup, and more.
Why Winterize Your Awning?
An awning canopy is an extended covering connected to the outdoor wall in your house patio or a building unit. It can be made up of canvas, polyester yarn, cotton or acrylic. An aluminum frame or steel helps to stretch it tightly.
You can use awnings for different reasons. You can use it to provide shade to your home so you won’t be exposed to too much sun. And some people set up an awning for privacy.
But while awnings are used to repel the heat especially during summer, it’s not completely recommended to be used during the winter season. Simply because it won’t withstand the freezing temperature plus the debris that goes along with it. This is the reason why we recommend you make your awning winterized.
Imagine the money you’ll save from having a good-as-new awning when the summer season is back. Because when winterized, you’ll keep it from the risk of damages so you’ll save from repair or replacement. You may also want to secure a winter cover for retractable awnings.
The Risks To Your Awnings
Awnings are made of different fabrics and each material gets damaged depending on the environment and other factors.
A canvas awning is made of a woven cotton thread. This kind of awning absorbs water. Therefore, a hydrophobic solution is used for its treatment. However, it easily gets damaged overtime, especially during the snow and cold season since the hydrophobic solution doesn’t do its job.
Since it doesn’t stretch, your awning can tear. And there can be a possible buildup of mildew and mold due to exposure to moisture.
Most homeowners install vinyl awnings because it is the most popular and affordable awning type in this list. It is made of PVC plastic so it’s water resistant.
Vinyl awnings easily get damaged during the colder months with the risk of exposure to snow and ice.
Acrylic awning is the most expensive type of awnings as it can stand the coolest of temperature. It is water-resistant. However, water might leak due to the stretching that will result in small spaces. Not to mention, the thread can also stretch with the accumulation of snow and rain.
Canopy frames are made of steel frames. Overtime rusts build up making it difficult to move the mechanism so it sticks to the mount. The good thing about canopy frames is it is durable. With a hard brace and a buckle, it can support rain and snow during a snowstorm.
How To Prepare Your Awning
Prepare your awning before the winter season comes in. Below are 5 ways to get your awning ready for the winter weather.
Check For Possible Damages
Make sure you check your fabric awning winter for damages. The most common are cut and holes due to minor issues. Don’t forget to check the stitches and the wear and tear that may be caused by the debris.
If you have seen any of the damages, whether it too small or big, it’s best to repair it immediately. This will give you peace of mind whenever you need your awning ready for the next season.
Remove all Debris
Swipe off the grime, trees, leaves, and flower pollen on your canopy. Doing this will help you minimize the cuts and scratches when you wash and store your awning.
Remove dust and other debris that has been collected during the months of not cleaning it. So by the time you need your canopy for winter, you got it all set up and you won’t worry about anything.
Make Sure You Scrub It
Use a soft cotton cloth to scrub your canopy. And just use water and soap to clean it up.
Using abrasive scrubbers are not recommended since it can damage your awning. It can cause holes and other damages that aren’t present in the first place.
And since the valence and other detachable parts of your canopy have been used and exposed for months, then make sure to clean and wash it well.
Keep In A Safe Storage
After washing your canopy and removing all the debris, dry it up.
- Make sure it’s dry before you place it in your storage to avoid molds that could damage it later on.
- If possible, remove the frame to avoid rusting. Canopy covers should also be arranged well in a safe and clean place to avoid wear and tear.
- If you aren’t sure how to disable your awning, ask help with anyone from your family members. Or call a professional for assistance.
Sweep the Awning After Snow
If you don’t want to remove your awning even during the winter days, be ready for the additional work. That is because it’s crucial to brush and remove snow from your awning so it won’t accumulate weight that would damage the vinyl fabric or warp the frames.
Do not use a water hose to remove the snow away.
Water may freeze with the snow, which may cause for the buildup of ice on your canopy
It’s best to use a long broom to push the snow aside. But do it carefully as it may damage the fabric.
Similarly, do not fold the canvas as it may result to cracks. And do not pull or drag your awning especially on rough and rugged surfaces as it may damage it.
When it rains, check your canvas canopy and remove the water so it won’t turn into snow.
Always take care of your awning whatever is the season. Because sooner or later, you will see a need for it.
Make sure you clean and wash it carefully to avoid moles and dirt buildups. This is because small damage may lead up to the bigger issues, which may demand bigger expenses.
The tips above are simple yet important reminders to keep your awnings new, clean, and durable any time of the year. So by the time you need it, you can instantly grab and install it whenever needed!