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Retractable Awning Problems

As with every other house improvement product, you may encounter problems with retractable awnings too. While low-quality and budget solutions (mostly from China) are far more prone to malfunction or fabric damage, even high-quality products can wear and tear if time passes.  Whatever the case and the reason for the problem, as a retractable awning owner, you need to know how to fix it so you can continue to enjoy your beautiful outdoor living space for much longer. Today we’ll cover some of the most common problems with retractable awnings. Retractable Awning Problems

How do you adjust the tension on a retractable awning?

“How do you adjust the tension on a retractable awning?” That’s a more or less common question that people who own retractable awnings ask. Unfortunately, the awning’s fabric sometimes tends to sag, affecting its shading qualities and aesthetic looks.  Often the reason for sagging is that the folding arms are locked out, meaning they are overextended and cause the fabric sagging or get loose.  To fix this issue:
  • Retract the awning by cranking in the opposite direction.
  • Ensure that the fabric goes on top of the roller tube and not underneath it.
  • Continue reversing until the fabric is taut.

How do you fix a retractable awning?

There is no correct answer to this question because it’s too general. Fixing or repairing an awning depends on the issue at hand. Keeping that in mind, let’s discuss the three most common problems that occur with retractable awning use.

Fabric damage

Fabric damage can take many forms, including sagging, tears, mold and mildew, fading and discoloration, etc. The damage may be “cosmetic,” meaning it only affects the appearance of the entire awning. Maybe it got dirty because of outdoor weather conditions or wildlife in your area. In this case, you might be able to fix it by cleaning the fabric. On the other hand, more severe damage, such as large tears, needs stitching and sometimes a section/width of fabric or complete fabric replacement. Typically, you can fix sagging issues by adjusting the awning’s tension, while fading and discoloration might require switching to the higher-quality fabric material. Retractable Awning Problems

Mechanical problems

Mechanical problems refer to the issues related to the moving parts of the retractable awning.  They might include malfunction or improper movement of any of the following:
  • Folding arms
  • Chains, cables or belts
  • Motors
  • Sensors
  • Remote controls
  • Manual override 
  • Roller tube
  • Gear
Sometimes these problems can be as simple as a familiar squeaking sound, and their repair extends to applying a mechanical lubricant. Other times, they can be more serious, like rusting/corrosion. Rusting occurs with awnings made of low-quality or unsuitable production materials such as steel or even galvanized steel. If your awning’s motor or sensors are not working correctly and it fails to retract/extend, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the issue:
  • Did you extend/retract the awning several times in a row? If yes, the motor might temporarily shut down to prevent overheating.
  • Check the electrical power (is the awning connected to a power outlet, is there a power outage, etc.).
  • Check the remote control/sensor battery levels.
  • Try to manually retract/extend the awning using the manual override if the retractable awning is motorized (excluding the option of a folding arm/spring problem).
If those tests do not solve the problem, it’s probably time to call a retractable awning service company or replace the sensor/motor.


How to find a company to solve my retractable awning problems?

If you have purchased and self-installed a retractable awning at your house or business and encounter any issues with it, first try and troubleshoot the problem.  After you review this issue and if the issue is not resolved, you can check if your product is still in the warranty period and contact the vendor who you purchased it from. If it’s not under warranty, then you can try a DIY repair method or look for a retractable awning service individual or company in your area.

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