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Keep Your Retractable Awning in Tip Top Shape

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An awning is a great manner to enable you and your family to enjoy more time outside no matter what season it is. Performing routine maintenance can extend the life of your awning.

Retractable Awning Maintenance Tips to Increase Their Lifespan

As with pretty much anything you own, a retractable awning does take a bit of occasional maintenance to keep it in great working order and looking great as well. The maintenance is very simple to do yourself as a homeowner and it takes very little time as well. It enlists the use of most products that you happen to have at your home, so there isn’t a long laundry list of items for the great upkeep of your retractable awning.

What Is The Life Expectancy of an Awning?

When your custom awning is made of commercial-grade products, you will be able to enjoy it for much longer than a ready-made version. Your retractable awning consists of a few different components. You have a frame and the fabric and a motor if you chose a motorized option. The custom frame is made of commercial-grade materials and will last about 20 years. The best fabric available is the Sunbrella brand and is the only fabric we use in all of our products. The fabric has a 10-year guarantee from the manufacturer. So, it’s possible to have your lovely shade solution for 10 years and then have another custom fabric top made for it and keep the same frame for another 10 years. Performing routine maintenance will keep your awning looking great for a long time.

Sunbrella fabrics are the premier product for use in custom retractable awnings. Sunbrella fabrics have the finishes embedded into each fiber of the fabric. Other substandard fabrics just simply spray a finish on the surface and it doesn’t last very long. Sunbrella has solution-dyed fabrics to maintain strength, bright coloration, and last through exposure to the sun, elements, and cleaning. These quality fabrics are fade-resistant, have UV protection, are weather and abrasion-resistant, and are mold and mildew resistant.

How Do You Maintain An Awning?

One of the most important items in maintaining your retractable awning is to close it when it’s not in use or when you have high winds and heavy rain. The high winds and heavy rain can twist the frame on your awning if it is open. This will in turn cause it to not close properly. Extra-heavy rain can sit on the fabric and over the years it will make the fabric bow. If you only leave your awning open when you are using it, you can avoid all of these issues.

Another idea is to add rain and wind sensors to your motorized retractable awning. These sensors will automatically close your awning for you when the wind reaches a certain speed or the rain is very hard. This will help to maintain your awning integrity and it will close it for you even if you aren’t at home.

You should also trim trees and shrubs back so they can’t pierce the fabric of your awning. Make certain not to retract a wet or even damp awning or it can form mildew and mold while it’s stored on the roller mechanism where air can’t reach it.

Awning Maintenance Tips

General maintenance and cleaning will keep your awnings in Orange County looking great for years to come. Items to clean and inspect include:

  • Clean The Fabric and The Frame
  • Lubrication
  • Spotting and Fixing Tears
  • Practice Proper Storage

Clean the Fabric and The Frame

cleaning awnings

Seasonal cleaning involves opening your residential awnings and using a soft bristle broom to sweep off any dirt or debris from the top and underneath of the fabric and the frame. This makes annual cleaning much easier when the dirt is not embedded into the fibers of the fabric.

Annual cleaning and washing are advised for your awning. Open the awning entirely and brush off the loose dirt. Use a garden hose to thoroughly wet both sides of the fabric on the frame. Use a mild soap such as Woolite laundry detergent or Dawn dishwashing liquid to make a cleaning solution in a bucket of water. Apply the cleaning solution to both sides of the fabric with a soft brush or broom. Let the solution soak into the fabric for about 30 minutes and then rinse it off thoroughly with the garden hose. Allow the fabric to air dry before closing the awning.

Sunbrella fabrics resist mildew and mold growth, however, these fungi can actually grow on dirt or leaves that are not removed from the fabric. For these tough stains, you need to heavy clean the fabric by preparing a cleaning solution of 1 cup of bleach and 1/4 cup of mild soap in a gallon of water. Brush the mixture on the stained spots and let it soak for about 30 minutes. Brush the solution in a circle on the stains with a soft brush. Rinse the spots off thoroughly with a garden hose until the water is running clear. Allow the awning to air dry completely before retracting it. If stains still exist, you can re-treat them with the tough stain cleaning solution.


The moving parts of your retractable awning will benefit from being lubricated about once a year. If the rollers make a whining or rattling noise when they are operating, it’s a sign that they need to be lubricated. Open your awning all the way and examine the frame and moving parts for foreign objects. Sometimes small leaves, pebbles, or other debris can make the rollers make odd noises. Remove any debris that you see and lubricate all of the moving parts with a spray lubricant such as WD-40. Allow the lubricant to sit and dry on the moving parts before you retract the awning.

Spotting and Fixing Tears

When you are doing general cleaning or an in-depth cleaning of your retractable awning, you should observe the fabric closely for any signs of a pinhole or a tear that is just starting. If you have a small hole or tear it will only continue to grow so it’s best to repair it right away. Tear-Aid type A repair kit will enable you to fix the blemished area very easily. You simply cut some of the repair tapes so it’s several inches larger around the hole or on the sides and ends of the tear. Peel off the adhesive backing and stick it on the fabric. If you can’t find this brand of repair tape, you can contact your awning company or choose another type that is clear, airtight, watertight, and has an elastic composition to stretch and return to its shape.

Practice Proper Storage

Since your awning retracts, there is no real reason for removing it from the mounting and storing it inside for the off-season when it’s not in use. Do remember though, if you close the awning because it’s raining or it closes automatically with a rain sensor, you will need to open it as soon as the rain has passed or lightened considerably. This will allow it to dry properly before you retract it into the cassette.

Contact The Professionals for Your Awning Care

At AAA Awnings, Inc. we have over 60 years of experience in custom awnings for homes and businesses. We use only the best quality products for your awning to last as long as possible with some easy care and maintenance tips. We also offer professional cleaning services for your retractable awning and we can even add additional waterproof protectants on older fabrics so they continue to work like new. We also do professional repairs. We can resew your existing fabric if there is a tear or it is loose when there is no need to purchase entirely new fabric. We can sand and paint your awning frame if it’s still in decent shape but has rust on it to prevent you from purchasing a new frame as well. We are the premier custom awning company in Orange County and treat you like family with honesty and dependability. Contact us for awning questions, cleaning, repairs, or any awning services you may need.

Picture of Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis

An expert in the window treatment business. I oversee every job from sale to installation, ensuring smooth execution of commercial projects with a hands-on approach.

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