When the summer ends and the days become shorter and cooler, it's time to put your awning into hibernation for the winter. A good-quality awning should provide shading for your patio or pergola for many years, and you can prolong its life by preparing it properly for winter storage. Read on to find out more.
Before you put your awning away for the winter, it's important that it's clean and dry. A clean awning will be much less likely to emerge covered with unsightly mould and mildew stains, and if the fabric is dry, the stitching won't be prone to rotting.
- Start by removing the valance from the awning. To do this, remove the plastic end cap of the awning's front bar with a screwdriver. Loosen the screws at each end of the valance inside the track. Slide the valance out of the track, remembering to replace the end caps. Store the screws somewhere safe where they won't be lost.
- Now you're ready to clean the awning and the valance. If your valance has a PVC hemming strip, leave it in place. This helps to keep the fabric in shape. Make up a solution of warm water and washing-up liquid and give the awning and valance a good scrub with a stiff brush to get rid of any surface dust and debris.
- Rinse the awning and valance to remove soap suds using a garden hose under very low pressure so that you don't stretch the fabric.
- Make up a mild solution of household bleach and warm water, then use a clean sponge to apply this to the awning and valance. The bleach will kill any existing mould and mildew spores and will discourage the growth of any new ones during storage.
- Blot the awning and valance dry using old towels and then allow it to air-dry completely.
- Apply a proprietary anti-mould and mildew spray to both sides of the awning and the valance as per the manufacturer's directions.
- Check the awning thoroughly to make sure there are no areas of frayed stitching or tears that might need repair. If you find any damage, it's best to have it professionally fixed right now so that your awning is ready for use in the spring.
- Roll the awning up with the valance and place them in a bag or cover to protect them from dirt and damp while in storage.
By following the simple guide above, you can make sure that your awning emerges from its winter hibernation fresh, clean, and free from mould and mildew stains. All you'll need to do in the spring is unpack the awning, refit the valance, put the awning back up, and enjoy the sunshine!