How To Maintain Your Retractable Awning

While your retractable awning is fairly maintenance-free, there are several steps you can take to ensure your awning is enjoyed for many years. In this post we will highlight four steps homeowners can take to maintain their retractable awnings.

  • Clean Your Awning
  • Maintenance the Moving Parts of Your Awning
  • Attend to Your Retractable Awning Motor
  • Properly Store Your Awning in the Winter

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#1 Clean Your Awning

Clean your awning every couple of months (in the active season) to keep it looking its best. We recommend that you lightly clean the fabric of your awning regularly. Outdoor substances such as dirt, pollen, tree sap, bird droppings can become embedded in the fabric if allowed to accumulate. Keeping your awning clean requires simple everyday tools such as: a soft cloth or scrub brush, garden hose, and gentle cleaning solution such as soapy water.

 Monthly remove major debris from your retractable awning when in use. Prepare proper cleaning supplies that you probably already have around the house. Scrub the awning fabric to remove dirt, grime, and stains once a quarter (or as needed) when in use. Rinse your awning fabric to remove the cleaning solution. Left-on cleaning solution will attract more dirt and grime. Dry your awning fabric and enjoy.

Remove Debris from Your Awning

The first step to cleaning your awning is to remove obvious bits of debris. With the awning extended, use a broom to gently sweep away debris such as: leaves, pine needles, cobwebs, and dirt. If your awning is difficult to reach, carefully use a secured ladder. Check both the top and bottom sections of your awning for debris. Some homeowners may be able to use a leaf blower to gently and swiftly remove debris.

During the spring, summer, and fall seasons – when you are using your retractable awning, remove debris from your awning once a month.

Prepare Cleaning Solution and Tools to Clean Your Motorized Awning

The second step to cleaning your awning is to prepare the cleaning solution and tools required to more deeply clean your awning. Because fabric materials vary, visit the Fabric Care site for more specific cleaning solution recommendations. Typically, lukewarm soapy water (using household soap) works well to clean your awning. You may prefer to place your soap cleaning solution in a spray bottle or simple bucket. Prepare a soft brush or cloth to apply the soapy solution to your awning fabric. Have a garden hose handy as well. Never pressure wash your retractable awning.

Bucket of cleaning solutions
Prepare the items required to deeply clean your awning.
Awning Fabrics
Different awning fabrics may require different cleaning solutions.

Scrub the Awning Fabric

The third step to cleaning your awning is to apply your soapy cleaning solution and gently scrub the fabric. Whether you spray the soapy cleaning solution on your awning fabric or dip a gentle brush or cloth into a bucket of the soapy solution, apply the cleaning solution on the fabric. Allow the solution to soak a few minutes. Gently scrub your awning with either a soft bristled brush or non-abrasive cloth. Clean both the top and bottom of the awning.

For particularly tough stains on your awning fabric do the following:

  • Clean stains immediately with household soap and water using a soft brush or cloth.  The longer the stains set, the more difficult they are to remove.

  • Use a dish detergent, especially a grease-fighting dish detergent to remove mildew and bird droppings.

  • Use a bit of elbow-grease to particular stains. Do not press too hard on the awning.

  • Refrain from using an abrasive scrubbing tool such as a steel wool.

  • Never pressure wash your retractable awning.

Rinse Your Awning Fabric with a Garden Hose

The fourth step to cleaning your awning is to rinse it off with a garden hose. You will want to remove all of the cleaning solution. Remember to rinse the top and bottom of your awning until the water runs clear. Never pressure wash your awning. 

Dry Your Awning Fabric

Allow your motorized awning to dry in the sun in the fully extended position. You can also dry the fabric gently with a soft cloth. Do not roll-up or contract your awning while the fabric is still wet. Completely drying your awning fabric before retracting will prevent the growth of mold or mildew.

Spraying Garden water hose
Rinse the awning fabric using a garden hose.

#2 Maintain Your Retractable Awning Moving Parts

Our retractable awnings include aluminum components with a durable finish. The joints are self-lubricating and should not require maintenance. However, you should clean the framework moving into spring, summer, and fall. To clean, hose the framework off with a regular garden hose and wipe it with a soft cloth.

Once a year you can lubricate the moving parts with a dry silicone spray to ensure your awning continues optimal, quiet operation. If you do hear unusual creaking sounds when operating your retractable awning, do lubricate it. The area that can be prone to needing lubrication is at the end of the roller tube, on the side opposite the motor or gear. Simply apply a small amount of spray lubricant on the axle bushing to eliminate any noises. Refrain from getting any of the spray lubricant on the awning fabric.

#3 Attend to Your Retractable Awning Motor

Our retractable awnings have a slight variety in motors. If your retractable awning motor isn’t working the first step is to review your operating instruction manual that came with your awning. 

A common mistake is causing a thermal overload to your awning’s motor. Thermal overload often occurs as a result of repetitive use. Make sure that children do not play with the remote control nor the operation switch of your retractable awning. The motor will automatically shut down for a 15-20 minute cooling window if the motor begins to thermally overload. This safety feature prevents severe damage to the motor caused by overheating.

#4 Properly Store Your Retractable Awning in the Winter

Properly maintaining your retractable awning is key to having a lovely awning for years to come. Because our retractable awnings are fairly maintenance-free, it is surprising how little maintenance and cleaning is required. Keeping your awning fabric clean, moving parts lubricated, motor not overheated, and stored properly will maintain your retractable awning.

Motorized Retractable Awning with Remote
Store your awning for the winter.
Roof Mounted Retractable Awning
A well-maintained motorized awning will last for years!

How to Maintain Your Retractable Awning Wrap-Up

Properly maintaining your retractable awning is key to having a lovely awning for years to come. Because our retractable awnings are fairly maintenance-free, it is surprising how little maintenance and cleaning is required. Keeping your awning fabric clean, moving parts lubricated, motor not overheated, and stored properly will maintain your retractable awning.

Schedule A Free Design Consultation

Looking for a team to help you select and install a retractable awning? ECCO Sunroom & Awning has been creating customized outdoor living spaces for over 30 years in Hampton Roads. We’ve got you covered with ideas and plans to keep you cool when the sun comes out. Need inspiration? Check out our gallery. Call today 757.424.0022.

Motorized Awnings

Up To $1,750 Off Or More

Featured discount figured from 25% of average cost of $7,000 for a motorized awning. Awning installation time based on average duration of orders for in-stock awnings. One offer per household. Offer not valid on prior sales, prior booked jobs, or combined with any other offers. Offer valid only at time of initial in-home quotation. Some restrictions apply. Call for complete details and pricing. Some restrictions apply. Offer ends 5/31/24.

Call ECCO Sunroom and Awning today for a FREE In Home Estimate at 757-424-0022.