HOW TO MAKE YOUR AWNING WINTER-PROOF?

Awning in colorful

When summer is over, autumn is the time to prepare your terrace and garden for the coming winter. The awning should not be forgotten either, because it should also be made winter-proof with some important measures. With the right care and preparation, you can rest assured that your awning will survive the winter dry and safe. The right protection increases the lifespan of the awning, it stays fresh and cared for longer and can shine in the usual freshness just in time for next spring.

Making an awning winter proof is not as laborious as it might sound at first. Because high-quality awnings are weatherproof and specially designed for outdoor use, so that they usually survive the colder season unscathed. Nevertheless, some precautionary measures should be taken, in particular to protect the awning fabric and the mechanics from damaging influences such as moisture, frost, wind and the corresponding consequential damage. In order for the awning to survive the winter unscathed, it must above all be dry and protected. For renovation, remodeling your house or handyman services in making your house winter-proof, Litman Construction may help you in all such needs.

Why prepare an awning for winter?

A good awning is a weatherproof and extremely robust quality product. But also here applies:

The better protected and cared for an awning, the longer it will last and remain visually fresh and bright.

Over the summer, dust, dirt or bird droppings have inevitably accumulated on an awning, which should be removed before winter for hygienic and visual reasons. But what is particularly important is the protection of the mechanical parts and the awning fabric. If these are exposed to permanent moisture or even frost over the winter, the mechanics can be damaged. The awning fabric can show signs of moisture damage, including mold and mildew. In the worst case, the awning fabric becomes porous, it can tear and can no longer be extended smoothly. That is why an awning, like terrace and roller shutters, should be given basic maintenance before winter.

Awning in white

Awning in white

The awning does not have to be removed for this! A high-quality awning is equipped with properties that allow it to withstand a certain degree of weathering without any problems. Nevertheless, the cloth and mechanics should be protected so that moisture and humidity do not creep into cracks and accumulate over the winter months. Branches flying around, strong winds, persistent rain or frost can also damage an unprotected awning.

Making awning winter-proof: cleaning, drying, caring for

Preparing the awning for winter begins with a thorough cleaning. It is best to clean the awning in mid to late October, but in any case before the first frost. A dry and as sunny as possible autumn day should be selected for cleaning the awning. The dry, sunny weather is so important because the awning has to dry out thoroughly after cleaning. It may only be rolled up when it is completely dry. If there is still residual moisture in the fabric of the cloth, there is a risk of moisture damage. 

At the beginning of cleaning, coarse dirt such as bird droppings, branches, loose dirt and dust should first be removed from the top of the awning fabric. A soft brush or a broom with soft bristles is suitable for this. Make sure that you do not make circular movements on the cloth, only stroking movements.

The awning should then be washed off with a soft cloth and lukewarm water. After wet cleaning, the awning should be rinsed again with clear water so that any remaining dirt is completely removed. It should be noted that the awning fabric is a special fabric. This is weatherproof, but should still be handled with care. Hard brushes, abrasives or high-pressure cleaners must therefore never be used for cleaning, as these can seriously damage the awning fabric.

Once the awning fabric has been cleaned, the mechanical parts such as articulated arms and hinges should also be cleaned. If necessary, the joints can also be treated with a little oil or silicone lubricant spray.

  • However, caution is recommended here, however, because neither oil nor silicone lubricant spray should come into contact with the awning fabric, as this creates unsightly stains.

  • Once the awning has been cleaned, it must dry completely before it is rolled up. This applies to both the cloth and the mechanism. Only when the awning is completely dry and there is no more residual moisture can it be retracted.

Winter protection for the awning

In order to protect the cleaned awning from the weather over the winter and, above all, to keep it dry, it should be protected. Cassette awnings or semi-cassette awnings offer this protection from the outset thanks to the permanently installed housing, so that no further devices are necessary. The weatherproof housing of high-quality awnings like those from HEIM & HAUS is made of robust aluminum. A cassette awning completely encloses the fabric and the mechanism of the awning, with a semi-cassette awning the sensitive upper side is reliably protected by the housing. Depending on the model and installation situation, it may also be possible to retrofit a rain canopy on the awning.

Cassette awning

Open awnings without a housing should be covered with a suitable protective cover before winter so that they are protected from the weather. A protective cover or, even better, an aluminum cassette protects the awning from moisture penetration as well as from dirt and frost.

In general, you shouldn’t leave an awning extended over the winter. Because permanent moisture and frost can cause great damage to the awning. The mechanics can warp due to frost damage, and there may be loads from lying snow, for which an awning is not designed. 

But what is good for an awning is that it can be extended occasionally on sunny, dry winter days. In dry weather, the awning fabric can be ventilated briefly. Please note here that the awning should never get wet. Since, as described above, it may only be rolled up when it is completely dry, you should not wait for the next rain shower, as complete drying is much more difficult in winter.

Tips for a winter-proof outdoor area

In addition to the awning, other sun protection elements such as roller shutters should also be prepared for winter. Like awnings, roller shutters should be thoroughly cleaned before the cold season. If necessary, the running rails can also be treated with silicone lubricant spray or a little oil to improve the running properties of the roller shutter.

Before using special agents, it is advisable to find out which agent is suitable for your own roller shutter. The most important thing is the material of the roller shutter, because wooden roller shutters generally require different care than plastic roller shutters.

Of course, the terrace also needs to be made winter-proof. This primarily includes placing, placing or covering the garden furniture and non-winter-hardy potted and potted plants as well as basic cleaning of the terrace floor, drains and gutters. Coarse dirt and leaves have to be removed here. It is also advisable to look out for any visible damage to the floor, tiles, facade or cladding. In particular, cracked tiles or porous joints should be sealed before the frost, otherwise there is a risk of further cracking and chipping or the ingress of moisture. Wooden floors should also be prepared for winter with a special, impregnating wood care product.

Once all the cleaning work and preparations have been completed, the beautiful part of winter can begin: The now winter-proof terrace can be adorned with winter decorations and seasonal plants, so that the outdoor area at home is a real joy even in winter.

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