Winters across Canada can be very extreme and homeowners everywhere start getting their homes ready for the cold months ahead. Heating systems will be checked and window insulation will be strengthened. If you have awnings in your home, it is a good idea to winterize them before dismantling and putting them away.

House Awning

This will protect the fabric from any damage caused by the colder temperatures, snow, ice and windstorms. As long as you take care to winterize the awnings well, they will look fresh and be “use-ready” once spring arrives. Always check with whomever installed your awnings to see what the best course of action is first. Awnings vary and differ in quality, here however, are some broad and general steps for winterizing your awnings.

The Steps to Follow to Winterize your Awnings

Here are the steps you should follow with fabric awnings:

• Brush off all the dust, debris and leaves from the awning, moving from the upper edge to the lower edge
• Hose-off the complete awning and remove any debris or dirt that is stuck on it. With a soft-bristled brush, remove all the dirt spots and stains
• Dissolve a very small quantity of mild soap in some warm water. Use this water and scrub the awning clean. Ensure that the brush is constantly damp while you are cleaning the surface.
• Rinse the entire awning thoroughly with water
• Air it until it is totally dry. Even if there is a little dampness when you roll it up, it can promote the growth of mildew and mold and the awning will be ruined
• If the installation has a hanging valance, remove it and hose it down well. Use some mild soapy water and clean all the dirt from it with a soft-bristled brush
• Let the valance dry out completely
• Roll it up and then store that in a very dry area where there are no chances of mildew or moss growth
• It is best to simply cover the valance but do not use a plastic cover as that will only trap the moisture and result in mildew or mold growth
• In case of a retractable awning -If you are not going to be removing the awning from its frame in the winter, get a special awning cover. These covers provide very effective protection as they cover the installation completely

Things to Remember when Winterizing your Awnings

• Test the soap properly on any hidden area of the awning to ensure that it is not causing any damage
• Read the manufacturer recommendations regarding cleaning products that are safe for the awning and for the best care methods

Under normal use, high quality awnings such as the ones that Jans Awnings and Rollshutters provide remain waterproof for a number of years. However, if you feel after the winter that there is some sign of water penetration, a reproofing agent should be applied to the awning. Check with the manufacturer about which agent is best for your awning.

Jans Awnings and Rollshutters provides the best manual and motorized awnings in the Ottawa area and can be reached at (613) 832-2345.