After getting a retractable awning installed, you want to make sure it is well cared for in order for it to last long. Regular maintenance usually means cleaning the awning at least once every year. You should start by hosing down the fabric to loosen the debris. You then need a soft brush and mild natural soap and lukewarm water to remove the dirt and stains from the awning.

When cleaning an awning, never use detergent. You also need to rinse the fabric thoroughly because any soap that is left on the fabric will leave some ugly marks and chalky residue. Once you are done cleaning, allow the awning to air dry before you retract it.

Some additional tips you can use when caring for your awning include the following:

  • Brush off loose debris from the fabric using a broom before you start cleaning the awning.
  • Start cleaning from the bottom towards the top.
  • Wash the entire fabric. The uncleaned areas will show once the fabric dries up.
  • Rinse the awning down using a garden hose at least once a month. The underside can also be cleaned using a household broom.
  • Keep the vines and shrubs trimmed and away from the awning. The frame of the awning must also be checked for rust. Rust will not only weaken the frame but also stain the fabric.

Gear operation

To extend your awnings or lower the shades, you should turn the gear using the provided crank handle. When operating them, always hold the crank handle at the same angle as the eyelet.

When they are fully extended, the lateral arm will be flexed and locked. They never straighten out fully. Trying to fully straighten the lateral arm fully will damage your awning. Always take care not to roll out the fabric past the gear stops when opening the awning.

Retracting your awning

The retractable awnings are designed to offer protection from the sun. You must never use them in strong winds, hail, snow, or rain. You should consider retracting the awnings when the winds exceed the speeds of 20 mph.

Never roll up the awning with leaves or twigs on them. You should also avoid jamming the front bar against the rolled fabric. The fabric has to roll off the top of the roller tube and should never be underneath.


Awnings are formed to be as maintenance-free as possible. It is, however, okay to hose the framework and then use a soft cloth at the beginning of the outdoor season. The moving parts also need to be lubricated at least once a year. A spray lubricant on the bushing/axle will eliminate most of the squeaking noises. Take care not to spray the fabric.

Winter storage

You should retract the awning for winter. If there is a hanging valance, remove the awning by sliding it out the front bar. Store in a ventilated dry area and never in a plastic bag.

Are you thinking of buying awnings or need help with your existing one? Our team at Trades by Jack is happy to help with all your needs. Contact us today to find out more about our services.