Awnings are great for seeking shelter from the sun or rain in your backyard; it also performs a double-duty of increasing your home’s aesthetic appeal. However, it’s important to store your awning before wintertime; otherwise, the build-up of snow will cause its lightweight structure to collapse.
Make sure you clean your awning thoroughly before keeping it away because dust encourages mildew growth, especially in cloth awnings. Not only are mildew marks incredibly difficult to remove – your awning’s going to stink! Even awnings made out of polyester and acrylic need to be cleaned properly. They can be stored wet for 48 hours but any longer than that and mildew will start to settle in. Since the stitching of the awning is made out of cotton, the mildew will definitely cause it to rot and for the whole thing to fall apart. Mildew also thrives in damp environments so make sure you keep your awning in a dry location to prevent growth.
Getting a retractable awning might be more convenient if you live in an area where it constantly snows. This type of awning can be folded and rolled against a wall and is self-storing once retracted. During the winter, you can remove the loose hanging valance of your retractable awning. Another way of storing it is to keep the awning retracted and keep the crank handle in the garage.
Awnings are a rather costly buy but with proper maintenance, they should last you for several years. Keeping them free from dust and storing them in a dry place during winter will definitely increase its lifespan.