While not strictly advised like must-have option for a backyard or a business, awnings can provide an attractive, professional and inviting addition to exterior decoration whether it’s standing as a potential shelter from the rain at a summer barbecue, giving customer shade while dining al fresco at a pizzeria or keeping merchandise dry at a grocery store. However, this is working only when the awning is in excellent condition. Staying on top of it when there are 101 other things to attend to is no easy task. So, investing in awning maintenance and repair services is the best way to cross this stressor off the list. The following will be a short guide to making sure all awning maintenance is kept on schedule, plus what to look out for hiring an awning repair service provider.
Awnings should be built to last, so awning maintenance should not be required too often across a year. Many service providers recommend seasonal maintenance twice per year or so. Most commonly, it is advised that awning maintenance should be carried out in the fall and spring months.
That is primarily due to the damage they may sustain through the likely lack of use during the winter months. Maintenance in the fall will provide awning ready to see into the winter, also timely as the awning will probably be used a lot during the summer months.
In the spring, the awning can be maintained, repaired and replaced if necessary following any winter damage, to be ready for the next summer season.
General, minor maintenance should be conducted more often – sometimes without the need for a hired awning maintenance service. Hosing down the awning regularly, as well as cutting back any surrounding foliage is perfectly quick and simple tasks.
Awnings are exposed to all manner of weather conditions across the year. As such, regardless of whether it belongs in residential or commercial property, there will always be a need for an on-hand repair service.
Sometimes awning repairs are necessary due to user impatience. Fabric and mechanics are a tricky combination – one catches on the other, and the awning could break. Therefore, they are slow. It only takes one impatient consumer to yank or force the awning mid-extension or retraction. A long list of problems could arise. Internal tearing dislodged mechanisms. Things for which a qualified and reputable awnings repair service will be required.
Some awning brands and suppliers are more technologically advanced than others. With that, the additional features will require awning maintenance and can come with their list of dos and don’ts. Not following the dos and don’ts potentially leads to more damage, which results in more awning maintenance and repair services costs.
For instance, some awning brands have a sun control function. In cases like this, manufacturers advise that this be disabled in times where the awning will be left unattended or unused. The winter months, for example. Prolonged lack of use can cause an awning to freeze up, which in turn can cause structural damage. This kind of damage could incur heavy fees that come with the awning repair services. The awning may even need to be replaced altogether in severer cases.
With the summer comes a need for outdoor entertainment and hosting so that the awning will be out in time for the first barbecues of the season. However, there are considerations to consider when placing the grill near the awning. In short – don’t do it. Not least because of the obvious, i.e., the fabric could catch alight if placed too close to a fire, but also smoke and grease can cause internal damage that will require a repair service is left untended.
There are also times where even standard awning maintenance or repair service may not be able to do everything. In cases where wildlife has intervened, for instance. Birds nesting in or on the awning, for example.
A lack of attention and awnings maintenance can cause this to happen right under a user’s nose. However, if a bird has made its nest in the awning, it will require a specialist to move it on correctly without endangering or distressing the animals in question. Regular visits from an awning maintenance company may be able to put preventative measures in and give advice, but in the case where it’s too late, if they can’t remove the nest themselves, they can be able to recommend a specialist.
Alongside the above, several things occur naturally to an awning that does not require the attention of awning maintenance or repair service. These primarily concern the awning cover fabric.
Wrinkling (a. k. a. Puckering) – this is most often found on either side of the joining seam of an awning cover. Users will notice this when it appears to be bunching up. Wrinkling or puckering is caused when the double fabric overlaps on the joint seams, which causes the awning cover to be wound in on itself. The different tensions that result are where the wrinkling comes.
Veining (a. k. a. Crazing) – an issue that arises in the first sewing and folding process when making the awning cover. The veining is usually more prominent in lighter-colored fabrics; users may see dark lines in the material when viewed against the light. That is purely an aesthetic problem - veining marks fade over with time and pose no threat to the effectiveness of the awning itself.
Waviness – another naturally-occurring aesthetic issue. That happens when the fabric of an awning cover wants to go in one direction during use, while the Scotchgard coating on the material wants to go in another.
Awning maintenance and repair services are products. As such, the same degree of care, due diligence, and research should go into selecting them. The below list should give a suitable idea of the things to look out when searching for the right awning maintenance and repair service provider.
Check if any awning repair services required can be carried out in the same visit in which the awning maintenance is being done. Some awning maintenance and repair service companies may only be able to do one but not the other; be sure to check the awning maintenance and repair service company website thoroughly before hiring. It would be the worst thing for an awning maintenance provider to uncover an issue for repair but cannot provide the repair service to resolve the problem immediately.
In residential properties, customers may work full-time, and may not be able to wait in for a maintenance or repair service to arrive and carry out their work. Search the website or inquire with the service provider directly to see if they work on Saturdays or Sundays. There may be surcharges incurred, but convenience is invaluable.
Ensure the awning maintenance, or repair service providers carry certification and accreditation by a relevant, professional authority or body. The company website should state this (some will even discuss it at length). It is important to ask for proof of any certification before the purchase is made. Simple requests like this will highlight the scams that may exist. If it’s a genuine awning maintenance and repair service company, they should be happy to provide this information without question.
Naturally, without due care and attention, whether by the user themselves or by a hired awning maintenance service, several problems can arise that can be hazardous to the users’ health and safety.
For example, with continued exposure to atmospheric pollution and all kinds of weather conditions, awning fabrics can provide a living place for mold and mildew. While the materials in question are designed to resist the growth of mold spores, it is a natural occurrence and therefore inevitable. Regular and thorough cleaning routines will deal with this problem efficiently – through the correct methods should be utilized, or the fabric will be damaged in other ways.
Not attending to mold will only cause the spores to become airborne, which can not only be dangerous to the user but to others. The spores entering the air around the awning will disperse and potentially affect passers-by.
If deep cleaning cannot remedy this problem, there may be further issues with the fabric itself. An awning maintenance service provider may be able to highlight the origin of that issue.