The way that you take care of custom residential awning in the northeastern states will vary greatly from the way you would in the southwest. Some awnings are designed to withstand the extreme cold and weather conditions of a New England winter, while others must be stored and put away until mild spring weather returns. This article will provide an overview of the different types of awnings in Southeastern Massachusetts that are used most frequently, along with a basic guide for proper awning care and maintenance.
Windows, Doors and Outdoor Spaces
The three most common uses for an awning is to cover windows, doors and outdoor spaces. When used in an open outdoor space, awnings can be referred to as cabanas, canopies, carports or covers, depending on how or where they are used. Whether the awning is free-standing or attached to a structure, the basic design remains the same: durable aluminum frame and a quality, custom-designed fabric covering.
The advantages of each location-based type of custom residential awning include:
Windows – Window awnings are used to reduce temperature indoors by shading the window and preventing the sun’s rays from reaching the window. Sunlight can also do damage to furnishings, rugs, draperies and flooring, so window awnings are a great way to protect your home or business from sun damage. Aside from function, window awnings are also used as a means of accenting the architectural appearance of a home, adding a touch of color, shape and style.
Doors – Door awnings work to protect from sun damage as well, but at the entry to the building itself. They are also used to protect people from the weather, giving shelter from the wind or rain – a place to stand while getting an umbrella ready or waiting for a ride. Like the window awnings, door awnings will also add to the aesthetics of your home, working to complement the architecture or create noticeable accents that draw attention and help it to stand out in the neighborhood.
Outdoor Spaces – The purpose of awnings and other types of coverings that are used for outdoor spaces, such as patios, decks, poolside areas, driveways, parking areas and outdoor dining spaces, is to provide shade from the sun and shelter from the rain. These covers, canopies, cabanas and other types of custom fabric awnings can be used to increase the living space of your home, or provide a place of rest and shelter. There are many different ways to use fabric awnings to cover outdoor spaces.
Proper Awning Care and Maintenance
Before you begin to clean any type of awning fabric, canvas or aluminum, make sure to consult the manufacturers instructions or contact American Awning & Window and speak with a representative. You wouldn’t want to use any type of cleaners or methods that might damage your custom residential awning and you definitely don’t want to void any warranties.
Begin by brushing off any debris, such as leaves, dirt, twigs or rubbish that might have gotten up on your awning throughout the season. The best way to do this is to clean from the bottom and then work your way up. Using an approved cleaner, soft brush or other recommended cleaning tool, homeowners in New Bedford can gently scrub the awning to remove dust, sand and dirt that has accumulated.
Wash all of the parts of awning, making sure to get the aluminum framing underneath, as well as any mounting or installation parts that might have gotten dirty. Once you are done, make sure to completely rinse off the awning. If you leave behind any film from cleaners or streaks of debris, marks and residue will show up when it dries.
How Often Should You Clean?
It can be difficult to know how often you should clean your custom residential awning. You don’t want to over-clean the fabric and cause unnecessary wear and tear, but it is important to keep it clean. Most awnings in Southeastern Massachusetts would benefit from a good cleaning about once a month. You can simply hose it down with a garden hose and brush the underside to keep it free from dust, spider webs and other debris, with a broom.
A more thorough cleaning should only occur when needed or at the end of the season before you put away your awning for the winter. Proper awning care and maintenance will go a long way toward keeping your awning looking new even past the manufacturer’s warranty and expectations.
Additional care or special in-between cleanings may be required if soil spots or stains appear on your fabric awning. Speak with your representative at American Awning for advice on how to remove stains or deal with a particularly dirty custom residential awning. Another option for homeowners in New Bedford is to hire a professional awning cleaner. Speak with your representative for a referral to a local qualified cleaning service.
Protect Your Awnings in Southeastern Massachusetts
There are a lot of things that can soil or damage your fabric awning in New England. Make sure to keep all landscaping trimmed and away from your awning. Tree branches can fall and break right through the fabric; leaves can quickly accumulate, requiring more frequent cleanings; and vines can contain a natural acid that can cause damage to the fabric.
Check the aluminum awning frame regularly for rust or corrosion. Speak with your American Awning & Window installer or customer service representative for information about the protective coatings that were used to create your custom residential awning, to ensure that you aren’t doing anything to damage it. Proper awning care and maintenance includes knowing all you can about the materials used so you don’t accidentally degrade them.
Most awning fabrics are water-repellent, however there are a few that are considered to be waterproof. Waterproof fabrics will offer homeowners in New Bedford protection from the harsh conditions of the rain and sun. Water-repellent fabrics allow protection from light weather conditions, such as light showers or drizzles. It is recommended that you store your custom residential awning in the winter months.
Want More Help with Proper Awning Care and Maintenance?
Call American Awning & Window for information about washing, protecting and storing awnings in Southeastern Massachusetts. American Awning has been serving homeowners in New Bedford and other surrounding towns and communities for over 25 years. If you are looking for custom residential awning installation, repairs or maintenance services, call American Awning today at 508-995-6333.