Awnings can shelter you and your family members from rain and harsh sun, making your outdoor areas easy to use any time of the year. Unfortunately, even the nicest awning can become a problem if you don't install or care for it properly. Here are three mistakes people tend to make with retractable awnings, and how to prevent problems in the long run.
Not Getting A Permit
Applying for city permits can be a hassle, which is why a lot of people simply decide to try their luck, install their awning, and hope for the best. Unfortunately, if you choose to install a permanent or retractable awning without getting a permit first, you might be required to take it down or pay a fine later.
While you might be able to get away with simple home upgrades on the inside of your house without anyone asking questions, working on your home's exterior is another story. Because awnings can block people's views or pose property damage threats if you don't install them correctly, city building inspectors might cite you if they notice an awning going up in your yard without a permit.
To prevent problems, always apply for a building permit before you have the awning installers start work. If you are a member of a homeowners association, it is also a good idea to check with the program coordinators to see if they are allowed.
Ignoring The Weather
Unfortunately, even the right permits and a great installation won't completely protect your awning from the elements. Although awnings are designed to be waterproof and endure things like wind and rain, paying attention to the weather is important if you want to extend the life of your awning.
Although many people rely on their awning to provide outdoor shelter during things like rainstorms, awnings should always be retracted before things like wind or snow storms. However, keep in mind that awnings should never be put away wet or dirty. Also, awnings should be retracted anytime the wind is projected to exceed 20 miles per hour.
If you know that a storm is coming and you won't need to use your awning, clean your cover, let it dry, and roll it up for safekeeping during the storm. After the storm, always check your awning for damage to prevent things like rust accumulation and structural problems.
Replacing The Entire Unit Too Soon
After you find the perfect awning and master routine maintenance, you might find yourself struggling with another problem — debating whether or not your system has reached the end of its usable life. Over time, the fabric can fade, and the crank devices can become harder to turn, which can leave you wondering if it is time to throw in the towel and replace your entire system.
Although retractable awnings do have a lifespan, most people don't realize that you can actually replace the fabric instead of buying a whole new system. In fact, many manufacturers offer upgraded fabrics that work on common retractable awning varieties, making it easy to upgrade the outside of your home with a covering that looks brand new.
To save some money and enjoy the system you have come to know and love, talk with an awning specialist if your unit has started to show its age. When choosing an awning cover, remember that even a replica of your existing awning cover will look darker at first since the sun hasn't bleached it.
Are you thinking about adding a retractable awning onto your home? Contact the professionals at Evans Awning Company for great advice on finding the perfect design for your space. In addition to offering shade sails and retractable versions, this locally renowned awning shop can also help with commercial awnings to boost your businesses curb appeal.