Like everything else exposed to the sun, wind, rain and other elements, your awning has been designed to withstand a lot of abuse during its lifetime. Both the frame and the fabric may need attention to extend their service and keep you safely out of the weather.
Mechanically, the awning must be able to be continuously folded and refolded if it is designed to be kept out of the way when not in use. This means wear and tear on pivot points, screws and other fasteners, handles and the fabric itself.
Even if your awning does not retract or fold, the awning components will age over time. Metal parts can ever rust or otherwise degrade. Awning fabrics can lose their colors and become thin or torn.
Here are a few simple steps to take when you need to give your awning some tender loving care. They are also useful when you do routine maintenance.
Note: Work safely! Take adequate precautions by using safety glasses, masks and gloves as needed.
Check and Repair the Frame
Inspect the frame for any signs of rust or corrosion. Use a scratch pad to remove light rust deposits or a wire brush for heavier spots. If desired, finish by rubbing the area with a medium or fine grit (120-200 grit) piece of aluminum oxide sandwich. As a final step, apply a thin layer of rust-inhibiting primer to seal the area and paint to match the rest of the frame or spray a clear sealer that has been designed for use on metals.
Straighten the frame if needed and replace broken or missing hinges, handles and fasteners. Tighten any loose screws on the frame as needed. Lubricate all moving parts with a suitable lubricant. Check with the manufacturer or your hardware store to determine which lubricant to use if you are unsure.
Check and Repair the Awning Fabric
Start with a thorough spraying of the awning itself with a hose or better still, use a bucket of warm sudsy water to gently brush the fabric to remove any surface dirt and grime. Remember to rinse thoroughly.
While your awning is drying, examine the fabric for rips and tears. Also take a look at the stitching to make sure it has not uncovered or become loose. Note the color and pattern on the fabric itself and the color and type of thread used to stitch it together. Restitch as needed, using a heavy exterior-grade thread.
To repair rips, obtain a matching piece of fabric and cut a piece that's approximately 1 inch larger all around than the rip itself. Trim any loose threads and glue the new material onto the underside of the awning, face up. Use an exterior adhesive for this repair. Check with your manufacturer, distributor or hardware store if you need help.
Let everything dry, and you're done! You can now enjoy your awning for many more years of service.