The warm summer months can get uncomfortably hot if your patio space is exposed to full sun for an extended period of time. If you find yourself avoiding your outdoor space when the sun is out, a retractable awning could be a great addition to your home!
How Do Motorized Retractable Awnings Work?
Retractable awnings come in two different formats:
1) Manual retractable awnings are generally useful for smaller deck covers or patio shades and are controlled by cranks, by manually moving arms of the awning, or by a combination of the two.
2) Motorized retractable awnings feature an electric motor that powers the movement of the awning. This motor will smoothly and evenly extend or retract the awning, offering you cover and shade during the hottest part of the day.
To run smoothly, your motorized awning needs to:
- smoothly extend the metal arms that support the fabric
- lay flat and roll out and up evenly with no sagging or binding
- travel evenly to avoid jamming
How Do I Care For My Motorized Retractable Awning?
One of the greatest risks to your motorized awning mechanism is wind abuse. If you know there will be high winds in the area, leave the awning closed up until the weather settles down.
High winds can turn the awning fabric into a kite and put a lot of strain on the awning frame. It can also damage the sensors that tell the motor if the awning is able to move smoothly. Once these sensors are triggered, your awning may get jammed.
Another risk to your motorized awning is excess weight. Never hang anything off your awning or let anyone swing off it. Invest in waterproof fabric so the weight of the sunshade material doesn’t vary greatly should it get rained on.
Finally, invest in a motor large enough to easily handle the weight, width and expanse of your awning. If the motor is working at full power just to open and close the awning on a calm summer day, you are likely headed for trouble should a wind gust or rain squall come up.
Maintaining a Motorized Retractable Awning
It’s a good idea to check out your motorized retractable awning at least once a month. Check the function by running it out and rolling at back up at least once. While it’s extended, check the awning framework for rust and check the fabric for any mold or mildew that might be building up within the roll.
Sweep away any debris that might have collected against the metal framing, listen for squeaks and lubricate as needed, and look for missing paint. Once rust takes hold of the awning frame, your awning is headed for failure, so be sure to stay on top of missing paint and keep the metal protected.
Finally, check to make sure that the gear box of your motorized retractable awning is clean and free of debris. This motor will likely have ventilation access, so keeping the gear box free of dust, leaves and other debris will keep your motorized awning moving freely.
A motorized retractable awning is a great addition to your outdoor space and can keep your outdoor dining area cool and comfortable on the sunniest days. By investing in a fully waterproof awning and a motor with plenty of power, you can enjoy a low-maintenance sunshade for years to come! Sunrise Shading offers plenty of motorized awnings and fabric options, so contact us today for cooler, more comfortable environment on your deck, porch or patio.