Now that summer is over and we’re into full fall mode, that means that winter is right around the proverbial corner. With winter so close, you may be wondering what to do with your awnings and shades for the cold season.

The answer, as with many things, is: it depends. What it mainly depends on is whether your awnings are all-season or not. 

All season awnings

Despite their name, all season awnings aren’t really meant to be used in every season. But, they can stay outside all throughout the year, or for all seasons. You’ll want to retract them when it starts to get below freezing outside and before the snow begins to fall. 

A heavy snowfall on a fabric awning is a recipe for disaster, so it’s crucial to tuck them away in their storage boxes. Make sure all the fabric is encased in the housing so nothing is left out in the elements. You may also want to put a good winter covering over it for extra protection from snow, wind and ice. Getting a winter cover for it will help to prolong its life. 

Even if your awning is an all season one, if you’ve had it for a long time and it’s getting toward the end of its life, you may want to remove it and store it over the winter. This can help you squeeze a couple more years out of it. If it has a cracked housing, for example, leaving it outside all winter is going to let snow and ice get into the mechanism. 

Non-all season awnings

If your fabric awning does not retract then it is not an all season awning and you should take it down for the winter. Not being able to retract it means snow and ice will build up on it and the winter wind will play havoc with it. 

Before you store your awning, wash and dry it completely. Avoid storing it in plastic because plastic can trap moisture and facilitate the development of mold and mildew. 

Your awnings protect you from the harsh sunlight and heat in summer, so return the favour and take care of your awnings during their off season to help protect them and prolong their lives. Properly storing your awnings during the winter will mean they will be around for years to keep you shaded in summer. 

If your awnings are in need of an upgrade, please contact us and we would love to talk with you about your awning and shade needs.