What are the Procedures Involved in Awning Repair

An awning is an investment, and like every other investment, you want to ensure it's protected well into the future. Over time, an awning will be exposed to the wind, rain, sun, and snow, depending on where you live. 

High-quality awnings will remain intact for a long time, but like all parts of a home, they require ongoing maintenance to keep them in peak condition.

Repairing an awning can be a nuisance if you're not familiar with them and how they work, but some issues can be fixed on your own. If you're a DIY type of person and want to try repairing your awning while saving money in the process, here are some common issues that your garden awning might be exposed to, along with solutions for how to repair them.

Repairing A Rip

There are a variety of different materials that are used in awnings:

  • Acrylic

  • Polyester

  • Vinyl

  • Canvas

While awning material is designed to be resistant and long-lasting, it will deteriorate over time, and that makes it prone to getting ripped. Canvas material tends to degrade faster than other types of material, while synthetic fabrics are resistant to rot and mold, but aren't resistant to fading from the sun and tearing. 

The solution to repairing a ripped garden awning isn't overly complicated. All you need to do is get some replacement fabric that is the same size as the rip itself.

You'll also need some contact cement that will be used to adhere the replacement fabric over the rip. 

1. Apply the contact cement on one side of the awning and make sure it's around 2 inches outside of the perimeter of the rip. Apply the fabric to the contact area and allow it to sit.

2. After that, apply more contact cement underneath the other side of the awning. Patching both sides is recommended so that it will be fully protected. If you don't want to use contact cement and patching fabric, you can also purchase repair tapes that are specifically designed to patch awning material together.

If you're dealing with a very small hole in the garden awning, you can use silicone caulk to fill in any holes.

If you have a corner rip in your awning, make sure that you loosen the corner before doing work on it.  

For awning material that is heavily ripped, moldy, and deteriorating, it might just be easier to replace it entirely.

Awning Sensor Issues

If your garden awning is motorized and able to retract, sometimes the sensor will run into issues over time, resulting in functionality issues. Sensors in motorized awnings are very tiny and not simple to install. 

There are a couple of issues that can cause the electric sensors to malfunction. Sometimes the power going out can result in a sensor not working altogether. While you will still be able to move the awning manually, it can be frustrating when things aren't working how they should. 

For those that are away from the home and forgot to close the awning before they leave, the garden could be exposed to elements all day. 

Because sensors aren't an easy issue to fix on your own, unfortunately, the fix for this is better left to the professionals to resolve. Sensors commonly need to be replaced and calibrated when they are installed, and trying to fix this issue on your own would be more frustrating than just seeking a professional. In most cases, the new sensor installation will be the cause of the issue.

Awning Motor Issues

Another reason that an awning might malfunction is due to the motor itself. Motorized garden awnings don't function by a crank, and sometimes the awning can end up getting stuck because of motor issues. 

In the best-case scenario, the power connecting to the awning might be shorted. If the motorized awning is many years old, then this is another scenario where a professional should be called to fix it or replace it, especially if you're not skilled in this area.

For an average homeowner, finding the right parts from the manufacturer and then installing them isn't a simple DIY task that anyone can do just by watching a video.

Track Issues

An awning operates on tracks, and sometimes the awning can bump out of the tracks, resulting in functionality issues. In most cases, the awning just needs to be aligned back on the track in order to begin working again. Other times, there may be an accumulation of dirt and debris on the tracks that can prevent it from extending.

Another reason why this may occur is due to tracks that aren't lubricated. An awning won't slide as well as it should without being lubricated efficiently. Warped tracks can also prevent the awning from retracting how it should.

Running an awning along compromised tracks will result in damage further down the road, and the issue should be addressed promptly after noticing it.

To resolve this issue, you'll want to inspect the tracks and see if there is an obstruction anywhere along the way. 

Ensure to look for:

  • Dirt/debris in the tracks

  • If the tracks are lubricated

  • Any warping in the tracks

  • Any noises while you're trying to extend the awning

  • Rust

Resolving the issue depends on what is causing it. If the awning isn't working due to a build-up of debris along the tracks, you'll need to clean out the tracks. If you're hearing a noise while trying to operate the tracks, there’s a good chance they aren’t lubricated. At that point, try applying some lubrication along the tracks, and then test the functionality.

For awning tracks that are warped and bent out of shape, this might be a project that is better left in the hands of a professional. If the damage is too severe, the tracks might need replacement.

Frame Issues

Another issue that awnings in the garden can run into over time is a wobbly and loose frame. Sometimes certain materials that are used to support awnings aren't as durable and stable as they should be. Wood tends to degrade at a quicker rate in comparison to aluminum awnings.

To resolve this issue, you'll have to do an inspection to figure out what part of the awning is loose. Analyze the frame with your hands, and if you suddenly notice a certain part of it that feels looser than the rest, check to see if any screws are loose. If you do notice that any screws aren't as tight as they should be, get a drill and tighten everything up. 

Final Thoughts

Awnings will sag, run into mechanical issues, be exposed to environmental damage, and deteriorate from old age. While many awning issues can be determined by a simple inspection, it always helps to have someone that knows more about them than you do for the best results.


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