It’s smart to think about the best way to protect your canopy during the winter. Some canopy designs are constructed for all-season use, whereas others were never intended for anything other than simple summer shade. That’s true for both commercial and residential canopies, though most often awnings for your home or yard are only used seasonally.
Permanent canopy designs can tough it out in place.
If your canopy or awning is a permanent installation, then it should be sturdy enough to withstand typical winter weather in your locale. In fact, it’s designed not to be removed. The framing materials, fabric covering, hardware, construction and installation methods all work together to ensure your canopy will perform well regardless of rain, snow or wind.
Of course you can give it hand, ensuring water runs off properly and removing snow before it builds up too much.
Seasonal canopy designs definitely should be removed for the winter.
Temporary shade structures are just that – temporary. They aren’t designed or built to withstand bad weather. Putting them away in a timely manner ensures they’ll look attractive and function properly for the longest possible time.
It’s gentler to roll fabrics rather than folding them, and temporary shade structures come in lots of different configurations, so talk to your awning professional about the best way to dismantle and store your canopy designs.
If you have a retractable awning that gets used seasonally, it probably has a permanent housing that encloses the awning when it’s rolled or folded out of the way. There’s no need to remove that housing, because it should provide plenty of winter protection.
Whether your canopy designs are temporary or retractable, you should be sure all their parts are clean and undamaged before storing them at the end of the summer. Use a soft cloth and mild soap solution to wipe down the fabric and framing. You can inspect for problems at the same time. If you notice anything amiss, get it repaired now. That way you’ll be ready to go next spring.
Get to know your canopy.
If you inherited the canopy when you purchased the business, or the building, you’d be smart to consult with an experienced awning professional to learn more about it. It’s a good idea to have your canopy inspected by an expert. They can make sure everything is in good working order or show you any damage or impending problems they might see.
They can give you good general information about your canopy, too. That’s important because canopy designs can do a lot for you, if you use them right. You’ll want to know:
- What it’s made of and how it’s constructed, to understand any limitations. There’s more than necessarily meets the eye, so you don’t want to make assumptions.
- How to take the best care of it so it will last longest.
- How you can dress it up, to make it more functional or a stronger architectural element. You can augment permanent canopy designs so they’re expandable in the summer months, or add portable café walls to create outdoor eating or seating areas.
- How you can improve your graphics to make the most of your canopy’s marketing presence.
Is this your canopy’s last winter?
Permanently-installed or temporary, even the best canopy designs don’t last forever. If it’s time to bid your canopy a fond farewell, you can use the winter to contemplate a replacement design.
It’s one more reason to establish a good working relationship with your awning professional. In addition to answering questions and making repairs, they’re your go-to resource for ideas. Talk to them now, and by next spring your new canopy could be the talk of the neighborhood.
Photo Credit: Walt Stoneburner via Flickr