What to Do If a Retractable Awning Won’t Close

If you’ve ever had a retractable awning, you know the joy of coming home on a hot day and being able to pull out the shade to cool off on the patio. But what do you do if it stops working correctly? This blog post will teach you what to do if your motorized awning doesn’t close properly.

A member of the Sun Protection team shows these homeowners how to retract their new awning if it fails to close electronically. Learn how to troubleshoot awning issues.| Sun Protection

Checklist for a Motorized Awning That Won’t Close

If your motorized awning is not closing, there are a few things you can try to troubleshoot the issue. Try one or some of the following to diagnose the problem.

Check the Awning’s Manual for Troubleshooting Tips

Check the owner’s manual for troubleshooting tips if your awning won’t close. Try to determine the root of the problem and see if the manual has instructions for possible causes for the malfunction.

Check to See if Something is Blocking the Awning from Closing

See if anything is blocking the motorized awning from closing. You can do this by simply looking to see if any object is in the way. If there is, then carefully remove it before proceeding. Sometimes twigs or debris can get stuck in the track.

Take a Look at the Fabric

Examine the canvas fabric to ensure no rips or tears are near where the motor retracts the awning. Depending on how long you’ve had your retractable awning, the material may be warped and need replacing.

Lubricate Any Moving Parts on the Awning

You can try lubricating joints and drive systems to allow for smooth movement of the mechanisms, gearwheels, or other parts.

Ensure the Awning is Positioned Correctly on the Rail

Manual and electric awnings have trouble retracting when they aren’t positioned evenly on the rail. The awning arms should be parallel, and the fabric pulled taught with no wrinkles or loose ends hanging out.

Examine the Circuit Breaker, Wiring, and Fuses

Electrical problems are a common cause of an awning’s inability to retract. If you are unsure about the mechanics working correctly, your safest option is to reach out to the company that either installed the motorized awning or the manufacturer. An electrical contractor may be of assistance as well.

Contact the Manufacturer or Installer for Assistance

If your awning is giving you trouble, there are a few people you can contact for help. The company that installed the motorized awning should be your first call. They may be able to help you troubleshoot the problem over the phone. If they can’t, they may be able to come out and take a look at it. You may need to contact the manufacturer if the problem lies with the awning itself.

A Florida homeowner tests his retractable patio awning. He was having issues with it closing, but after checking the fuses, it is working again.| Sun Protection

How To Maintain and Care for Your Motorized Retractable Awning

If you’re a proud owner of a motorized awning, you should know how to care for it properly. A few simple tips can help ensure that your covering lasts for years. These steps should not take too long, and we recommend that they be done a few times a year. Typically the spring, mid-summer, and fall are good times to do a maintenance check by cleaning the fabric and examining the components of the retractable motorized patio awning.

Clean the Fabric

Cleaning the fabric of your retractable awning is essential for keeping it looking its best. When dirt and debris accumulate on the material, it can cause the canopy to become stained and fade. Regular cleaning will help extend the life of your awning and keep it looking new.

  • Remove Debris

The first step is removing leaves, twigs, and other debris collected on the roof of the motorized awning. 

  • Use a Ladder 

Use a kitchen broom to remove debris for areas that are hard to reach. Always use caution on a ladder, enlisting someone to help if needed. 

  • Clean the Material  

Once all loose dirt has been removed, use a soft cloth dipped in a bucket of mild soap and water. If you have a soft-bristled broom, you can use that as well, particularly for the areas that are not easily accessible. Try an organic stain remover spray for stubborn stains such as bird droppings. 

  • Rinse with Garden Hose 

Once you are finished cleaning the material, use a garden hose to rinse the dirt and soap. If a hose is not easily accessible, you can use a bucket of clean water. 

  • Do Not Use a Power Washer 

We do not recommend using a power washer. The pressure can damage the fabric. 

Check Your Awning

Inspecting the components of your retractable awning is crucial to ensure its longevity. You can prevent potentially costly repairs down the road by taking some time to check for wear and tear.

  • Mold & Mildew: Check the awning fabric for mold and mildew, which tend to show up when there’s moisture. 
  • Rusted Frames: The awning frame is susceptible to rust when heat and moisture are present. 

Debris: If your landscaping includes trees, you will want to check for limbs and other debris on the canvas roof. Not removing these items leaves the opportunity for tears and rips.

Cut Any Shrubbery

Pay attention to the landscape surrounding your patio area, mainly if it hangs over the motorized deck awning. Trim the branches of trees, cut back shrubbery or anything that may prevent the canvas roof system from rolling out or retracting into the encasement.

Keep Your Awning Retracted

The best way to prevent damage is to retract the motorized awning into the protective housing when you are not using it. While the canvas roof is stored in the aluminum hood, it is protected against damaging elements like the wind.

Although it may seem daunting, troubleshooting awning issues is quite simple. By checking all of the components and referring to the owner’s manual, most problems can easily be identified and fixed. If you are still experiencing difficulties after trying these steps, please don’t hesitate to contact our team for assistance. We are here to help you get your SPF Screens & Awnings products up and running smoothly so you can enjoy them for years to come!