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Two tips to follow if you've installed a retractable awning

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If you've just installed a retractable awning, here are some tips to follow.  

Always brush debris off the awning before retracting it

Before you retract the awning, you should brush off any large debris you find on its upper surface. Whilst one of the great things about retractable awnings is that they don't need to be cleaned very often (as they don't collect dirt when they're retracted), leaves, dust and debris of other kinds can still accumulate on them whilst they're on display.

If you roll the awning away without looking at its upper side and removing any large debris, things like wet leaves will remain tapped within the tightly rolled awning canvas whilst it's retracted. Due to the lack of air circulating within the rolled-up fabric, these leaves might stay damp and make some sections of the fabric mouldy or give it a stale, damp odour that could be challenging to eliminate.

By ensuring that, before retracting it, you remove the bulk of the debris that falls on the awning whilst it's unrolled, you should be able to lengthen the awning's lifespan, keep it smelling fresh and avoid having to use mould removal products on it (which could discolour its fabric).

Consider getting a timer for the awning

If possible, you should get a timer for your new awning. This could enable you to fully enjoy the advantages of having an awning that you can retract. For example, if you keep plants on your awning-covered patio that don't respond well to strong, direct sunlight, then it could be helpful to have a timer for your awning that extends it during the sunniest parts of the day.

Having this device would mean that even if you're not at home during the day, you could use the timer to automatically unroll the awning at noon when the sun starts to get strong, and then have it retract itself in the late afternoon when the sun is weaker. This would ensure that the sun-sensitive plants on your patio are protected from the strongest form of direct sunlight, even though you're not at home to retract or unroll the awning yourself. Similarly, if you always go out onto your awning-covered deck to sunbathe at the same time every day, you could use the timer to automatically retract the awning right before you go outside so that your sunbathing sessions are as effortless and relaxing as possible.