Winter Precautions for Retractable Awnings

As winter sets in, it’s time to prepare your outdoor spaces for freezing weather. Decks need to be swept; patio furniture needs to be put in storage; and retractable awnings need to be winterized to ensure they survive the cold months. Located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and serving Berks, Lackawanna, Monroe, Carbon, Northampton, and Lehigh Counties, Designer Awnings is the place to trust for custom awnings. Here, we discuss precautions to take when preparing retractable awnings for winter.

Threats to Awnings During Winter

Although Sunesta retractable awnings are designed for reliability in outdoor conditions, winter brings a variety of elements that can shorten even the most durable awning’s life expectancy. Here are a few factors to watch out for when preparing your awning for winter:

Harsh Wind

Winter weather is notoriously brutal. Heavy storms and high winds take a toll on retractable awning valance that may cause deterioration to the valance which may not tolerate that level of strain.


Pennsylvania receives anywhere from 18 to over 100 in. of snow each winter, depending on your region. If your awning is not stored correctly, all this precipitation will pile on top of it. That may cause the fabric to deteriorate quicker if you do not have a protective hood, smart case or winter sunboot.

Thawing Ice

If your awning becomes crusted with ice and snow, that frozen material will thaw come spring. It may go through multiple cycles of melting and re-freezing, causing extensive wear and tear if directly on the fabric. The dampness may also encourage mold and mildew growth between the fabric folds. We recommend a winter sunboot if you do not currently have a cassette or protective hood.

Steps for Protecting Your Awning in Winter

If you want to keep your awning in pristine condition, it’s essential to consider these dangers. The following steps will help you protect your investment and ensure a beautiful, functional awning over your patio next summer.

Step One – Check for Damage

To winterize your awning, start by examining it carefully. Wear and tear can arise over a season of heavy use, from tiny rips to minor rust on the frame. It’s important to identify and repair any damage before stowing the awning away. As tempting as it may be to put repairs off until spring, fixing small issues now will keep them from compounding over time.

Step Two – Clean and Store Your Awning

Gently clean your awning with diluted dish soap, warm water, and a soft scrub brush. Be sure to let it dry completely after cleaning; this will help prevent moisture problems, mold, and mildew. Once the awning is completely dry, close it fully and unplug the motor to protect against electrical problems that may arise due to cold temperatures and snow.

Step Three – Protect With a Winter Cover

The best protection for an awning is a seasonal cover. The Sunboot by Sunesta is a complete fabric cover designed to be placed over a retracted awning. The cover is made of heavy-duty acrylic that acts as a durable barrier against snow, moisture, debris, and pests. Velcro closures hold it tight against wind conditions. Best of all, it comes in the same variety of colors and patterns as a Sunesta awning, helping you create a custom look that complements your home.

Step Four – Maintain Throughout Winter

As an additional precaution, regularly sweep the awning and motor throughout the season. Clearing away snow will prevent heavy buildup, ensuring that your awning stays in peak condition and ready for the warmer months.

Custom Winter Covers for Awnings

The right cover can make a world of difference in protecting your investment. When shopping for winter covers for awnings, look no further than Designer Awnings. Located in Allentown, PA, we serve Berks, Lackawanna, Monroe, Carbon, Northampton, and Lehigh Counties with high-quality custom awnings and accessories. Over 20 years of experience makes us a top dealer in our region. Contact us to learn more.

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