Troubleshooting an Aluminum Patio Awning

Large awning over a seating area
  • 3-15 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-10,000

With an aluminum patio awning you can sit on your patio comfortably without burning in the hot afternoon sun. As the sun gets higher in the sky, it can heat up patio areas very quickly making it unbearable to sit with friends and family. Many homeowners will install a patio awning to cover their sitting area to keep them undercover of the sun, rain, and wind. They are a great addition and are easily installed on the side of a home.

Aluminum patio awnings can be either stationary or retractable. The retractable awning is very popular as it can be folded in against the home when it is not needed. Problems with the aluminum patio awning are sometimes caused by faulty installation or a lack of maintenance. Here are some tips to help you troubleshoot your own awning.

1. Uneven Brackets

The aluminum patio awning is going to have a little more weight to it than one that has a fabric cover. This means that the mounting brackets used to hold the awning on the home must be level in order for the awning to work correctly. If the awning is not level it will interfere with the awning that it retracts. To fix this you adjust the mounting brackets so they will be level.

2. Retracting Motor Halts

When lowering, or retracting, the aluminum patio awning there can be problems with the motor of the apparatus. At times the motor will not have enough power to work the weight of the awning, or it will have issues with the power it receives through the electrical wiring. Check the volts with a meter and make sure it is up to the manufacturer's specifications. If the problem is not found in the wiring, the motor is faulty and needs to be replaced.

3. Awning Cover Leaks

In an aluminum awning there is a tendency for the cover of the awning to leak after a few years in the weather. This is mostly caused by the awning being left open during rain and in the sun for long periods of time. As the rain assaults the awning it begins the process of oxidation, or rusting. Without proper maintenance of the awning roof you will find small holes where the water can leak through in times of rain. Fixing this problem is easily done through small sheets of metal or caulking.

4. Awning Not Retracting Fully

One problem many people report about their aluminum patio awning is that it does not retract fully. Upon further investigation, they find that there is a nest of some sort within the retracting mechanism. Many times this is a bird nest that has been built in the spring time before the awning has been used. While this is an easy fix, you must be careful with the nest, especially if there are eggs in it. Remove the nest from the awning and set it in a nearby tree.

Another problem is the awning does not retract fully because of a problem with the chains. Oil them each year to keep them from rusting or binding up when in use.