WHEELING - Properly storing canvas awnings throughout the winter months can prevent unnecessary future problems and expense, according to Lisa Martin, sales manager for Wheeling Canvas Products.
Storing an awning for the winter not only cuts down significantly on damage from ultraviolet rays, she said, but it also prevents the awning from being damaged by any snow accumulation.
"It's not quite as bad on small awnings, but a lot of people have patio awnings that go out maybe 10 or 15 feet - and with that it's just not meant to hold a load of snow," Martin said.
Wheeling Canvas Products recently installed this large canvas awning between the upper and lower Centre Market houses.
Photo by Scott McCloskey
She recommends that people not just throw their awnings out into a barn or garage area where they can be damaged, but store them in a nice, dry protected space.
"A lot of people think it is good to wrap them in plastic or a poly-tough tarp. That actually is not the case. That will promote mildew and dry rot. So we recommend if you're going to wrap it in something, you wrap it in something that is cloth or linen - maybe an old bedspread or tablecloth," Martin added.
She said any small pockets in a canvas awning can create the perfect spot "for a little mouse to spend the winter" and significantly damage the awning. Martin said Wheeling Canvas Products is just beginning to take down and store awnings for the winter for many of their business and residential customers.
"We will take down and store over 5,000 awnings. During the winter we do a free inspection report on every awning - so if cleaning or repairs are needed, then we would contact the customer," Martin said, adding they store awnings for their customers throughout the winter, then return and reinstall them in the spring.
She said they store the awning on racks by location, so they can operate more efficiently in the spring.
In addition, Wheeling Canvas Products - located in the Fulton section of town - handles plastic banners, tent rentals, linens, and tables and chairs.