With the last few warm days of fall starting to disappear into consistently cooler temperatures, many businesses are officially closing their outdoor patios for the season. As you ready your property for winter, it’s important to properly care for and inspect your patio awnings, umbrellas, and furniture – so there’s no unexpected surprises when spring arrives.
Tips for Closing Your Patio for the Season
A little bit of preparation can go a long way when you’re transitioning your patio to its off-season state.
- Clean any fabrics or porous materials. It’s true that outdoor fabrics are designed to better withstand the elements than indoor versions, but they still can benefit from a light cleaning before they go into storage. That’s because organic matter (think food stuck to the bottom of a cushion or a leaf left in the folds of a retractable patio awning) will decompose in storage and cause mold to form – regardless of whether your fabrics are mold-resistant or not.
- Look for visible damage. Knowing the state of your outdoor assets before packing up for the season lets you plan ahead. Look for any tears or cracks and areas of each asset that are getting particularly worn.
- Check for functionality. Depending on the quality of your outdoor assets, some may have a shorter lifespan than you’d like – a common problem with umbrellas. Before storing assets for the season, test them all to make sure they’ll be ready for the spring. If you’ve found your patio umbrellas haven’t withstood the summer like you’d hoped, it may be time to consider upgrading to commercial-grade patio awnings.
- Choose Proper Storage. Whether your winters have snow and ice or simply lots of rain, your storage choices have a significant impact on the longevity of your outdoor assets. Cushions, pillows, and umbrellas should be stored in a dry, indoor location. If furniture can’t be brought inside, it should be covered with tight-fitting and secured covers. Depending on the design of your patio awnings, they should either be closed tightly in their enclosure or stored as suggested by the manufacturer.
- Prepare the Foundation. Especially important for locations with ice and snow, it’s important to also care for the actual patio foundation as you’re closing up for the season. Cracks in the cement or brickwork can lead to major issues after an entire season of freezing and thawing. Similarly, leaves should be brushed away to avoid stains from decomposing piles.
The autumn is the ideal time to start considering ways to improve your customers’ patio experience next year. At Retractable Structures, we believe that replacing umbrellas with commercial patio awnings and canopies is the best way to maximize your patio’s value.
Explore the Options for Top-Quality Commercial Patio Awnings and Canopies
At Retractable Structures (a division of Eide Industries, Inc.), we specialize in designing, manufacturing, and engineering commercial retractable structures and awnings. With almost 80 years of extensive design, construction, metal fabrication, industrial sewing, and installation experience, we are proud to offer the highest quality custom and pre-engineered products possible, made right here in the U.S.