HOURS: M-F 8-4:30 Sat. by appointment Address: 65 Whites Path, South Yarmouth , MA 02664 Phone: 508.255.5666

Awning Before and After Cleaning

Don't lose time on the water! Use your boat while we craft your new canvas or cushions.

Retractable Awning Maintainence & Care SuggestionsRetractable Awning Maintainence & Care Suggestions

Your awning should be in retracted position when you are not on the premises. The awning should not be extended during high winds, snow or rainstorms as damage to the building and awning can occur. Wind sensors, motion sensors and “outrigger” legs, are available for some models which can enhance the use of your awning.

Frame Maintenance

We have a few helpful tips that will keep your retractable awning frame looking and operating well.

  1. At least once a year and/or at the end of every season spray WD-40 or INOX MX3 into the bent “elbow” upward toward the “shoulder” (the shoulder is where the arm attaches to the square bar of the awning near the building). Some locations (i.e. ocean front) need more frequent service. This lubricates the springs in the spring- loaded arms. Have a cotton rag handy to stuff into the “elbow” of the awning to keep the lubricant from dripping out onto your deck during the next step.
  2. Spray plenty of fresh water and use a mild natural soap like ivory snow on the awning frame and arms and into the elbow. Allow to dry.
  3. Apply wax onto aluminum frame and arms. This will help “seal” the powder coating and protect from Cape Cod’s naturally salty environment.
  4. Soak a rag in white vinegar, wipe hand crank handle clean, and wax with car wax.
  5. If installation is near salt water, please wash the awning at least once a month with fresh water and spray all moving parts with silicone. Proper care should be taken to prevent over spraying of silicone on the fabric.

Motor Maintenance

The motors are inside the fabric roller tube and do not require maintenance.

Fabric Maintenance

The fabric can be cleaned periodically to remove pollen, bird droppings, salt and airborne pollution. To do this, simply hose the underside of the awning as you unroll it, as the top of a projected awning, where the dirt accumulated, actually becomes the underside when going on or coming off the roller. Spray the roller tube containing the rolled up fabric as it projects, and you will be spraying the top when it is unrolled. There are many products to use, including a 3M product, Woolite, ivory snow with a mild solution of bleach. Minimize the use of a brush, as you will wear away the protective fabric finish, put on at the factory. Spot scrubbing of stubborn stains or bird droppings is sometimes a necessity. Green moss and Mildew is best attacked with mild bleach and soap solution and left extended after soaping for the sun and bleach to work. Retract wet if needed due to storms, but allow drying with the awning fully extended as soon as possible. NEVER EVER POWER WASH. Use hose pressure only.

There are several web sites to see detailed fabric care information, including:

You may also call Ocean Tailors at 508-255-5666 or the Sunair factory toll free at 800-548-0408 for specific questions.

Ocean Tailors does offer annual maintenance service. Please call 508-255-5666 to inquire about pricing if you are interested.


  1. The Lateral arm awning is primarily to be used for sun protection on reasonably calm, non-stormy days. They should not be left projected while the owner is not on the premises. Awnings have both electric motors, and safety gears to retract in the event of power failure. These types of awnings should be retracted in constant winds above the low 20mph range, or if the awning is bouncing in such a manner that it makes the homeowner uncomfortable to observe.
  2. Wind Control Devices, may be added but are not a substitute for observing the rule #1 above. Wind controls are mechanical / electric devices that can fail and are not a substitute for good judgment.
  3. Repair of wind damage is usually a capability, but warrantees do not cover negligence or misuse of your awning.


  1. The Sunair awning products are tolerant of rainwater striking them, but not of Rainwater accumulating in extended canopy cover. If you are using your awning in the rain, be sure that the pitch is adequate to force rainwater runoff. If you see water accumulating, simply lift up on the water loaded fabric and cause the water to drain off. Do not use a sharp pole or object to do this. Often a broom bristle end is adequate. In salt air environments, fresh rainwater is actually a benefit to both the fabric and frame, as it diminishes salt accumulation.
  2. A Motor Drip Loop, where the power cord dips before it runs into motor, thereby preventing water from running down into the motor, should be created by the installer, and should be rechecked if the awning is removed and returned to the wall for any reason.

Please keep in mind that, if you have a motor, every minute you operate the motor, you should let it rest for approximately 2 minutes. The motor has a thermal override that will shut the motor down to prevent overheating. If it does shut down, allow it to rest for 20 minutes before next use.


We are proud to offer our customers the full line of sunbrella® brand fabrics.

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