Having a cover for your patio is essential, even if you live in a generally cold climate. Summer can still become very hot, and having the sun shining down on you all the time can be tiresome, even in winter. But if you have a small yard, a large patio cover may block the sunlight from reaching your yard and plants, especially if the cover casts a large shadow. Retractable patio covers are perfect for this situation. However, do keep a few things in mind so that you can keep the patio cover working well for many years.
Brittle Material From UV Rays
The patio cover material has to be treated so that it is resistant to UV (ultraviolet) rays. Without any protective coating, the sun's rays can make the material fade and become brittle, leading to holes or cracks when the dried-out material tries to bend as you retract the cover. These create holes that let sunlight and rain through. Material that is coated for protection against UV rays can eventually fade and become brittle, too, but it will take much longer for that to happen.
Fallen Leaves and Twigs
Leaves fall on patio covers. So, why is that a big deal if you have a retractable cover? The leaves and twigs can get caught in the arms that pull the sections of material back, leading to jams. Solving this is simple: Take a long-handled broom and sweep off the top of the patio cover before retracting it. The hardest part of that is remembering to do it (although finding a broom with a handle long enough to reach all of the cover can take some searching). If you forget and manage to crunch up some leaves as the cover retracts, try to open the cover again and sweep the debris away. You may have to tap the bottom of the cover to dislodge the debris.
Did you leave the cover extended for a few days? Did you look at it once again to see a nest built in a corner? That's a risk because now you can't retract the cover until the birds have left the nest for the season. Most bird nests are protected by city and state laws. That means the cover might have to remain extended through storms that could damage the cover. Be sure to retract and extend the cover on a regular basis to try to discourage birds from settling there.
Retractable patio covers are wonderful to have, no matter the size of your yard. However, you do need to be sure that extending and retracting the cover can be done easily without damage, and that means taking extra care of the cover.
Contact a local patio covering service, such as Outdoor Equity Construction LLC., to learn more.