Retractable Awning and Pergola Cover Maintenance Tips by ERS Shading

Awning Cleaning & Care Tips
For ERS Shading Awnings & Pergola Awning Covers

awning over outdoor bbq

Keep your awnings & covers happy!

Ensure the longevity and performance of your awning or pergola cover with expert maintenance tips from ERS Shading. As the leading provider of shading solutions in San Jose & the Silicon Valley region, we understand the importance of proper care for your investment. Follow these guidelines to keep your retractable awning or pergola cover looking great and functioning smoothly for years to come.



1. Regular Cleaning

Regularly clean your awning to remove dirt, debris, and stains that can accumulate over time. Use a mild detergent and water solution to gently scrub the fabric, avoiding harsh chemicals that may damage the material. Rinse thoroughly with water and allow the awning to dry completely before retracting it.

2. Inspect for Damage

Perform routine inspections to check for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Look for tears, holes, or loose stitching in the fabric, as well as any issues with the frame or mechanism. Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage and ensure the safety and functionality of your awning.

3. Operate with Care

Handle your awning with care when opening and closing it to avoid unnecessary strain on the mechanism. Avoid opening the awning in windy or rainy conditions, as this can cause damage to the fabric and frame.

4. Professional Maintenance

The reality is that it may be difficult, inconvenient, or downright hazardous to personally maintain your retractable awning. Consider scheduling professional maintenance services with ERS Shading to keep your awning in optimal condition. Our experienced technicians can inspect, clean, and repair your awning as needed, extending its lifespan and maintaining its performance. With our expertise and attention to detail, you can trust us to keep your awning looking and functioning its best.

Note that European Rolling Shutters does not cover storm and wind damage in our warranty. Should damage occur, however, we can quickly replace the fabric, hardware or the motor should damage occur.


Opening the Awning

Awnings with a manual crank should be turned gently – do not try to force it. Turn the crank handle in one direction to extend awnings; turn in the opposite direction to retract. When turning, always hold the handle at the same angle as the eyelet.

The lateral arms will hold the fabric taut when fully extended. If the fabric sags, roll the awning back until the fabric tightens.

Typically, the arms are never fully straight; trying to force the awning fabric to roll out past the gear stops where the elbows lock can damage it. However, ERS is one of the few companies that actually sets a stopping point on our manually-operated retractable awnings, while most companies do not. With a set outer limit, you don’t have to worry about accidentally rolling the awning out so far that it rolls backwards and damages the awning.

Retracting the Awning

Awnings should be retracted in wind exceeding 20 mph. Remove all twigs, leaves and other debris before rolling up the awning. When retracting, do not jam the front bar tight against the rolled fabric. The fabric should always roll off the top of the roller tube and never from underneath.

The awning fabric itself is water resistant; however, water may seep through the seams. Give wet fabric time to dry out before rolling it up. If that is not possible, extend it again as soon as the rain stops, so the fabric can dry properly to prevent mildew.

Adjusting the Pitch

European Rolling Shutters will install awnings at the level that provides the best shade for the owner’s liking, however the pitch can be changed any time later with this adjustment:

  • Get an 8 millimeter Allen key to use on the shoulder bracket (see drawing below).
  • Extend the awning about 2 feet.
  • With one hand, slightly lift the front bar, with the other hand, take the Allen key and turn the pitch adjustment, (blue).
  • Turning clockwise will raise the awning, counterclockwise will lower it.
  • Turn both adjusters the same amount to make sure front bar is level.

awnings diagram

Troubleshooting a Motorized Awning

Remote – controlled motorized awnings are the most convenient and easy to use. If, after time, the motor stops working, the issue is usually electrical.


  • Replace the small battery in the remote (hand-held or in-wall).
  • Check if all the breakers in the breaker box are switched on.
  • Look for any GFCI or AFCI outlet that has been triggered – these outlets have “Test” and “Reset”
    button and often just pushing the “Reset” button will work.
  • If power is not restored, call European Rolling Shutters for advice or to schedule a professional
    service appointment.


Although it is not necessary, the awning hardware (moving parts) may be lubricated once a year. A dry silicone spray lubricant is best to maintain optimal, quiet operation. If unusual creaking noises occur when operating, check the end of the roller tube on the side opposite the motor or gear. Applying a bit of lubricant on the axle/bushing usually eliminates the unwanted noises. Avoid spraying any lubricant on the fabric.



European Rolling Shutters uses aluminum components that are designed to be maintenance-free. However, it is a good idea to hose off the framework and wipe it with a soft cloth at the start of the outdoor season; more frequently in salt air environments is recommended. Avoid wetting the motor area. Check all fasteners once a year to ensure they are tight.


European Rolling Shutters typically uses Sunbrella® fabrics. The best way to keep the fabric looking good and prevent dirt from embedding in the fabric is to rinse it monthly with cold water. In most environments, this is the only regular maintenance needed besides a deeper cleaning once every two or three years.

General Cleaning Instructions – once a month

  • Brush off all loose dirt with a broom, including the underside.
  • Hose down.
  • Air-dry fully before retracting.
  • Trim shrubbery and vines away from the awning because they contain acid that can damage fabric.

Deep Cleaning Instructions – every 2 to 3 years

  • Brush off all loose dirt with a broom, including the underside.
  • Hose down.
  • Prepare a cleaning solution of cool water and mild soap, such as Woolite or Ivory Snow (no detergent).
  • Scrub with a soft bristle brush, working from the bottom up.
  • Allow soap to soak in.
  • Rinse thoroughly until all soap residue is gone.
  • Air-dry fully before retracting.
  • Trim shrubbery and vines away from the awning because they contain acid that can damage fabric.

Products to Use for Stubborn Stains

  • Bird Droppings – Dawn, Greased Lightning, Clean Rite Purple Power
  • Iron Rust – Carbona Stain Devil #9
  • Mildew – Clorox bleach and Dawn
  • Oil – Acetone 100%
  • Paint – Paint remover, oil or grease remover
  • Tree Sap – Turpentine 100%, Dawn

Trust ERS Shading for Your Awning Needs

At ERS Shading, we’re dedicated to providing top-quality products and services to our customers in San Jose and beyond. Whether you need awning maintenance tips or assistance with installation and repairs, our team is here to help.

Contact us today at (408) 629-3740 for a personalized shading solution tailored to your needs, or make an appointment online. Our showroom is open six days a week, Monday through Friday, 8 AM-4 PM and Saturday, 10 AM-3 PM, located at 404 Umbarger Road, Suites A&B San Jose, CA 95111. Let us help you create the outdoor oasis of your dreams.