With winter well and truly underway, many Australian homeowners are using their outdoor roller blinds to block out the cold air and make their alfresco areas a little bit more comfortable. It is important to note, however, that cold and wet weather can wreak havoc with your blinds and cause all sorts of issues, from rusting to even more serious damage. In this article, we have outlined how you can go about properly maintaining them.
- Keep them free of rubbish and debris
One of the most important things you can do for your blinds is keep them free of any rubbish, debris and dirt build-up, as this can lead to damage or rust and prevent them from operating properly. Regularly take a broom and give them a good sweep, ensuring that you check the mechanism for any leaves or twigs that may have found their way in. This will go a long way towards lessening the maintenance required.
- Give them a regular clean
Even if you have swept away all of the rubbish and debris that you can see, it is important to remember that some dirt is microscopic. To remove this sort of debris, it is important that you give the blinds a thorough wash with a sponge and mild soap/warm water solution. Ensure that you get into all of the nooks, crannies and ventilation holes. Once you’re finished, ensure that you dry the surface with an old towel.
- Always use the screens with care
It is essential that you exercise care when operating your outdoor roller blinds during the winter. Don’t rush to open or close them, as this can often lead to unnecessary damage. Ensure that they don’t knock into anything when being opened or closed, and ensure that they are firmly secured at all times. During storms and high winds, it is essential that you close the screens and secure them properly.
- Grease the bearings
You can help to prevent the occurrence of rust by greasing the blinds at least once a year. This will help to prevent the rolling mechanism from getting rough. Ensure that you have purchased a product recommended by the manufacturer or that has been designed for this particular purpose (such as a steel lubricant). Apply it to the guide rails to ensure that the rolling mechanism continues to operate smoothly.
- Avoid the use of abrasive cleaners
It is essential that you never apply strong bleach, solvents or methylated spirits to the blinds when cleaning them. These sorts of substances can cause severe damage to the screens, the least of which being discolouration. You should also avoid the use of steel wool, scrubbing brushes, scrapers and other sharp objects. These can also cause severe damage to the surface, such as scratches.
By following all of the instructions outlined above, you can rest assured that your outdoor roller blinds are properly maintained during the winter. Whilst these screens are certainly useful at all times of the year, you will find that most damage is caused during the cooler months, as the weather is far less forgiving at this time of year. If you ensure that you have properly cared for your blinds, they will last you a number of years without issue.