Just like other products meant for the outdoors, like outdoor furniture and even decking, outdoor blinds can be damaged by extreme factors, such as adverse weather conditions. Strong winds, heavy rainfall and harsh summer sunlight can take their toll on your blinds, and hence you must take proper steps to ensure your investment in the blinds is protected. With simple care and maintenance, you can keep your outdoor blinds secured to ensure that they last for years to come. Some of these steps are listed below.
1. Roll them up in bad weather.
Outdoor blinds are especially prone to damage by strong winds. Even though part of the reason you have them is for wind protection, excessively strong winds (and accompanying flying debris) can tear or otherwise damage the slats and chains holding the blind together, reducing their useful life and increasing your expenses in repair/replacement. If you notice strong winds setting in, roll up the outdoor blinds and ensure they are properly secured to maintain their integrity.
2. Keep them dry.
Outdoor blinds are commonly made of materials like PVC, canvas, mesh fabric, and even wood. These materials should not be exposed to water for long periods of time, or else they could be damaged. Avoid rolling up your blinds while they are wet, as this provides the perfect atmosphere to breed mildew, mould and/or bacteria. Once they are so damaged, you may have no choice but to replace them. Therefore, roll up your blinds before the onset of heavy rainfall. If already exposed to water, roll back down (once the rain subsides) and allow to dry before rolling up for storage.
3. Clean them properly.
Cleaning your outdoor blinds regularly not only keeps them looking good for you and your guests, it also protects them from premature deterioration. If you allow dirt to build up on your blinds, cleaning will be much harder and you could easily damage them in the process. Do not use any harsh chemicals—mild detergent, warm water and a soft, absorbent piece of cloth are sufficient to remove dirt. Avoid any materials that could scratch the surface, such as brushes. You can look at the manufacturer's manual to find out what's permissible given the specific material used to make your particular blinds.
Proper cleaning technique is also important: timber blinds in particular are prone to rotting and warping unless properly sealed. For these, wring out your cloth completely to ensure very little water seeps into the blind during cleaning. Metallic and PVC blinds can be cleaned with soap and water. However, they must be properly rinsed, as soap residue looks unsightly and will corrode the surfaces of the blinds over time. You can also use recommended window-cleaning sprays. Finally, ensure you allow the blinds to dry properly before rolling them up to prevent damage.
4. Roll them up at night
If you have indoor window treatments like curtains that can be closed for privacy, you may want to roll up your outdoor blinds before going to sleep, since you don't know how the weather might change while you're sleeping. You certainly wouldn't want to wake up and find damaged blinds that may need costly repairs or complete replacement.