How to Reroof a Patio Awning

Orange fabric patio awning.

If you need to learn how to reroof a patio awning, understand that a patio awning doesn't have a traditional "roof." Most patio awnings are made from fabric, so in essence you're not so much replacing the roof as you are replacing the fabric.

Why Is Reroofing a Patio Awning Necessary?

Patio awnings consist of a metal skeleton, usually made out of aluminum, and a fabric covering. Over time and due in part to being exposed to the elements, the fabric portion of the awning can become weather-beaten, worn down, dulled or ripped. The sun's penetrating rays can bleach out previously vibrant colors, while heavy rains can cause irreversible staining in some cases. Since the skeleton of the awning is aluminum, it's pretty resistant to rust and corrosion, so take the time to learn how to replace the fabric to get it looking like new again.

How to Reroof a Patio Awning

Tools and Materials

  • Screwdrivers
  • Hammer
  • Utility knife
  • Rivet gun with rivets
  • Vise-grips
  • Heavy string
  • Awning fabric

Reroofing a Stationary Patio Awning

Before You Begin

Before you can reroof a patio awning, know how much fabric you're going to need for the new installation. Take measurements of the existing awning and take note of how the material is installed along the channels of the frame so you have an idea of how to install the new fabric.

Removing the Existing Patio Awning Fabric

Cut the bulk of the old fabric from the frame, but don't cut the fabric out of the mounting channel. Slide the remaining fabric out of the mounting channels and untie and remove any ropes as well. Pay attention to how the ropes are installed and routed through the frame so you know how to replace them during the installation process.

Installing the New Fabric

Slide the fabric into the mounting channel located at the top of the awning. Spread the awning fabric over the frame so it is draped over it. Tie the fabric in place in the same manner as the previous cover was installed. Use new rope if the old rope is dirty or in poor condition. Once everything is tied down, the job is complete.

Reroofing a Roll-Up Patio Awning

Reroofing a patio awning that rolls up is a little more difficult because there are tightly wound springs that have to be contended with. Have a second pair of hands available to make this job a little easier and safer.

Removing the Old Fabric

Unwind the fabric from the awning rail and lock the tube's spring tension using the cotter pin. Disconnect the arms of the awning from the wall and use them to walk the awning off the rail. Remove the awning from the arms by using a vise-grip to clamp down on the plate inside each arm. Remove the bolts holding the arms to the plates.

Remove the cotter pin from the awning tube and release the spring's tension by unwinding it. Be sure to count how many times the spring rotates as it loosens.

If this is your first time replacing the fabric awning, you may have to drill out the rivets on the torsion assembly. Mark the cam's handle position so you know where it goes when you replace it.

Remove the old fabric by unrolling it and slipping it off the tube.

Installing the New Fabric

Slide the new fabric over the tube and get it centered. Tuck the cords in at each end of the fabric. Reattach the torsion assembly to the tube and use new rivets to secure it in place. Wind the tension springs back to their previous tension and re-insert the cotter pin.

Reconnect the awning arms to the awning frame, feed the awning cord into the rail and remove the cotter pin. Roll the fabric up the awning and connect the awning arms back to the wall.

Enjoying Your New Patio Awning

It's remarkable what a simple updating of your patio awning can do to your home and your life. Not only will it provide your house with a lovely accent, it will make you want to spend more time outside, lavishing in the cool shade while sipping an ice cold drink. This job might not be the easiest to do, but take your time, enlist the help of a friend or two and start barbecuing under your new patio awning in just a few hours.

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How to Reroof a Patio Awning