Aluminum patio covers are simple and easy to care for. However, they are not entirely maintenance free. Keeping them clean and free of rust from fasteners used to hold them together is important. Also, if your aluminum patio cover has gutters, you will need to clear them out too. Here are a few helpful hints and tips to keep your aluminum patio cover looking its very best.
In the fall (and before the first snow hits), climb up a ladder and check the top of the patio cover. Use a broom to sweep leaves and debris down off the cover. Clear any leaves out of the gutters by hand, if applicable. If the top of the cover is especially dirty, use a power washer to clean it, moving the power washer spigot downward towards the gutters and/or off the edges of the patio cover. Check for any signs of rust around the bolts and screws that hold the patio cover to the posts and to your house. A light rust-remover product will clean that away.
In winter, you may want to pull down large piles of snow. Since most aluminum patio covers are flat-roofed, the snow collects very quickly. The weight of the snow could do some damage to the patio cover if it becomes too heavy and there is too much of it. Use a snow rake with casters on it to reach up and across and pull the snow down over the edges of the patio cover.
In spring and summer, watch for hail and hail damage. These patio covers are very durable, but golf-ball sized hail (or larger) could put some serious dents in the roof of the patio cover. There really is not much you can do to prevent this, but you can make repairs if the damage is extensive.
If you want to add some extra protection, you can use a sealing coat over the tops and sides of the patio cover, as well as the posts that hold it up. Aluminum itself does not rust, but paint coatings can eventually fade, peel and not look so good. The sealing coat prevents this from happening and extends the life of the paint coat on the patio cover. It has the added benefit of preventing rust from the bolts and screws used to assemble the structure. If you want to add a different color as an accent to your patio cover, you can buy an outdoor aluminum paint premixed with a sealing coat.
For more information on aluminum patio covers, consider contacting companies like Rollins Construction.