Patio covers are a great addition to any home. They provide shade and protection from the elements, allowing for more time outdoors to enjoy your patio. Patio covers can also help lower your heating and cooling bills and add curb appeal to your home.
But what if your patio goes from a safe, inviting, and enjoyable space to something unusable and unsafe? This is a real possibility, especially if your patio cover wasn’t constructed or maintained correctly, is old, or simply was made of low-quality materials.
Below are seven places your patio cover may be failing you. If it is, it may be time to repair or replace it.
1. Roofing Material
The roof of your patio cover is one of the most important aspects of the structure. If problems arise in the roofing of your patio cover, you need to take action. If left in disrepair, a roof could collapse, causing a dangerous situation for anyone underneath.
Depending on the type of roofing you have, here are some common problems to look for:
- Damaged or Cracked Shingles
- Granules in the Gutters
- Discoloration of Roofing Material
- Damaged Flashings
- Sagging Roof
- Rips or Tears
- Feels Spongy to the Touch
- Easily Crumbles or Cracks
- Discoloration or Dark Spots
- Musty Smell
- Bending or Arching, Support Beams, or Rafters
- Warped or Misshapen Appearance
- Mold or Mildew
- Rust or Corrosion
- Visible Waviness
If the roof of your patio cover needs attention, you could hire a professional to come and inspect it and possibly repair it; or you could look into replacing your entire patio cover with something more durable.
Another integral part of a patio cover is the posts. These are what support the whole structure. If your posts are damaged, the entire structure could come tumbling down. Some signs that your posts are not doing their job include:
- Visible Signs of Rot – This includes paint chipping, wood cracking or splintering, bowing, etc.
- Termite Damage – These horrible little pests can get inside your wood and eat away at it from the inside out. Termite damage isn’t as easy to spot, but a few telltale signs include cracks, damage along the wood grain, or wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
Depending on the type and severity of the damage, you may be able to fix your current posts. But, it is often better to take them down and start with fresh posts to ensure the stability of your structure and the safety of those who will utilize it.
3. Foundation or Footings
It has been said that a structure is only as strong as its foundation. Patio covers are no exception. If you want a patio cover that will withstand the elements, you first need to ensure that it has a good foundation. If the foundation is compromised, your structure will not be as strong.
Some signs that the foundation for your posts is damaged or failing include:
- Sunken Concrete
- Large, ZigZag Cracks
- Crumbling Concrete
Foundation repairs can be challenging and must be done right to ensure they will hold up your structure. Call a professional to be sure it is done correctly, or opt to take down your structure and start fresh.
The hardware used to build a patio cover includes things such as anchors, connectors, and fasteners. The hardware holds parts of the structure together. If any of the hardware starts to rust or break, you need to replace it.
5. Energy Efficiency
A good, quality patio cover will help block the heat in the summer and the cold in the winter. By doing so, your home’s heating and cooling systems won’t have to work as hard, saving you money on your electric bill.
If your patio cover is not helping your home’s energy efficiency, it is time to upgrade.
6. Adhering to Code
A permit is required when building a patio cover. There are specific building codes that need to be adhered to. Failure to obtain a permit and follow said codes can result in problems when selling your home or if your city’s code inspector comes poking around.
But, even more so, the integrity of your structure and your family’s safety is at stake if your patio cover isn’t built to code.
If you didn’t obtain a permit and follow codes when constructing your outdoor structure, then it is in your best interest to tear it down and begin again—this time following the proper procedures.
If you bought your home with a patio cover already installed by the previous owners, you might not be happy with how it looks. Maybe you don’t like the color, shape, size, or the overall design. If so, it’s not a bad idea to take it down and replace it with something that is all your own.
Another reason for a new look may be that you installed your current patio cover many years ago and are ready for a change.
Ready To Upgrade To Alumawood?
Your current patio cover may still be functional, but you simply want to upgrade it to something more durable and lasting, such as an Alumawood patio cover.
Alumawood is an embossed aluminum that is designed to look like wood. So, you get the durability of aluminum combined with the beauty of wood. Alumawood structures are built to hold up to the elements and last much longer than any other patio cover material on the market.
Whatever your reasons might be for wanting or needing a new patio cover, if you are in the Phoenix area, give our patio cover contractors here at Royal Covers a call. We’ll make your patio cover dreams come true.