Roll-up outdoor shades are much easier to troubleshoot and repair than many may think. In fact, for the vast majority of problems you’ll ever have with your roll-up shades, you won’t have to spend a cent to fix them. Below are some of the more basic problems you’ll run into, along with ways of fixing them.
Step 1 – Rolling Tension Too Tight
When the tension on your shades feels too tight it generally means the spring inside needs to be adjusted. There is a coiled spring inside that controls the tension as it is raised and lowered. To lower the tension in the spring, lift your shades off their brackets, manually unroll it about halfway, and set it back in the brackets. Roll and unroll it on the brackets to test the tension, and repeat the process if the tension still feels too tight.
This is also the typical fix if your shades won’t roll down all the way. It means that the spring is wound so tight that it won’t tighten more and needs to be loosened.
Step 2 – Rolling Tension Too Loose
If your shades are so loose that they have the pull to lift themselves up when let go, it is usually because not enough tension is being put on the spring. The solution is the exact reverse of the last one. Pull the shade down half way, take it off it’s brackets, and manually roll it back up. Set it back on the brackets and test the tension. Repeat the process if it still isn’t as tight as you’d like.
Over time, springs will lose their tension naturally as force is continually put on them. Don’t be surprised if you need to do this to increase the tension as the years go on.
Step 3 – Shades Won’t Roll Up At All
Sometimes this can be caused by the spring tension being too loose, in which case you can try Step 2 to fix it. If it doesn’t work, then it means the spring inside is completely uncoiled. To fix this, remove the roller from the brackets and manually unroll if halfway. Using pliers, turn the flat stationary pin inside until you start to feel some tension. Once you do, turn it back the other way just enough so that the pawl hooks onto the ratchet. The pawl is the latch that keeps it rolling in only one direction.
From here, follow steps 1 or 2 to loosen or tighten the spring tension as necessary.
Step 4 – Wobbly Shades
This is a common problem when one of the stationary pins becomes bent. To fix this, simply pull the shades off their brackets, pull the pin out, and use pliers to straighten the pin.
Step 5 – More Extensive Problems
For more extensive problems you’ll probably need to consult somebody that knows a little more about roll-up shades. You can start by talking to somebody at your local hardware store. You can inspect it yourself and see if you can find and solve the problem, but bear in mind that you may accidentally make matters worse and force yourself to buy new outdoor shades.