LBWA–Freeze Frame

People may not think about shade structures needing winterization, but to prolong the life of the fabric, it is worth considering. These structures, normally meant to be seasonal, won’t last long if left out in harsh winter conditions, even in warmer climates. Exposure to the sun, wind, and other elements all summer long can break down the fabric, and if you add in the effects of cold weather over several months, the fabric can become brittle, thin, and torn. Taking the fabric off, cleaning and drying it thoroughly, and storing it in a dry place for the winter will prolong its life. This is also a good time to mend any tears in the fabric, and clean, tighten, and lubricate the frame as well to protect it.

So what do you do in your part of the world to get ready for winter? If you have suggestions or special memories—such as northern Wisconsin’s record 54 inches of snow in April—share them here at PRB.

Randy Gaddo served for 15 years as a director in municipal parks and recreation after retiring from 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He developed, wrote, administered, and presented maintenance plans as well as recreation master plans during that time. Gaddo earned his Master’s in Public Administration, and now lives in Beaufort, S.C. He can be reached at (678) 350-8642 or email

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