A little routine care and awning cleaning will increase the durability of your awnings. Awnings require proper maintenance. Some awnings are made of mildew resistant materials. However, this does not mean that they don’t require the occasional cleaning. If you allow dirt to accumulate on a canvas awning, it can lead to the growth of mildew and mould. Mould poses some serious health risk. Also it affects the aesthetic appeal of your awning by leaving ugly stains on the fabric.
Clean your awnings once a month
The easiest and most effective way of cleaning your awnings is to hose them with water. This ritual has to be performed every month. Routine cleaning will prevent dirt from getting accumulated deep inside the fabric. If, on the other hand, you allow dirt to embed within the fabric, you will need more robust cleaning strategies.
That said, there is a limit to what you can accomplish by giving your awnings a monthly rinse. They will need a thorough cleaning every 2 to 3 years.
How to clean your awnings
Depending upon the type and size of the awnings you have, you will probably have to remove them from their frame to clean them. Some awnings, however, can be cleaned while they are still on the frame. Some awning fabrics can be machine washed. Use mild soaps and lukewarm or cold water to wash the fabric in a washing machine. After washing the fabric, don’t forget to air dry it. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully while cleaning the awning fabric.
The awning fabric can be cleaned while it is still on its frame. In this case, start the cleaning process by brushing off the loose debris or dirt. After removing the dirt, hose down the awning fabric with water. Prepare a cleaning solution of mild soap and water. Apply the cleaning solution to the awning fabric. Clean the fabric gently with a brush. Using cold water rinse the fabric thoroughly and let it air dry.
How to clean the underside
The top of the awning is constantly exposed to the weather elements. Dirt, cobwebs and dust can also get deposited on the underside. The underside of the awning should be brushed regularly with a broom. This simple strategy will keep your awning in good condition.
Repair wear and tear
Canvas awnings should be kept away from shrubs, trees and vines. Plants produce an acid which can damage the awning fabric. Constant exposure to this acid will affect the performance and appearance of your awning.
Check the awning fabric routinely for small tears or rips. Remember that if small tears are not repaired, they will eventually become large. So close the tears as soon as you spot them with a repair tape.
Take care when it’s cold and wet
Your awnings need protection from cold temperatures. Canvas awnings may suffer damage when they are rolled or unrolled in winter.
Water pooling can cause canvas to stretch. This will eventually lead to a poor fit on the frame. After a downpour inspect the awning to see if water has pooled in any of its pockets. If so, push the underside of the awning with a broom. This will remove standing water.
A little routine maintenance will go a long way in keeping your awnings in good shape for years to come.
Click here for more information on awning cleaning and for specific recommendations on removing a variety of stains.