Regardless of whether you own a residential or business building, you probably realize the importance of awnings. They not only provide us with shade, but they are also part of the face of a building and can directly impact its image.
Retractable awnings (also called sun shading systems) upstand the whims of weather and they need regular maintenance and cleaning. To keep them colorful and new-looking for as long as possible, you need to apply the right cleaning method.
Regular fabric awning cleaning is essential not only for keeping the aesthetic appearance of any property but also for expanding the life of the awnings.
Awnings require special care and cleaning methods that are both effective and don’t create a risk of damage.
Some of the most common types of dirt that appear on fabric awnings are :
- bird droppings
- organic matter from insects and plants
As we know different types of stains require different cleaning methods.
Some types of awning dirt are more stubborn and they need to be cleaned as soon as possible. One of them is bird droppings as if you don’t clean them soon, they are likely to damage the fabric of the awnings permanently.
Mud can be also stubborn for cleaning, so in this article we will offer you some helpful tips about how to effectively get rid of stubborn types of dirt on awnings.
Canvas awning cleaning shouldn’t be complex. There are a couple of easy and useful cleaning methods you can use to get your awnings perfectly cleaned. Here we will give you some useful tips about cleaning outdoor awnings.
How often fabric awnings should be cleaned?
In general, the recommended cleaning frequency for most types of awnings is twice a year, but this frequency depends on different factors. These are the location of the property, the material of the awnings and the type of the building.
For example, if your property is located near a busy road junction or a farming field, then the awnings of the building are likely to get dirty more often. In such a case you may need to clean them once every month, especially if we talk about business or apartment buildings and hotels where curb appeal is important.
So, to keep your outdoor canvas awnings in a decent condition, you should clean them twice a year, at the beginning of spring and at the end of summer as most retractable awnings are mostly used during this period.
What cleaning supplies you need for awning cleaning?
You will need the following items :
- warm soapy water
- awning cleaning solution
- soft bristled brush/sponge/towel
- car window scraper
- garden hose
Here we will offer you some easy-to-follow awning cleaning steps that are suitable for every type of retractable awning.
What cleaning steps should you follow ?
Use a brush or broom with soft bristles to dislodge the accumulated dirt debris on the surface of your awnings and remove it. You can opt for a scraper with a soft blade for car windows that won’t damage the awning fabric.
After you are sure that you have brushed off all of the dirt from the awnings, prepare a mixture of detergent with amild formula and clean water in a bucket. You will need it to scrub the awning fabric.
Get a stable ladder and place it close to the awning you want to clean. It’s recommended to have someone hold the ladder while you are standing on it for extra safety.
Get a soft sponge, dip it into the cleaning solution and clean the surface of the awnings in a gentle way without applying much pressure as awnings are prone to tears and dimples during cleaning.
Now get a garden hose and rinse the awning properly until all of the cleaning detergent and dirt debris are removed.
The best way to dry an awning fabric is to leave it air dry. After it’s fully dry you can retract it back, if you don’t need to use it. This will protect it from algae or mold growth as the trapped moisture inside creates such a possibility.
Cleaning detergents with strong corrosive formulas, chemical-based products, or bleach aren’t recommended for cleaning retractable awnings.
Top ideas for cleaning fabric awnings
Avoid intense scrubbing when cleaning an awning fabric. Small stains can be cleaned with a rubber eraser and when it comes to stubborn stains, the use of a mild detergent and a soft brush/sponge is again the best option.
High-pressure cleaning isn’t suitable for awnings as it applies a powerful water spray that can severely damage them.
Soft washing, for example, is one of the ways to effectively clean dirty awnings. Soft washing machines help you clean different types of awnings quickly and efficiently without the risk of damage.
When cleaning retractable awnings it is recommended to pick up a sunny and warm day so that the awnings can dry out quickly. Avoid windy or rainy weather as it won’t allow your awnings to dry properly after the cleaning.
Hot weather is also not good as the sun will make the cleaning product evaporate quickly and streaks will appear as a result. Besides, this will minimize the effectiveness of the cleaning detergent.
It’s not recommended to store awnings that are not fully dried as this leads to mold and mildew stains which are stubborn for cleaning. The proper way to store fabric awnings is in a dry and well-ventilated area and preferably packaged in a cotton bag. It’s also recommended to pack the awning poles separately.
It’s possible for every property owner to clean their awnings by themselves and achieve decent results. But even if you manage to find awning cleaning products and tools that guarantee good results, there isn’t a 100% guarantee that they will achieve the same results on your awnings.
Professional cleaning is always a good idea, if you want perfect results for your awnings. Getting help from a professional cleaning company will save you time and effort and can be even beneficial to your budget. Professional awning cleaning companies use specialized cleaning equipment that handles even the most stubborn dirt on canvas awnings.