Although the purpose of awnings is to protect us from the high temperatures and the large amount of light that can enter our homes in the summer. The truth is that they are also used during the colder seasons.
A high-quality awning can provide a certain level of insulation from the cold outside, contributing to a more pleasant environment inside the home, especially when you know how to care for your awnings.
You know the purpose of having a canopy but what is the best way to clean an awning so it is in optimal condition throughout the year? Firstly, you must take into account what its main enemies are: inclement weather, pollution and birds.
If you want to know how to clean an awning on a house or business, continue reading.
Clean your awnings once a month
Awnings can be expensive, and regular cleaning and maintenance can help protect your investment. We recommend cleaning yours monthly or at least once every three months to remove dirt and debris.
With regular awning washing you can prevent mold and other types of contaminants from damaging your awning. The longer the dirt and grime remain on your canopy, the more likely the stains will become permanent.
Professional awning cleaning services use various techniques during the awning washing to remove dirt, mold, fungus, bird droppings, and more, which can deteriorate and break down the fabric.
There are some important reasons for awning maintenance:
- Increases the expected lifetime.
- Removes dirt, mold and any type of contamination.
- Reduces color loss.
- Restores image efficiency.
How to clean your retractable awnings?
Proper awning care is different for all types of awnings, since each one is made of different materials. A window awning is not the same as a balcony, terrace or pergola one, so the material with which it was made will determine how to keep it in good condition.
If you want to know how to clean awning fabric and other materials, follow our short tips and tricks:
- How to clean a canvas awning – The most common types of awnings are those made from canvas awning fabric, however, they accumulate dirt very easily. Mixing 5 to 10% mild detergent in lukewarm water produces the best canvas awning cleaner. You can also trust a steamer for cleaning canvas awnings to better moisten the dirtiest areas before rubbing them with a cloth. The humidity and the high temperature will help you take off and eliminate the most encrusted dirt.
- How to clean a vinyl awning – Use a mixture of vinegar or grease remover and water and a soft cloth. Rinse with water under pressure using a hose or wipe with a cloth dipped in water a few times until all stains are removed.
- How to clean a metal awning – You can mix metal cleaning solvent and water. Use a brush to scrub the dirt. Pressure washing is also a good idea if your awning is old or really dirty.
- How to clean retractable awnings – Make an awning spray by mixing a mild detergent and water and use a light scrub brush. After you are done with the regular retractable awning cleaning, don’t forget to give the awning fabric time to dry before rolling it up.
- How to clean the underside of camper awning – Use a car wash mixed with water and cover the whole awning. Let it sit for 5-10 min or more if it’s badly stained, then rinse thoroughly.
- How to clean RV awning with dawn – Spray down the awning with a mixture of two parts soap and eight parts water, then let it sit and soak for an hour rolled up. After that, unroll it and rinse the fabric off with water.
Repair wear and tear
If you have an awning in your home, you know how useful it is to enjoy the afternoon outdoors without worrying about the sun’s rays in the summer. However, awnings can suffer breakage or damage over time that affect their functionality and aesthetics.
We at Skyscraper Window Cleaning will tell you how to repair minor tears or damage to your awning so you can extend its life and save money on costly repairs.
Identify the type of damage
Before beginning any repair, it is important to identify the type of damage your awning has.
Common problems include:
- Edge wear
- Winding mechanism problems
- Mildew stains
Once you identify the problem, you can determine if you’ll need an expert or if you can repair your awning on your own.
Get the necessary materials
After identifying the problem, it’s time to get the necessary instruments and materials to repair your awning. Depending on the type of damage, you may need thread, a needle, duct tape, waterproof tape, fabric patches, scissors, and fabric glue. Ensure you get the right materials for the type of repair you need.
Clean and prepare the damaged area
Before beginning any repair, you must clean the damaged area with homemade or store bought canopy cleaner and use a soft brush to remove any dirt, dust, or mold. Make sure the area is completely dry before proceeding.
Repair the damage
When the area is clean and dry, it’s time to repair the damage. If it’s a small tear or hole, you can use a needle and thread to sew it up. If it’s larger, you can use cloth patches or waterproof tape to cover the damaged area. Make sure the repair is firm and secure before continuing.
If the tear is at the edges of the awning, you can use tack cloth or fabric glue to reinforce the area. If the problem is with the winding mechanisms, you may need to disassemble the awning to repair or replace the damaged components.
Protect your awning
Once you’ve completed the repair, protecting your awning is important to prevent further damage. An excellent way to do this is by waterproofing the awning. You can also apply sunscreen to prevent UV rays from damaging the fabric.
Use awning lubricant over your canopy’s extendable arms to ensure perfect movement.
After you are done with the awning waterproofing and repairing, make sure you’re performing regular maintenance of your awning. Clean it regularly and don’t hesitate to call the Skyscraper Window Cleaning experts to help you with the maintenance.
Take care when it’s cold and wet
Your outdoor fabric awning requires maintenance during the cold and wet seasons if you want it to last a long time. The environmental and weather effects can cause it to break down. To avoid expensive repairs, we want to teach you how to take care of your awning by yourself.
Causes of deterioration in awnings
During the winter, although you do not use our awnings daily, they can suffer from the inclemencies of the cold weather and end up quite damaged. The rain, the cold and the snow can cause breaks in the fabric or in the structure, due to the weight of the snow, hail or water.
Accumulated water can even cause rust in some parts of the awning structure and if you don’t realize it until the summer arrives, the problem can worsen. The best solution is to take care of your awning throughout the winter.
How to keep the awning in good condition?
When the summer passes, the terraces are closed and you stop spending much time outside, the awnings are tucked away. Before that, make sure they are clean and completely dry.
If you do not check, the wet awning can generate humidity and mold, damaging the cloth awning aesthetically and structurally. If you leave the dirt for so long, after you open your canopy again in the spring, the cleaning will be challenging and may have left your awning stained and dirty forever.
If you want to use the awning during the winter, we advise you not to do it. During the cold months it may rain, there may be strong wind or snow, which can cause serious damage.
Also, if you plan on using your retractable canvas awning during the winter, you can cover it with an awning cover to protect it from those harsh winter conditions. Clean your canopy more often because the external factors can cause grime build-up.
Once the winter passes, you have to recheck the condition of the awning before using it.
Now that you know how to care for your awning, you should remember that the cleaning frequency plays a fundamental role and should be done regularly. In that way, the dirt doesn’t start to build up or soak into the fabric.
If your awning is folding, you must clean it well at the end of the season and let it dry before folding it again, so that fungi and mold do not form.