Like any investment in your home, the more you look after it, the longer it will last. Nothing applies more than to the awnings you have had installed. Awnings are the exterior coverings attached to walls to protect you and your home from against the sun, strong winds or rain. They can be may be made of canvas, fabric, fiberglass, metal or even vinyl.
Why do you have to clean your awnings?
Even if you bought an awning with mildew resistance, that’s not enough to ensure the longjevity of the fabric. All awnings get dirt on them and in time that dirt becomes a place for for mildew to grow. Using a combination of quality materials and consistent cleaning, you can avoid the growth of unsightly mildew.
Even the top quality fabric is susceptible to mildew, harsh UV rays, and scratches, so cleaning and caring for your investment is vital.
Here are a few tips on how to keep your awning in tip top condition, so you can enjoy the shade and protection through the entire year, and so your investment will rewarding you and your home.
1) In inclement weather, retractable awnings should be rolled up, particularly if high winds or storms are anticipated. Never allow water to be allowed to pool on the awning. Folding arm awnings are designed to be used as a sun shelter in calm conditions.
2) Don’t hang things off your awning. They aren’t designed to be clothes racks. No other objects should be attached to, or hung from the awning as damage may occur.
3) The powder coated metal components and profiles of your awning should be cleaned twice annually or more regularly in coastal environments. Wash in tepid mild soapy water (preferably biodegradable) and rinse off. Build up of dirt and salt on these surfaces reduces the life of the powder coating.
4) Lubricate moving components annually with light oil (SAE30 or similar) and apply sparingly. Avoid getting it on the fabric of the awning as it may stain.
5) Roll up only when clean and dry (if rolled up wet e.g. due to approaching storm, the awning should be extended and allowed to dry in the sun at the first opportunity).
6) To remove dirt from the fabric, brush dry fabric with a soft brush (an occasional hosing may remove dust and some ingrained dirt).
7) Never scrub the fabric.
8) Immediately remove deposits of organic matter (such as soil, grass cuttings, leaf litter, bird droppings, vehicle exhaust), some leaf species can cause stains if wet, remove leaves before rolling up awning.
9) To remove any mildew, as it appears, by first brushing, treating with diluted chlorine bleach (typically 1part White King to 4 parts water to achieve 1% available chlorine) and allowing it to dry in full sun, then hose off well to remove any residue. Do not use strong bleaches such as pool chlorine.
10) Do not use soaps, detergents, solvents or other liquid cleansers on the fabric.
11) Use Scotchguard brand Fabric Protector or approved wax based canvas treatments containing mildew inhibitors may be used in accordance with the manufacturers instructions.
12) If your awning has a wind sensor, check at least twice a year to ensure the sensor paddle can rotate freely and is not encumbered by spider webs or vegetation etc. Electronic controls such as wind sensors are a valuable safeguard but will not guarantee protection in all circumstances.
Enjoy your new awnings and with a little bit of love and care they will last you years, adding value and protection to your home.