Patio Awning Cleaning.How to care for your awning.
We want you to enjoy your awning for many years to come. Taking a few minutes to make sure it is put away correctly will help keep it looking good and prolong its life.
Your awning is an outdoor product and will suffer the effects of the weather to some extent. This cannot be helped. Your awning is designed for outside and while over the years it may get a bit dirty, it will continue to do its job for you.
The manufacturers have taken every care to use products that withstand the effects of sun and rain but some weathering is inevitable.
If you haven’t bought your awning yet, there may be some factors to consider if you want to minimise maintenance. Choose a darker colour so that you won’t see the shadows of stains while you’re under it. Choosing to have automation will make it much easier for you to put away. You may also want to choose a fabric that is ‘self-cleaning’. This means that when it does rain, the water will run off will take dirt with it.
1. Always put your awning away.
It’s tempting to leave the awning out thinking you’ll be back in half an hour. Half an hour turns into 2 hours. No more time to sit in the garden. Just when you’re dropping off to sleep, you hear the rain starting and remember you’ve left your awning out.
Of course, if your awning is automated, it’s easy to open and close at the push of a button. Even if it’s not, it still only takes 30 seconds or so.
2. Give your awning time to dry.
Your supplier will have given you advice about using the awning in the rain. Some are more suitable for rain than others. You may have a sensor that automatically retracts the awning when it rains. Be aware with sudden downpours this means that the awning may retract while wet.
At the earliest opportunity, you should open the awning to let it dry.
3. Drying Your Awning.
Even waterproof awnings can suffer from water stains, mildew and insect stains. The good news is this kind of damage is very easy to prevent. Always let it dry completely before retracting it when you can. If not, let it out again at the earliest opportunity. Try not to let water pockets form on the cover whenever possible, as this can result in the cover sagging. Just poke them off with a broom and make sure you’re not standing under where it will run off.
4. Clear any Debris before putting away.
During the time that your awning is out, leave, twigs and insects can settle on top of the fabric. Give the fabric a few taps from underneath with the broom to shake anything off. You can usually see the shadows of them from underneath. Once they are rolled up tightly in your awning, the pigment can stain your awning.
5. Awning Cleaning – The Fabric.
Awnings are not easy to get to due to the height of them. If you are able to get to it – safely, use lukewarm water with a little mild detergent like washing up liquid. Let the foam work its way into the fabric for 15 to 20 minutes, and rinse with normal water. You should not scrub or rub the material. Let the awning dry while extended. If you have bought self-cleaning fabric, which means they use rain run-off to remove dirt for you, you should not need to clean.
6. Awning Cleaning – The Hardware.
You should rarely have to clean the hardware. If you want to keep it shiny and new looking, a wipe with a damp cloth is usually enough. They are extremely hardwearing. If you do need to, use a commercial detergent intended for sensitive surfaces (pH between 5 and 8). Avoid using rough scraping materials like sandpaper, grinding fleece, emery or pumice. Don’t use a pressure washer on any part of the awning, either.
7. The Do Not Evers.
Most of these are obvious but somehow the obvious can be forgotten when beer and barbecues are mixed.
Do not ever use your awning for supporting a ladder while cleaning.
Do not ever use a jet washer to clean your awning.
Do not ever clean your awning with the electric switched on.
Do not ever hang from any part of your awning or let a child swing from the arms.
Do not ever think that it might be easier to take down to clean by yourself. Check with your supplier before considering this. You might find that once you’ve loosened the fixings it’s a lot heavier than you expected.
8. Replacing the fabric.
The awning framework is extremely robust and often outlasts the fabric by many years. You can replace the fabric cost-effectively.
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