Many people forget to care for their retractable awning once it’s installed and keep using it every day and for months and years till one day they realize that multiple problems have developed with the uncared for awning. The awning may stop rolling in or out smoothly, or may develop mildew and fungi, or may have too coarse and thick covering of dust on it to make it frizzy, etc. Most of these problems can be avoided easily with a little maintenance and periodic cleaning. A clean and well-maintained outdoor retractable awning would last for many years. Here are some expert tips and steps to clean your outdoor awnings.
- Steps for general cleaning
A general cleaning is advised every month to keep the awning in good health. This just needs a broom and a water hose.
- Clean the awning fabric outside and inside with a broom
- Now clean the awning with a jet of water and use only cold water
- Allow the fabric to air dry completely before you retract it
This cleaning is required once a month, and without any serious steps, the awning will keep looking nice and shining with this much care. However, you need to clean the retractable shade awning once in 2 to 3 years with soap water.
- Soap water cleaning steps
To clean the awning with soap water, use only mild soaps, and avoid the use of harsh chemical and detergents. Also, use only cold water for this.
- Use a broom to clean the fabric outside and inside very well.
- Now with a hose of cold water, wet the fabric.
- Make soap water solution, and then sprinkle the solution on fabric and gentle rinse in patches with a soft brush. Start from the bottom and move upwards.
- Now leave the soap water and give some time for the soap to work, as it loosens the dirt.
- Now rinse off the soap with cold water.
- Allow the fabric to air dry completely
- Retract it
All types of dirt and stains can be removed from outdoor awnings when you use the right cleaner for the problem. Oil stains, paint stains, bird droppings, mold and mildew, rust stains, and everything will be gone with the right cleaner.
- Facts you must know to keep the awning good
Besides cleaning the awning periodically, there are some words of caution, which you must know and follow. They are:
- Shrubs and vines, which twine around the awning or touch it, may contain chemicals and acids, which will slowly corrode the fabric and the metal bar. Hence, you should try to keep such elements away from the awning and prune shrubs and vines nearby.
- Never retract an awning while the fabric is still wet. This way the fabric will develop molds and mildew on it, and eventually smell awfully bad, and freeze while rolling on or out.
- The awning frame is made of aluminum like metal, which does not demand much cleaning etc. Hence, you may loosely broom it in a month and forget.
- Never wet the motor part of the awning. Wetting the framework or the motor will bring trouble.
- Outdoor retractable awnings need little and general care mostly
Generally, retractable shade awnings are made of stain and mold resistant fabrics, which are treated accordingly to show such characteristic. However, when too much of dirt builds up, then molds may grow not directly on the fabric, but on the dirt clumps. Hence, a periodic cleaning ensues that you won’t face challenge while retracting the awning or rolling it out. It will look fresh and stay as it is for longer period of time.