Retractable awnings make it easy to enjoy a gorgeous sunny day without getting sunburned once the summer months begin. They make a stylish addition to your home and, with the correct care, can stay in great condition for many years to come. Maintaining a careful cleaning routine for your awnings will ensure that they remain effective and provide lasting shelter from the sun.
Mildew is one of the most significant causes of damage to retractable awnings, spreading quickly, building up and damaging the material over time. Regular cold water rinses should remove the dust and dirt that sits on the surface of your awning and prevent mildew from attaching itself to the dirt, but stay away from abrasive cleaning fluids that could strip the surface of its protective covering.
If you do spot mildew, don’t panic and head straight to the bleach. This can stain and damage your awning’s fabric, and won’t provide the most effective treatment for removing the mildew. Instead, invest in a specialist mildew remover to get the job done. Spray the awning with water to make sure it’s thoroughly wet, then add the mildew remover and scrub at the stained areas with a cleaning brush. Rinse the cleaner away and allow your awning to dry in the sun.
The best way to prevent mildew build-up and other problems with your awning is to have a specific cleaning routine that you carry out once a month. This basic clean-up should keep them in good condition, leaving you free to enjoy the great outdoors.
- Brush away loose dirt and dust with a cleaning brush or broom. Be thorough, and don’t forget the underside of the awning.
- Hose the awning down with a gentle stream of cold water.
- Any stains and marks can be gently treated with a non-bleach cleaning solution.
- Rinse away all cleaning solutions with cold water and ensure no residue is left behind (this could damage the awning material).
- If there are any problems with the waterproofing layer or finish of the awning, use a specialist conditioning solution to treat the material.
- Dry the awning in the sun before retracting again.
Every two years or so, it is advisable to conduct a deeper and more thorough clean. Follow the same procedure as above, but use a mild soap cleaning solution across the whole area of the awning and scrub with a soft brush before air drying.