Awnings are a great solution for homeowners who would like to extend their outdoor space. An awning protects anyone sitting under it from harsh and harmful sun rays while also protecting the patio. As with everything else that lives outdoors, you need to clean your patio awning from time to time. If you do not know how to do this, this guide is for you.
Types of Porch Awnings
Before we look at how to clean your awnings, it is important to understand that there are different types of awnings. These include canvas, vinyl, and aluminium awnings. Aluminium awnings are not so common these days, but you still need to know how to clean them if you have them in your home.
Homeowners can also choose between fixed and retractable awnings. Fixed awnings are an excellent option for homes with limited space or homeowners with specific needs. They can also be customized to fit any patio, you just have to talk to a reputable awnings company.
They are typically more affordable than their retractable counterparts, but they are more likely to need cleaning due to their fixed nature.
Retractable awnings, also known as electric patio awnings, are made with versatility in mind. They come in different sizes, with homeowners able to pick from different sizes and accessory options. Because of their motorized function, ensure that you buy from an established company like Marygrove for longevity and great performance.
Now that you know about the different types of awnings, how do you clean them once installed?
What You Need
You should clean your awning every three to four months or at least two times a year, depending on where you live. This keeps them performing and looking great for many years. To clean the awning yourself, you will need a garden hose, a cleaning solution, and different kinds of brushes. You will also need a ladder since awnings are typically too high for most people. You can begin once you set up the ladder.
You should never use water on an awning unless you have removed all the debris on it. This also means that you should avoid cleaning it right after it has rained, as you risk making a bigger mess and using more water and cleaning solution than you otherwise would have.
Once you have the ladder set up, you can remove loose dirt, cobwebs, leaves, and other debris from the top of the awning. Do sweep the underside as well, ensuring you remove as much debris as you can from both sides.
Once you have done this, spray the awning with water to remove any other loose debris that remains. Both these steps are also great for maintaining your awning. You can complete them every month as they only take about five minutes to do. This helps prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris.
Prepare The Cleaning Solution
How you prepare the cleaning solution will depend on the material the awning is made out of. For canvas awnings, you will need mild laundry soap and water. Try not to use detergent with this material because it is too harsh for them.
You will need a commercial cleaner made for vinyl or fabric awnings. Do not use abrasive cleaners as these will damage the material.
For metal awnings, you need to find a cleaning solvent that works for metal. Use a solvent made for cleaning aluminium if you have an aluminium awning.
Cleaning The Awning
To clean a canvas awning, wet it using the garden hose or a spray bottle. Then dip the brush in the water with the cleaning solution and start scrubbing in a cleaning motion. If you have a large awning, only apply soap to areas you are working on and rinse off before moving on. This is to ensure the soap does not dry on the awning before you are done.
Cleaning a vinyl awning works best if you do not wet it before you start cleaning. There is little risk of the cleaning solution drying before you are done so you can work on the whole awning before rinsing it off. Use a soft brush or sponge for this type of awning because it is sensitive to abrasive materials.
For an aluminium awning, you should wet it before starting. Then dip your brush in water and start scrubbing. Using a solvent meant for metal or aluminium should help make this process much easier.
Once you are done with the steps for each type of awning, you can clean the underside too. Ensure you rinse the underside properly too.
Use as much water as you can to rinse the awning ensuring you remove all soap or cleaning solution. Any leftover cleaning solution that you do not rinse off will attract dirt and force you to clean the awning more often.
With a retractable awning, make sure that it is completely dry before you retract or roll it up. This prevents the growth of mold and mildew. Another tip is to use a circular motion when cleaning, so you see exactly where you have cleaned and where you have not.
If you see mildew or mold growing on it, you can use a homemade solution to get rid of them. Use about one cup (250ml) of bleach dissolved in 4 liters of warm water. Test the solution on a hidden and small part of the awning before large-scale use to ensure it does not damage the awning.
Also, check that each solution and cleaning material you use can be used on the specific material you are cleaning. Using solutions or brushes that are too harsh will damage the material.
You should always clean the awning when you see any debris building up. Alternatively, you can clean it every few months as discussed above.
A patio awning can make your patio usable by providing shade when the sun is high and hot. You should maintain it by cleaning it regularly. Fortunately, doing so is a lot easier than you might think and should not take much time.0