How to Clean and Care for Your Retractable Awning

How to Clean and Care for Your Retractable Awning

A good quality retractable awning does an excellent in providing shade for your outdoor space, be it the lawn or patio. But, this is not all it does. A retractable awning can also double as an excellent décor piece for your outdoor space with the right design.

However, to truly showcase your style, you have to employ proper maintenance practices. In this case, you have to know how to clean and care for your retractable awning. Doing so doesn't only help keep it well presentable. It also helps to prolong its durability.

Here’s how you can easily care for and maintain your outdoor awning.

How to Clean Your Awning

Cleaning your awning is both a seasonal and annual task. However, each cleaning session has its own steps to follow.

Seasonal Cleaning

Towards the end of the summer season, you have to clean your retractable awning. Here’s how to do so:

Step 1: Sweeping

The first step is to remove the loose dirt at the top and bottom of the awning. These include fallen sticks, grass, and other outdoor debris. Use a soft-bristled brush to clean out the fabric of the awning gently.

Step 2: Remove Tree and Shrub Obstacles

How to Clean and Care for Your Retractable Awning

The next step is to ensure the awning's fabric isn't susceptible to tears and other types of damage from trees.

Some trees drain sap which can easily drip over the awning to discolor and stain it. In this case, you need to use pruning shears to trim trees, shrubs, and vines to the correct size.  You have to ensure none of them come in contact with the awning fabric. 

When you are done, examine the awning fabric to ensure there aren't any holes or tears. If you notice any, have it fixed immediately to prevent the damage from getting bigger.

Annual Cleaning

In addition to seasonal cleaning, you have to thoroughly clean and care for your awning at least once every year. Here's how to do so:

Step 1: Hose Down The Fabric

The first step is to wash the awning's fabric. You don't have to remove the fabric from its frame. Instead, use a water hose to spray it down at the top and bottom. Doing so allows you to wash off any remaining stubborn dirt and residue. Ideally, you should do this on a dry and hot day to expedite the drying process.

Step 2: Wash The Fabric

Next, use mild soap and water in a bucket to wash down the fabric from top to bottom. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub areas with tough stains, leaving enough time for the soap solution to soak into the fabric. When done, use the water hose to thoroughly rinse down the fabric, making sure all soap residue disappears.

Do not allow soap residues on the fabric as this may eventually cause discoloration once the fabric dries. After rinsing the fabric, let it dry completely before retracting the awning. Prematurely retracting it before the fabric dries can create an environment for mildew growth.

Seasonal and annual maintenance of your outdoor awning is essential. However, you shouldn't limit the cleaning to just these sessions. If you notice any new stains such as bird droppings or tree sap, you need to spot clean the fabric instantly. Doing so will prevent the dirt from setting in and causing stubborn stains.

Grease and Sprays

Depending on how you use the space near your awning, the fabric can catch various stains too. For example, if you host frequent barbeques, you may have grease build-up from the grill. Other common stains on your awning include sunscreen oil, bug sprays, and even automotive grease if you use the awning to cover your garage.

To remove regular grease and spray stains, clean the fabric with mild soap and water. This method works for materials such as vinyl. However, if you get grease on materials such as acrylic, you may have to use acetone to dissolve the stains first.

Winter Storage

Using an awning is not necessarily during the cold winter season. In this case, you can store it away to protect it from the cold and wet climate. For effective winter storage, retract the awning until it's warm and sunny again. Alternatively, you can remove the fabric from the frame and store it in your garage or shed.

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