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How to Maintain and Repair an Awning

How to Maintain and Repair an Awning

Exterior renovationsHow to Maintain and Repair an Awning

Has your awning taken a beating since you bought it? Perhaps it might be time to clean or repair it. Naturally, you'll need to consider the type of awning you've purchased in order to figure out how best to go about it.

Is your awning made of fabric, vinyl, acrylic, or plastic? Check out the following to know exactly how to clean or repair it!

Here Are a Few Awning Maintenance Tips

Awning Maintenance Tips

Source: Canva

How to Clean a Fabric or Vinyl Awning

To preserve the state of your awning for as long as possible, a few guidelines are in order. Let’s start this off by saying that regularly cleaning the fabric with a broom is super important to remove any dirt or dust from its surface.

Despite this maintenance routine, note that, with time, the fabric will get dirty, no matter what, which is why you should hire professionals to properly clean your awning with steam cleaners or power washers.

In some cases, you may be able to wash your awning fabric in your laundry machine set to a delicate cycle. However, let it be said that, no matter what, the fabric should never be put in the dryer. More on that matter, make sure you check the manufacturer’s instructions as some fabrics must be cleaned by professionals, otherwise, the material could be damaged in the process.

If the fabric is stained, here and there, note that using a mixture of soap and warm water is the best way to remove tough stains. 

A final word of advice: awnings can greatly benefit from a protective vinyl layer. The latter acts as a barrier against UV rays, thus preventing the awning's fabric from fading.

How to Clean an Acrylic Awning

To clean an acrylic awning fabric, the process typically involves a water-based solution. Next, rinse it thoroughly and allow the fabric to dry. Should the stains not come out, head to your local hardware store to purchase a stain remover. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, rinse, and allow it to air dry once it has been thoroughly cleaned. 

Cleaning a plastic awning

When it comes to a plastic awning, it’s best to routinely remove any dust or dirt that may have accumulated on its surface with the help of a broom. Since you obviously can’t shove your plastic awning into your washing machine, you’ll have to settle for a soap and warm water solution to clean it. 

If you’re having trouble reaching some sections of the awning (which will more than likely be the case since you’ll be working on your tippy toes at times), use a brush fitted to a long handle, soaked into soapy water beforehand. 

For those who wish to, you can also clean your plastic awning using your garden hose set to a specific jet so that you’re carrying out a high-pressure wash. However, avoid using a pressure washer, as the sheer force of the water pressure will damage the awning’s surface.

How can you get rid of mould stains?

Awning Maintenance Tips

Source: Canva

If you start noticing little mould or mildew stains on your awning, you’ll need to take care of that sooner rather than later to prevent any permanent damage. 

Luckily, it’s an easy fix. For vinyl or fabric awnings, all you have to do is buy a specially-made product to clean it. Once the product has been applied, simply scrub any stains with a soft-bristled brush. Lastly, rinse and let it dry.

You can also decide to concoct your own little cleaning solution by mixing 1 cup of hot water with 4 cups of bleach. Make sure to test the solution beforehand where it won't be noticeable to ensure it won't strip the fabric. Lastly, rinse the fabric with water and allow the awning to dry. 

With an acrylic awning, you can also use the same mixture as mentioned above, provided you add a little dish soap. As mentioned earlier, it’s super important to rinse the awning’s material and allow it to dry. Once again, we can’t stress enough the importance of testing ahead of time the solution on a not-so-obvious section of the fabric, to ensure it won’t fade.

Quick tip to prevent mould or mildew growth

As the saying goes: better safe than sorry—make sure you retract your awning as soon as it starts to rain, whenever possible. Once the rain has settled, unfurl it and let it dry completely before folding it up again. This clever little trick will prevent you from having to deal with mould and mildew stains.

How to Repair an Awning

Awning Maintenance Tips

Source: Canva

Imagine spotting a rip or nick in your awning, how dreadful! Although your first reaction may be to have your awning replaced, chances are you won't have to go to that extreme. Salvaging your awning's fabric will ultimately depend on the extent of the repair required.

Fabric awning

Should the rip in your fabric be more than a quarter-inch long, you can sew it back together. If the tear is smaller, the best fix is to use a piece of fabric of the same colour as the awning’s material. For fabric awnings, iron-on fabric patches are readily available in stores.

Vinyl awning

For vinyl awnings, you’ll need to use vinyl-specific adhesive tape. Once you’ve cut two pieces of adhesive tape that are long enough to conceal the rip in question, tape one piece on either side of the tear. 

Plastic awning

Last but not least, when it comes to nicks on plastic awnings, a good alternative might be to use glue designed for a canvas to fasten a piece of said material on both sides of the area needing repair.

Are you the proud owner of an awning?

For those of you who own a patio awning, under no circumstances are you to forget to clean accessories like glass panels, windshield, or patio lighting. As for the glass panels, use lukewarm water and vinegar, and for the windshield, use a mixture of lukewarm water and a pH-neutral cleaner. In terms of lighting, spot dusting every now and then is advised.

A final piece of advice: remember to clean the aluminum extrusions with a pH-neutral cleaning product diluted in lukewarm water. You'll need to repeat this process every six months, or at least once a year, to keep your extrusions in peak condition.

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Last modified 2023-11-07

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