Keep Your Commercial Awning in Great Shape with These Tips
January 1, 2019
Having a commercial awning installed was a great move to boost business by making your business’ main entrance, windows, porch, or another area more noticeable, more attractive, and fit to protect clients from inclement weather. But in order to keep your awning looking its best and “working its magic,” consistently, year-round (and year after year), it will need to be periodically cleaned.
It’s true that today’s top-of-the-line, antimicrobial fabrics and rain-shedding coatings minimize the amount of maintenance that awnings require. But there still are a few tips you should know.
1. General Awning Cleaning Procedures
As Fall approaches and leaves or small sticks begin to accumulate on top of your awning, the most obvious awning cleaning procedure quickly comes to mind: brushing off the debris. A sturdy, well-planted ladder and a tough bristled brush or a broom will do the trick. You could also employ a leaf-blower if you have a long enough extension cord and can get close enough to your targeted debris. Also, brush off any loose dirt or dust you find clinging to your awning’s surface.
Next comes washing your awning. First, wet it down with a hose. Then mix a mild solution of water and simple dish soap and scrub your awning gently with a brush or a rag. You can also use a solution made of a third-cup mild detergent, two-thirds-cup tri-sodium phosphate, and a gallon of water. Let the awning soak in the soapy water a few minutes before rinsing it off with the hose. Then let it air-dry.
For tougher stains, you will need to use a stronger cleaning solution and apply a little more “elbow grease.” But don’t scrub too hard and risk damaging the fabric or the water-resistant coating. Cleaning your awnings need only be done, at most, once or twice a year, if they are high-quality to begin with.
2. Protect Your Awning’s Color
Never over-scrub or clean your awning too often. Never use harsh chemicals on an awning. And never put bleach on it! Your awning’s bright, vibrant colors are catching the eye of passersby and bringing in extra business, so you don’t want to diminish the effect.
Some with especially bright-colored commercial awnings opt to clean them monthly, and that’s fine if you do it gently and correctly. But it usually isn’t strictly necessary unless your business is in a very dusty or bird-frequented area. However often you clean your awning, never use hot water to do it. Cool or warm is fine. Don’t power wash it, unless it is made of aluminum, another metal, or wood. Even then, use only the low-pressure setting.
Finally, you can also further protect against color fade by getting your awning equipped with a UV sealant by a professional awning company.
3. Tips for Retractable Awnings
A few special comments are necessary about retractable awnings. First, some of them will allow water to pool on top after a rain. You can either retract the awning before the rain comes or allow it to sun-dry after the rain but before retracting it.
What you want to avoid is letting your cloth awning get soaked and then retracting it, giving mold and mildew a chance to fester. Even with anti-microbial fabrics, you want to implement good awning management practices. If you do get mildew/mold on any part of your retractable awning (or any commercial awning), use a solution of three parts water to two parts sodium hypo-chlorite (5% solution) to get it out.
To learn more about commercial awning maintenance or for a free awning quote, contact Dorchester Awning today!