5 Simple Steps to Preventing Mildrew from Retractable Awnings

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Having an awning over your patio which provides shade and protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun is a smart investment. Once you have made the decision to purchase a retractable canvas awning there are a few simple tips you can use to avoid the build-up of mold and mildew. Already have mildew or mold? Don’t fret! Your retractable awning is salvageable, and saving it is easier and less expensive than you’d think!

1. Prevent Mold and Mildew:

Of course, the best-case-scenario is to avoid the hassle of having to clean up mold and mildew stains from ever forming on your awning. Mold and mildew can eat away at the fabric of your awning over time, and if left untreated, can damage it beyond repair. It is important to understand how mold and mildew grow. Contrary to popular belief, mold and mildew actually grow on the dust and dirt particles which form on your awning, not the material itself. With the addition of humidity, and the warmth of the sun, awnings can quickly become a perfect breeding ground for the mold spores. Simply rinsing off your retractable awning once a month will wash away the dust and dirt and therefore prevent mold or mildew from growing on it. Avoid using harsh chemicals, abrasive textures, or anything else that could potentially destroy the protective coat on your canvas awning.

2. Prepare Your Awning:

It is recommended that you remove your awning from its housing, but the cleaning can be done with the retractable awningstill in place and fully extended. Lay the awning material flat and spray it down with a garden hose, making sure to soak the awning completely.

3. Cleaning Solution:

For your bathroom and other hard surfaces, bleach is usually the best option for removing mildew. However, in the case of canvas awnings, you don’t want to distort or alter the color, which can happen even using a bleach solution. There are various mildew removers available at your local big box retailers. Make sure to follow all instructions and precautions provided by the manufacturer. Spray the wet awning with the mildew remover in an even coat, and let it soak in for as long as is recommended on the packaging of the remover.

4. Scrubbing:

After you have let the awning soak, use a clean, soft to medium bristled brush (a nylon brush such as those used for dishes is just fine) and scrub the areas with heavy mildew concentration. Avoid using anything too abrasive, otherwise you may damage the protective top coat on the awning. Repeat if necessary. Once you are satisfied that all of the mildew and mold have been removed, make sure to rinse the awning thoroughly, removing any residual solvent, detergent, or mildew cleaner.

5. Dry:

Remove excess water and then lay your canvas awnings flat, allowing them to dry in the sun. It is important that the awning is completely dry before you roll it up, otherwise you may have to start again at square one!

Protecting your retractable awning from mildew and mold damage can greatly prolong the life of your awning, and who doesn’t want to protect their investment? These simple steps will help to protect your canvas awning for years to come!

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