Cleaning and sealing of awnings are important maintenance activities for homeowners who wish to continue enjoying the benefits of residential awnings. This article provides answers to two questions that the average homeowner may have in relation to the proper maintenance of residential awnings.
DIY Or Non-DIY Cleaning?
For the average homeowner, cleaning of residential awnings should be a breeze. In a large number of cases, homeowners will need a ladder, a bucket, a cleaning sponge (or cloth) and a chemical cleaning solution.
In certain cases, however, the position of residential awnings is too high above the ground level for the homeowner to use a ladder when cleaning. This creates the need to use elevated work platforms such as scissor lifts during the cleaning exercise. Homeowners are advised not to undertake DIY cleaning of awnings in such situations unless they know how to use their chosen elevated work platform.
Also, homeowners are advised to pay close attention to the chemical composition of cleaning supplies used to clean awnings. Chemical cleaners often contain harmful chemicals that can react with the awning material, thereby causing its deterioration. For example, chemical cleaning solutions with a high concentration of alcohol can easily remove the dye on vinyl awnings. Before chemical cleaners are used to clean awnings, they should be tested on a small area of the awning (e.g. around the edges of the awning material) before they're applied onto the entire awning surface.
Why The Need To Seal Awnings After Cleaning?
Sealing of awnings is an important post-cleaning activity. During an awning cleaning exercise, the light (and sometimes) heavy scrubbing of awnings often results in the loss of elasticity for the awning material. This is because the scrubbing action depletes the oils and lubricants of an awning. Sealers work to salvage the situation by restoring the oils and lubricants that were initially present in the awning material.
Sealing also helps to protect awning materials from direct exposure to ultra-violet light from the sun and from the infiltration of moisture.
Clean awnings should be left to dry completely before the application of sealers. This is especially important for vinyl awnings that are often made of several thin layers of the material. Often, the exterior surface of the fabric will look dry when there's moisture trapped in the underlying layers.
For more help on cleaning your awning and then resealing it, talk to a professional in your area.
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