Pressure washing seems like it would be easy, but it isn’t, especially if you want to do it quickly, correctly, and safely. That’s why our commercial customers call Awnclean to take care of this regular maintenance for them.
Awnclean has the right equipment and training to significantly improve the image of driveways, patios, walkways, roofs (shingle and tile), and just about every exterior surface around your business.
Because high-pressure washing can cause damage to roofs, some surfaces, and plantings, it’s important to know when to use a soft wash cleaning process. We pretreat surfaces with cleaners and algaecides, followed by a wide fanning rinse process at low pressure to safely clean roofs without incurring damage to the shingles. This soft-wash technique also prevents water from being forced behind siding on a building, which can cause issues later on for the building owner.
Recently, Awnclean cleaned the roofs on 11 buildings at the Sheraton Vistana Resort in Lake Buena Vista.
On another job, we removed all of the gum on a sidewalk in front of a business.
Choosing an Awning Cleaning Service Company
When choosing an awning and canopy cleaning company, the most important criteria should be if the vendor is professional, experienced, and knowledgeable in the different techniques and chemicals used on different types of awnings and canopies.
Awnings and canopies are expensive and can be easily damaged if cleaned incorrectly. There are some backlit, “eradicable” vinyls that can be destroyed if exposed to the wrong chemicals.
The cost to clean an awning is a small fraction of the cost to re-cover it, so regular maintenance pays for itself in the long run.
Awnclean evaluates many different aspects about an awning or canopy when estimating the cost to clean it. This may include:
The type of stains (environmental dirt, mold, mildew, rust, tree sap, roofing tar, paint and/or bird droppings)
The type of fabric
The location and how difficult it is to reach it
The age and condition
The type of UV protectant, sealer or water repellent that is required
Awning Cleaning Maintenance Programs for Business Owners
The many details in the day-to-day activities of running a business can sometimes be overwhelming. This is why it makes sense to set up a regular maintenance schedule for your awnings and canopies. If you don’t, before you know it, this important investment may have to be replaced at a significant cost.
Before setting up a maintenance program with an awning and canopy cleaner, you must first give yourself some guidelines. These include:
Your budget. Get several bids to determine realistic pricing for your area of the country. Just make sure you are comparing “apples to apples” between what is included in the maintenance. If you are setting up a national awning-cleaning program, pricing levels can vary dramatically throughout the country. If you go with a flat rate for all your locations, this will reflect an averaged price.
The type of cleaning you need. Make sure that you are using an awning cleaning company who will hand clean, not pressure wash, your awnings.
Regularly scheduled or as-needed basis? If you decide to clean your awning and canopies on an as-needed basis, invariably this maintenance will be forgotten until they are beyond repair. With a regularly scheduled cleaning program, you will never have to worry about your valuable awnings and canopies falling into disrepair because of dirt, mold and/or mildew.
Once you have determined these factors, please give Awnclean a call so we can help you protect this important investment.
Cleaning Chemicals for Awnings and Canopies
The Material Determines the Type of Cleaner and Sealer
It is important to educate yourself about the different fabrics and vinyl that are used for constructing awnings, as well as the different weights of these materials. This is vital because different materials will require different types of cleaners and techniques. In general, the better the fabric, or heavier weight, the better it will hold up to environmental abuse.
If possible, contact your manufacturer to find out what material was used in making your awning, and the brand name, if possible. This information will help your service contractor, choose the right cleaners and sealers to do the job properly.
Choosing the Right Awning Cleaning Chemicals
Once you know the material of your canopies and awnings, the right chemicals and tools can be determined. There are four to five established, tested lines of chemicals designed specifically for awnings that are recognized in the industry as good, effective products.
Top-quality cleaning chemicals will typically work on both vinyl and fabric awnings. However, vinyl awnings and fabric awnings each require specific sealers that are not interchangeable. What works best on one awning may not work as well on the next one. Vinyl awnings should be sealed with every cleaning. Some higher quality fabric awnings can be sealed annually as the sealer lasts longer on thicker material.
Awnclean keeps many different kinds of cleaners and sealers on hand to make sure we are always prepared for each unique cleaning situation. This preparation also applies towards the equipment we use, including different kinds of sponges, brushes, extension poles and good quality, stable ladders. All of our crews are also equipped with pressure washers. While we do not pressure wash awnings, a pressure washer is a great tool to get water where we need it for a low-pressure rinse. Awnclean’s cleaning process always includes both the exterior and underside surfaces of the awning and canopy unless specified otherwise due to underside lighting, speakers or other electrical equipment that could be damaged by water.
Lastly, part of the maintenance is repair. Most awning cleaning companies are not equipped to do major repairs such as re-sewing torn awnings, fixing damaged frames hit by freight trucks, or repairing light fixtures. Major awning repair is best left to the manufacturer. Awnclean can usually patch small holes or slices if they are fairly minor. We also do annual light bulb changes for large back-lit awnings, which in the long run saves on expensive electrician visits and helps lower electricity costs.
How Often Should Awnings and Canopies Be Cleaned?
Protecting Your Awnings and Canopies
We are often asked, “How often should I clean my awnings?” This will depend upon the awning material and location, but as a general rule, awnings should be cleaned three to four times per year for maximum lifespan and beauty.
Awnings located near highways, airports, busy restaurants (due to the grease expelled through the duct work), and under a heavy tree canopy may require more frequent cleaning, as will awnings experiencing high mildew growth, bird droppings, or staining from roof runoff. In some large cities like Los Angeles, retailers clean their awnings every month due to the extreme air pollution.
In our 28 years of experience cleaning awnings and canopies, we have learned there is no such thing as a self-cleaning awning, no matter what you may have been told. Awnings with factory-applied clear-coats like 3M or Tedlar can be cleaned less frequently in a pinch. These clear-coated awnings still get dirty; the material just won’t get damaged as quickly.
Awnings and canopies in Florida and other tropical climates are particularly prone to mildew problems, bugs, and sun burn. Hot, dry areas will have fewer problems with mildew growth, but will have more problems with sun exposure and a dusty appearance. Awnings inside of malls get dusty and can be damp-mopped. The exception is in food courts where there will be a greasy buildup that requires heavier cleaning.
Your awnings and canopies are a big financial investment and they make a big statement on your building or home, for better or worse. What do your awnings say about you?
You can learn more about awning and canopy cleaning here.
The Lifespan of Awnings
What Ages Awnings?
If not maintained, the average awning starts looking dirty within several months and, depending on its material, can develop permanent staining within one or two years. By years four and five, most awnings will look filthy, may have sunburning along the upper surfaces, and the material will likely be weakened.
The flat top surface of awnings and the stress points, such as the curve from the vertical face to the horizontal top, will age the fastest. The vertical face of an awning is usually less sun-damaged, but may suffer from roof runoff, i.e., water that pours off the roof of the building and onto the awning creating black lines. The most destructive elements to awnings are sun exposure, air pollution, mildew, bird droppings, and roof runoff.
Another surprising factor in awning longevity is color. Red awnings age faster from sun damage due to the weakness of the pigment. Dark blue and dark green awnings are generally longer lasting.
It is especially important that red, white and yellow awnings get cleaned regularly and sealed with sealers with UV protectants. This will help protect against sun damage and staining to which these colors are more susceptible.
Awning cleaning and sealing can significantly extend the life span of all awnings, adding years to their useful life. Hiring a professional awning cleaner to keep the awnings cleaned and sealed and looking their best will end up saving the business owner thousands of dollars.
Why It’s Important to Keep Awnings Cleaned and Sealed
Awning Maintenance Made Easy
Although awnings have been around in some form or another for hundreds of years, awning cleaning services are a relatively new concept. As retailers, restaurant chains, and other businesses spend more and more money on eye-catching, showy awnings, they have begun to realize the importance of protecting these investments. Regular awning cleaning and sealing not only extends the life of awnings, it keeps awnings looking great. Businesses now understand the message it sends to their customers when their awnings are dirty, mildewed, and full of bugs.
Companies go to great expense to put up awnings for any number of reasons: signage, improving curb appeal, brand image, or perhaps simply protection from sun and rain. Regular awning cleaning is important in protecting that investment and making sure the awnings do what they were put there to do.
Unfortunately, many awning owners stop noticing their awnings after they have been up for a while. Sometimes it takes having to go through the expense of a re-cover before their eyes are opened to the importance of awning maintenance.
Awnings are a major investment for most businesses and they make a major statement about the company. Hiring a professional awning cleaner is just good business to make sure the awnings always look great.
Awnclean has been cleaning awnings of all shapes and sizes for almost 30 years. Give us a call so we can talk about cleaning your awnings, too.
Deck Cleaning, Staining, Sealing, and Waterproofing Success
Bringing Wood Decks Back to Their Original Appearance
Awnclean recently completed a restoration project for Dex Imaging. The project included cleaning, staining, sealing and waterproofing a 300 ft. deck and railing. It was important for the company to keep the deck clean and appealing because it is often used by its employees to take a break, and enter, or exit the building.
First, Awnclean’s team thoroughly pressure washed the deck and railing to remove all dirt, algae, mildew, and debris. All of the leaves were cleaned out from between the boards to prevent future rotting and damage. Deep cleaning prepared the wood for the penetrating stain and sealer.
Next, after a light sanding to remove splinters and repairing any raised nail heads, the team applied a combination stain and sealer to bring the deck back to its original, like-new appearance. The end product will now repel water and protect the deck for years to come.
Because no harsh chemicals were used, the surrounding greenery was not harmed in the process.
The end result is truly amazing.
This project took three days to complete and the deck was dry and ready for use within 24-hours. Most important, the client was 100% satisfied with the end result.
Great job, team.
Introducing Our New Website and Referral Discount
Refer A New Customer and Receive a Discount On Your Next Pressure Wash or Cleaning
To celebrate the launch of Awnclean’s new website, we are launching a new Referral Program, which is our way of saying thanks to all of our loyal customers.
Simply visit our home page at www.awnclean.com and fill out the Contact Us form. In the message, tell us the name and telephone number of the new customer you are referring. After we complete their first service, you will receive a 15% discount on your next pressure wash or cleaning.
This offer does not apply to already scheduled cleanings and is good through April 30, 2018.
Awnclean USA is a full-service cleaning company; specializing in awning, canopy, window and roof cleaning, pressure washing, and sealer treatments. Creative thinking and an expert crew allow Awnclean to take on many tough cleaning jobs that others would never consider in order to bring your entire facility or structure back to superior, top-quality standards.
Awnclean is a Certified Woman-Owned Business, OSHA Confined-Space Certified, FDOT Traffic Safety Certified, and Lift Operator Certified.