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.