Now is the perfect time to have canvas awnings fitted at your home. The end of winter is only a week away, which means spring and summer are just around the corner. Making the decision to install now means you're less likely to have to wait for a contractor to be available. However, as someone who has never owned canvas awnings before, you have some apprehension about taking care of them. Use these three tips to ensure you are fully educated and armed with the equipment you need to keep your awnings looking good as new day after day.
Remove Bird Droppings
Australia has some lovely birdlife, but those birds are good at pooping on your new canvas awnings. Bird droppings which are not removed quickly have a twofold effect on the awning. Not only can they permanently stain the canvas, but they also damage the canvas fibres. The acidity in bird poop weakens the fibre, so wash it away the minute you spot fresh poop. All you need is some warm water and a soft bristled brush. Even an old toothbrush works great for scrubbing bird droppings away. Don't use dish detergent to wash your canvas as it discolours the canvas if not completely removed.
Remove Dirt Build Up
A buildup of dirt and tree debris from summer winds can also damage the fibres of your canvas awning. However, the fastest way to clean this away is to use a soft brush and sweep it off. You don't need to take the awning down to clean away the dirt, just extend the awning out to its fullest opening, and then brush the dirt away. Use a medium pressure while brushing. You want to dislodge any caked on dirt, but you don't want to push down hard enough that the brush bristles damage the fabric.
Examine Canvas For Waterproofing
Regular removal of bird droppings and dirt will keep your canvas looking clean, but constant cleaning also deteriorates the level of waterproofness of the canvas eventually. The fastest way to determine if your awning needs to be waterproofed again is when you notice that the water is dripping through the canvas rather than sitting on top of it. Ask the awning manufacturer for their recommended product to re-waterproof the awning. In most instances, it is a product you can purchase at the hardware store, and you brush it over the canvas which makes it a simple DIY job.
If you have any further concerns about maintaining the life of your new awning, talk to the contractor at the time of installation because they will have further information on this subject for you.