Not only can canvas awnings make your home more attractive, they protect your windows from the sun, rain and other natural elements. Similarly, they protect furniture pieces and other items that rest near windows from sun damage and fading. They also shield your window glass from rainwater spots and destructive hail. And by keeping the hot sun out of your home, awnings can help reduce your electric bills during the summer months.
Although canvas window awnings are durable and resilient, they'll still need some regular maintenance and cleaning from time to time to look and perform their best. The climate and environmental conditions of your location will determine how often you need to clean the awnings. For instance, if you live near a busy highway, you may need to remove black soot from the awnings frequently.
Here are some tips for cleaning and maintaining your canvas awnings:
On a regular basis, such as monthly or semi-annually during fall and spring cleaning, give your awnings a thorough deep-cleaning to remove any built-up dirt and debris. Start by rinsing the canvas with a garden hose to loosen the gunk up.
Next, create a cleaning solution by combining warm water with a gentle liquid soap, such as dish detergent, in a bucket. Dip a long-handed sponge mop into the soapy solution and squeeze out the excess liquid.
Using a ladder or step stool if necessary, rub the mop over the canvas, scrubbing away all debris. Repeat the process as much as needed, focusing on any stubborn build-up, until the awnings are clean.
If you need a stronger solution to combat any hard-to-remove stains, such as dried bird excrement, you can add a 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar to the cleaning mixture. Apply it to the awning using the same sponge mop. When you're finished cleaning, rinse the awnings with the hose and allow the canvas to air-dry.
To shield the awnings from the elements and reduce build-up, consider treating them with a canvas protectant, which typically come in spray cans for easy application. Make sure that the awnings are freshly cleaned when you treat them with the protectant, so that you don't seal in dirt, dust and other debris.
Another way that you can maintain the awnings in between cleaning is by dusting them with a long-handled broom on a weekly basis. This will help remove spiderwebs, pollen and other types of debris.