Your patio awning gets a lot of use, especially in the spring and summer when you need it for both shade and protection from passing rain showers. Unfortunately, the moisture that collects on the awning can lead to unattractive stains. These stains can range from green and brown to deep black, but they are all caused by mold and mildew growth. Read on to learn how to remove these stains so that your awning looks almost new again.
#1: Keep It Dry
Your main goal is to keep your awning dry. Avoid rolling it up when it is wet, since this will trap moisture and lead to mold growth. If you must roll it up wet, such as due to wind, then open it up as soon as the weather permits and allow it to finish drying. Even light moisture, such as from the morning dew, can lead to mold in the enclosed environment that occurs once the awning is stowed.
#2: Rinse Regularly
Even if you work hard to keep it dry, humidity will still conspire against you. Fortunately, mold and mildew doesn't typically grow directly on the awning fabric since it is treated to resist fungal growth. Instead, it grows on dust and dirt that builds up on the awning fabric and is fed by humidity. At least once a month on a dry, sunny day, pull out the garden hose and rinse the dust and dirt from the top and bottom surfaces of the awning. You should also make sure it is thoroughly rinsed and dried before stowing it away for winter.
#3: Remove stains quickly
If stains do appear, act quickly before they spread or become deeply set. You need to avoid harsh cleansers, since these can remove the protective coating on the awning. Instead, opt for a mildew remover made for awning or outdoor fabrics. Begin by fully opening the awning and tilting it toward the ground. Wet it down with the hose and then spray the mildew remover over the entire surface. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub out the stains and then rinse the awning clean. As always, allow it to dry thoroughly before putting it away.
For more help with your awning, contact a dealer in your area. They can steer you towards fabrics that are most likely to resist mildew, as well as provide you with the proper cleaners for keeping the awning in good condition.