Outdoor shade awnings aren't just a great way to keep cool on a hot day; with proper placement, they can be an important part of keeping your home's temperature stable and your energy bills down. However, being outside and exposed to the elements all day can be tough on your awnings. With proper regular care, though, you can reduce the risk of staining and discolouration, keeping your awnings looking great for longer.
Outdoor awnings are vulnerable to damage and discolouration resulting from blown sand, animal droppings, tree sap and other sources. Sunlight can gradually fade coloured awnings over time. Damp can even lead to mildew damage, although it's also common to see a greyish, mildew-like appearance cause by dust and moisture being trapped within the weave of a polythene fabric awning. To help keep this damage to a minimum, brush the awning regularly with a soft-bristled brush, a clean, dry cloth or a microfibre duster. If possible, remove stains such as tree sap or bird droppings before they have time to set. If you need to spot-clean a particularly difficult stain, you can apply a solution of mild soap and bleach diluted with warm water, but be sure always to test this on an inconspicuous area of the awning before using it on the stain.
If there are long periods of the year where your awnings aren't in use, you can extend their lifespan by taking them down for a more thorough cleaning. Brush off any loose dirt before washing your awnings with a cleaning solution. The exact cleaning solution you'll use depends on the material your awning is made from. For vinyl or polythene fabric awnings, use a solution of neutral detergent in warm water; wash the awning with this solution, rinse it and wipe it clean with a soft, dry cloth. To clean fabric awnings, use a mixture of mild soap such as laundry or dishwasher detergent. Apply the cleaning solution to the fabric with a soft brush, allowing it to soak in, then rinse it thoroughly with warm water. Leave the awning out to dry before storing it or putting it back up. Be careful to observe the manufacturer's instructions when installing or removing the awning; this is when awnings are most likely to suffer damage.
With regular cleaning, your shade awnings will keep their colour and appearance for years, keeping your home cool while still looking great.
I knew that the moment we bought a house with a decent yard I'd be ready to start having kids. I loved playing outside as a kid and since we've been in this house I think the kids spend nearly as much time outside as they do outside. That lawn has seen my babies crawl, my toddlers start walkings, the kids kicking balls around and playing chasey all afternoon. Keeping the lawn soft and green is so important to me as it let's us spend all that time outside. I'm always looking for ways to make it feel and look soft and green.