Cleaning an awning - tips & tricks

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Cleaning an awning - tips & tricks

Awning covers are industrially manufactured textile products which serve both a functional and a decorative purpose.They are high-tech products that meet strict technical requirements.Each production cycle undergoes extensive laboratory tests.Criteria such as water impermeability, stiffness, dirt and water-repellent properties, resistance to tearing and tear propagation, colour fastness and numerous other characteristics are defined, assessed and guaranteed for each fabric type by the manufacturer.Although only first-class, quality controlled fabric is used in production, there are limits to the degree of perfection that can be achieved.Awning owners sometimes complain about certain aspects of the fabric which cannot be completely excluded, in spite of the extremely high technical standards that can be achieved today.

Creases

Creases can appear during the cover manufacturing process and when the fabric has been folded.When viewed against the light, a dark line can be seen where the fabric has been folded, especially in the case of light colours; this is due to the fibres having been realigned (altered light  efraction).

Puckering at the panel joints and in the centre of the panels

This effect can appear alongside the side hems and panel joints and in the centre of the panel. There is a double layer of fabric at the panel joints.Consequently, as the cover is wound onto the roller the two layers of fabric are forced to assume different diameters thus creating tension within the fabric. The tension of the folding arms and the weight of the roller tube and/or front profile can exacerbate this effect.  Puckering can also develop if a "water trough” forms during heavy rainfall.

What will happen if my awning gets wet or becomes damp?

Solar protection fabrics are impregnated with a water-repellent finish and, if properly cared for and used at a pitch of at least 14° (to the horizontal), remain impervious to water during short, light rainfall. During prolonged and/or heavy rainfall the awning must not be extended or should be retracted to prevent damage.During the course of time dust and dirt will settle on the fabric which form a rich breeding ground for fungi (patchy marking) and / or moss. For this reason, the cover should never remain damp for a longer period.When it has stopped raining it would be best if you extend the awning again as soon as possible to allow the cover to dry.

In the case of covers in sunsilk SNC, we actually recommend that the  awning be left out in the rain to initiate the self-cleaning effect.However, you should ensure that the awning has sufficient pitch to allow water to run off efficiently (approx. 15°).But these awning covers, too, should not be retracted for any period of time when wet.

Side hem elongation

In most cases an active tensioning system keeps the cover almost permanently taut.Although seams and hems provide reinforcement, they also have to withstand the most strain.When the fabric is being rolled up, the seams and hems lie on top of each other which increases the pressure and tension even more.  This results in increased strain and elongation. When extending the awning, a possible slight drooping of the side hems may be apparent.

Source: ITRS (BKTex)

How to take proper care of your awning cover

So that you can reap long and lasting enjoyment from your awning cover, here are a few tips regarding its treatment and care: Dust can best be removed when dry by means of a soft brush.Remove leaves, twigs and similar debris immediately.Small stains should be removed using lukewarm water and a commercially accepted, preferably liquid, detergent suitable for delicate fabrics (5% soap solution, water temperature max. 30°C).Rinse thoroughly with clean water.  Detailed instructions for the cleaning and care of blind and awning covers can be found in the guidelines of the Industrial Association for Technical Textiles, Shutters, Solar Shading e.V. (ITRS).

How can I clean a markilux awning fitted with a cover made of sunsilk SNC?

Heavy soiling can be washed off using a hose (not high pressure).Clean the cover on both sides and leave the awning out to dry. If necessary clean using a sponge or soft brush with a commercially accepted, preferably liquid detergent suitable for delicate fabrics in lukewarm water max. 30° C. Do not scrub. Finally rinse  the cover a number of times with clean water and allow it to dry.

 How does the nano effect work?

markilux awnings are now available with so-called nano effect.This applies to the fabric collection sunsilk SNC and the frame colours in a textured finish. One can best understand how this effect works by imagining that there are microscopically small hairs covering the surface of the cover or frame which prevent e.g.rainwater or dirt coming in direct contact with the surface. Because the hairs have a minutely small surface area and there are so many of them, everything is suspended above the actual surface of the material. This illustration e.g.  of the rivulets of water is well known.It demonstrates how rain can clean dirt off an awning.While it is advisable to retract conventional awning fabrics to prevent damp dirt being baked onto the material, we recommend that fabrics made of sunsilk SNC be left out in the rain as long as it is not windy and there is no chance of a storm developing.

What more do you need to know about awning covers?

Small imperfections such as knots, uneven yarn thicknesses, the occasional broken yarn, waviness or uneven rolling up characteristics as well as signs of fabric stretch – especially in the region of hem or panel joint – cannot always be avoided in spite of the state-of-the-art manufacturing processes used.Moreover, creases caused during the manufacturing process which manifest themselves as dark lines when seen against the light are unavoidable.The cover's inherent weight may mean that it sags to a certain extent. This will be exacerbated when the cover is wet.We can guarantee that these phenomena will not reduce the service life of the awning nor impair its functionality.In this respect we refer to the  guidelines of the Industrial Association for Technical Textiles, Shutters, Solar Shading e.V. (ITRS) with regard to the product characteristics of made-up blind and awning covers.

Source: ITRS (BKTex)