Patio awnings are an essential item if you want to enjoy your outside space sheltered from sunshine and showers. However, they can take quite a lot of punishment from the elements and lose their waterproof qualities over time. Here's how to re-waterproof your patio awning to extend its life and keep it looking good.
What you'll need
- powdered washing detergent
- nylon scrubbing brush
- hosepipe and clean water supply
- canvas re-proofing product (available from garden centres or camping supply shops)
- paint brush
How to do it
- The first thing to do is clean your awning thoroughly. You can do this by making up a mild solution of warm water and powdered washing detergent, and then using the solution to scrub the awning with a nylon scrubbing brush. Pay particular attention to areas of mould and mildew staining, which if not removed, can damage the canvass over time.
- Rinse away all the soapy water using a garden hosepipe under low pressure. Don't use a pressure washer for this job, as you could cause the awning fabric to stretch.
- Leave the awning to air-dry thoroughly before you start the re-proofing process.
- When you start work on re-proofing the awning, protect any grass or flower beds in the immediate vicinity with tarpaulin or plastic sheeting, and remove any planters or chair cushions from the area.
- Begin at the top of the awning on the outside and work from top to bottom, ensuring even coverage. Brush on the re-proofing product, using your paintbrush to work the product well into the canvas fabric, paying particular attention to all the seams and areas of stitching that could be vulnerable to leaks.
- Repeat the process on the underside of the awning.
- Allow the awning to air-dry completely before folding or retracting it.
If you are taking your awning down and placing it into storage, ensure that it is completely dry first. Although re-proofing will offer some protection from mildew and mould formation, damp will encourage their growth. If possible, put the awning in a protective bag, separate from any poles or other fittings. This prevents rubbing that could leave the awning with a patchy finish that won't be completely waterproof.
You can extend the useful life of your canvass patio awning by re-proofing it periodically. You can preserve the new waterproofing by retracting or taking down your awning during very hot, sunny weather when it's not in use; the sun's UV rays will dry out the canvass and leave the waterproofing weakened.