How to Maintain Fabric Patio Covers
Fabric patio covers are affordable and easy to install. However, the challenge comes with their maintenance. In order to ensure that the cover will provide long lasting use, it is recommended that you clean it regularly, and repair any minor damage before it gets worse. As long as the cover is properly maintained, you won't have to replace it over short periods of time.
Tools and Materials
- Fabric brush
- Soapy water
- Garden hose
- Oxygen bleach
- Extendable Brush
- Repair Tools
Step 1 – Inspect the Fabric for Damage and Repair at Once
Check if there is minor damage to the cover. As soon as a small cut is found, take time to remove the cover from its posts. Sew and patch the damage with a patching cloth. When a small cut is left un-patched, it will continue to grow even bigger. Prevent this from happening by repairing the damage at once.
During a storm, the cover may get torn apart into pieces. Check if the material is still repairable. Sew the torn pieces together and patch it with a similar fabric. Repairing the fabric is a lot more economical than purchasing a new one as replacement.
Step 2 – Schedule Regular Cleaning
Take time to set aside a few minutes at least every 2 weeks to clean the accumulated dirt on the fabric. Since the cover is exposed to several external factors, it will get dirty, and thus require regular cleaning. Use an extendable soft bristle brush to reach out to trapped debris on top of the cover. Remove the debris. Clean the dust with sprays of water from a garden hose. Let it dry.
If the material has been left un-cleaned for several months, the dirt and stains can really get tough to remove. If this is the case, remove the fabric from its post or frames and wash it thoroughly with detergent and water. Use a fabric brush to loosen the dirt off of the cover.
Step 3 – Get Rid of Mold and Mildew
Molds and mildew can be removed from the cover using oxygen bleach. Remove the fabric from the frame and wash it with oxygen bleach. Mix the bleach with the correct amount of water following manufacturer’s instructions.
Test a small area on the fabric, to see if the bleach will cause the color to fade. Soak it in the solution and let it sit for a few minutes. Next, remove the fabric and spread it on a small smooth flat surface. Brush the mold away and rinse thoroughly with water. Install it back on the frame.
Step 4 – Inspect the Posts and Frames for Stability
Always check if the posts are still secure or not. If the posts or the frames are getting loose, get to the bottom of the problem and repair it right away. If the post is sitting on an unstable surface, relocate it or repair the surface with mortar. If the frame is getting loose, tighten or repair the joints.