Tips For Preventing Or Getting Rid Of Awning Mold

Retractable window awnings can help cool your home or even provide external protection from the sun or rain on a patio. The issue is that the exposure to weather and moisture can cause mold or mildew to grow on the awning fabric. The following tips can help you prevent or remove the mold so that the awning continues to perform well over the years.

Tip #1: Never store it wet

Retracting a wet awning means that moisture gets trapped in the fabric, which will then lead to mold. Before putting the awning away, tilt it slightly downward so any moisture can run off the edges and the fabric can dry. If you must stow a wet awning, perhaps due to a windstorm, then open it up as soon as possible and allow it to finish drying before mold can take hold.

Tip #2: Avoid pooling water

Most awning fabric is treated to be mold and mildew resistant. Pooled moisture on the surface can compromise this treatment, though. When putting up the awning, make sure it slopes away from the house so that moisture runs off. Another option is to erect the awning so one corner is slightly lower than the rest, which will effectively funnel off any excess water.

Tip #3: Kill spores quickly

Even a few dark mold or mildew stains is cause for concern, since these stains indicate mold growth that will soon spread. The best option is to spray the area thoroughly with a mold killer formulated for outdoor fabrics or awnings. If this isn't available, you can soak the area in white vinegar. Don't use bleach unless it's recommended by the manufacturer, as it can cause irreparable damage to the fabric.

Tip #4: Clean the awning

A deep cleaning is also necessary if you spot mold. Once the spores are dead, clean the entire surface of the awning. Begin by mixing a mild detergent or an awning cleaner with warm water. Apply this with a soft sponge to the top surface of the awning. Roll the awning up and wait a half hour or so. Then, open up the awning and rinse off the top and bottom surfaces. Don't scrub the awning, as this can remove any water-proof or UV-resistant coatings. Some mold stains may remain, but no further mold growth should occur as long as you allow the awning to dry completely.

For more help with awning care, contact a dealer or installer like Lorraine's Window Coverings.