1. Is awning cleaning easy? Yes, especially if you read and follow the directions. This is because modern industrial fabrics along with current cleaning chemistry has never been better. If you use products developed for cleaning and sealing industrial fabrics excellent results can come about.
2. Do I need expensive equipment or tools to get started? NO, awning cleaning tools come in all price ranges. You can start with a couple of plastic pump up sprayers, an extension pole, soft brushes , sponges, and a hose for rinsing. These Items can be bought at Ace Hardware, Home Depot, EBAY, Amazon or Lowes. Be sure to get eqipment that has spare parts. That way you won't have to throw away your equipment everytime it breaks.
3. What are the basic steps for awning cleaning ? Start with identifying the fabric family. Is it vinyl or open weave cloth? Then choose the cleaner, either Universal VINYL CLEANER or Universal FABRIC CLEANER. Spray the cleaner from the bottom up, to prevent streaking. Then lightly scrub the material, and water rinse from the top down.
4. What are the basic steps to awning sealing? If the fabric is vinyl, simply wipe the sealer (fabric protectant)onto the clean dry vinyl and let it penetrate. If you put too much on simply wipe the excess into an unsealed area. let it dry. YOU'RE DONE! If the fabric is open weave cloth, spray the sealer from the top down. Let the sealer ooze down the fabric and dry. YOU'RE DONE!
5. What about awning color restoration? Yes, you can colorize awnings with Perma-Seal RESURFACING COMPOUND. This coating compound has the ability to block out the underneath color. The material would be cleaned, rinsed thoroughly, then a minimum of 2 thin coats applied, and when dry the surface would then be sealed.
6. I'm just starting out. What is the first thing I should do? Order the DVD and the manual on CLEANING & SEALING. Both of them together cover just about all a start-up or an advanced individual needs to know. The video demonstrates techniques and equipment for cleaning and sealing both vinyl and open weave fabric. While the manual covers 100+ different fabrics, how to identify them, and special cleaning and sealing circumstances. It also has an easy to follow flow chart . When you get to the last arrow on the chart you know what type of fabric you are working on, how to to clean it, and seal it. EASY! You can also get information from the Idustrial Fabrics Associatio International . They are the world hub for industrial fabric manufactureres. They have "Awning And Canopy Fabric" GUIDES. Plus they have yearly conventions that show off the material you will be cleaning if doing it on a professional basis. If you are doing cleaning full time you can join organizations to get your name" out. International Window Cleaners Association would be an example.
7. What happens if I have a question later on? We offer FREE technical help. Simply call or E-mail. What might seem like a problem to you has more than likely been answered many times before.
8. How long should an awning last? Each fabric from the mill has a life span. Most fabric life spans average 7 years. IF THEY ARE MAINTAINED! This means cleaning and sealing them on a regular basis according to their warranty. Industrial fabrics are like old cars. Leave them alone to the elements and they will deteriorate. Keep them clean and shiny and they'll last. Put it simply, lets say an awning costs $14,000 and has a maintained life span of 7 years. If the fabric is not maintained and wears out in 4 years, $6,000 of value has been thrown away.
9. What exactly are industrial fabrics? Industrial fabrics are those materials (either woven or laminated) that are used in the making of such structures as awnings, tents, banners, flags, canopies, pool liners, tensile structures, or tarps. Clothing and carpeting are not considered industrial fabrics. Check out the IFAI for additionnal info. Or, you can go straight to the specific fabric manufacuturer Glenn Raven Mills (Sunbrella) , Cooley-Brite , Astrup, John Boyle & Co. Inc. , and Duracote fabrics.
10. What is a "back-lit"? This term is used to describe a translucent vinyl fabric. When lights are turned on, under the awning, they glow the color of the awning.
11. What does laminate mean? A laminated fabric is one made up of different layers (laminations). This is usually a vinyl fabric that is assembled like a sandwich. A base layer of vinyl, then the scrim, then a top layer compressed and laminated together.
12. What is scrim? In vinyl fabric, the scrim is that inside layer of woven material (looks like a fish net) that gives structural strength to the material. Otherwise when the fabric got hot it would stretch out of shape.
13. What is a valance? It is the lower edge of an awning or canopy that is usually loose and can flap in the wind.
14. What is open weave? This refers to a type of fabric material that is woven like a cloth.
15. Do I need a lot of different products to get started? NO! You see, we ship all over the world. To meet all types of fabric maintenance conditions we have a full range of products. You can start out with just one cleaner and one sealer if you want to, and grow form there.
16. Are awning sealers really needed? Good sealers impart benefits to the material that the material normally does not have. Our sealers impart things such as additional sun protection, a non-stick surface, and bonding to the fabric (not washing off in the rain). A fabric that is properly cleaned and sealed on a regular basis is going to last a lot longer than one cast out to the elements alone.
17. Do I have to order full cases? NO! You can order exactly what you need in the quantities you need for your project. Our packaging sizes start out as small as a quart and go all the way to a 55 gallon drum.
18. How do I place an order? You can call, E-mail, or place a secure order at the store. 19. What if I have further questions? You can call or E-mail. You can also web-submit for a free info-pak on this site.
20. What's in the info-pack? Lots! color flyer, brochure, product list, price list, video and manual information, product descriptions, and it's all free.
21. What is Maintenance Cleaning? This is when the fabric is maintained on a regular basis by using a cleaner and sealer to maintian the material . Just like changing the oil in your car to keep it running smoothly.
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