Technical Vinyl Cleaning Sealing - awning cleaning with the best awning cleaner

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Technical Vinyl Cleaning Sealing



"How to Clean and Seal a Vinyl Awning"

BEFORE YOU START

There are several factors to take into consideration before starting any cleaning or sealing project. The next few items are of great importance but, unfortunately, often times are forgotten. So, REVIEW THESE ITEMS OFTEN AND ESPECIALLY BEFORE YOU START EACH JOB. "Get off on the right foot" and ensure that the project will be under your control instead of it controlling you.

1. SAFETY must come first; not only for the personnel on the job but also for the pedestrians and surrounding property. THINK AHEAD! Are pedestrians likely to be in the area? Will other people need access while the work is going on? Are ladders going to be needed? Are cars parked to close? What about shrubbery, trees and the general surroundings around the work area?

2. Once safety has been established and planned for, try to identify the industrial fabric type(s) that you will be working on. At the minimum, distinguish it as a vinyl or an open weave fabric. Knowing the exact material type can save you both time and money. Some fabric manufactures have warranties that must be maintained or they are voided. Over-cleaning a fabric can invalidate the warranty and/or shorten the life of the fabric.

3. Next, examine the fabric's physical condition . Look close to see the bindings , seams, tie downs, etc. Look for flaws or damaged areas. Make sure the fabric is strong enough to be worked on without deteriorating.

4. If the material passes these inspections, you should then look for areas of staining. Attempt to identify the type of stain so as you begin to clean you can work it easily without putting unnecessary strain on the fabric.

5. Keep in mind that some owners in reality don't care anything about the fabric except for the final look and appearance. They don't care what it takes to acquire a "look". Don't let this pressure steer you into accidentally invalidating a warranty. Possibly, at times like these, you will be required to perform super strong cleaning, scrubbing, etc. These procedures may be out of the realm of the material's warranty and/or its structural integrity or design. If this type situation arises, simply inform the owner that in order to perform the work on the material to his/her standards, you will need a signed waiver from them. This waiver should be an attestant to the fact that you, as a professional, have informed themof the potential problems involved and that they are releasing you from any liabilities, claims, or problems that may arise.
"What equipment do I need to clean an awning?"
• One extendible pole, preferably 24', for each worker. These are available through your local hardware, builders supply and paint stores.
•Fixi-clamp holder & sponge - Available normally through a janitorial supply company.
• Squeegee (Fixi-clamp) adaptor - Adapts a common threaded extension pole to a taper for using the Fixi-clamp. Use a plastic
model for longevity.
• Doodle Bug pad holder - Janitorial supply company.
• 3M white scrub pads (white only!) - Janitorial supply company.      
• 5 gallon bucket       
• Latex Gloves
• Hose and Nozzle
• 3 Brushes - soft bristle truck brush; medium bristle floor brush; and semi-hard bristle kitchen scrub brush. Available in hardware and department stores.
•2 pressurized pump sprayers - separate one for each product ( cleaner & sealer). Available in hardware stores, builders supply and janitorial supply companies.
• 1 regular quart spray bottle
• Painters Shield - Paint or Hardware store  
• Ladders - 10', 8', 6' for different jobs
• Strip washer and sleeves
• Lint free towels
"What dilutions work best for awning cleaning?"
The dilutions outlined below are average, based on normal circumstances, and are provided as a guide only. If they do not seem to clean as necessary, strengthen as needed. Fabrics with no maintenance cleaning for over 2 years may require that the cleaner be used undiluted.

In order to keep your labor costs at a minimum, the concentration of the cleaning solution should allow you to clean at a relatively fast pace. Most people use the cleaners straight (undiluted) 90% of the time, diluting them only for three and six month maintenance cleaning cycles. You will also need to use the cleaner in higher concentrations where the following scenarios are encountered: Bus Stops, Aircraft Patterns Overhead, Heavy Traffic Areas Muffler Shops, Auto Maintenance Shops, Construction areas and any other places where heavy deposits of exhaust, air pollution and fallout accumulate such as factories, manufacturing plants, and the like.

DILUTION Suggestions:

Unsealed Surfaces:
Regular maintenance - every month-- 5 water : 1 cleaner
Regular maintenance - every three months-- 3 water : 1 cleaner
Regular maintenance - every six months-- No dilution
Regular maintenance - once yearly-- No dilution  
  
Sealed Surfaces:
Regular maintenance - every month-- 10 water : 1 cleaner
Regular maintenance - every three months-- 6 water : 1 cleaner
Regular maintenance - every six months-- 1:1 or No dilution
Regular maintenance - once yearly-- No dilution

All cleaners - Universal VINYL, FABRIC, MAINTENANCE CLEANERS, and SAFE WASH - are formulated to be diluted with plain water.
"How do I chemical spot test an awning?"
You should ALWAYS spot test in an inconspicuous area of the material before using any products on industrial fabrics. To spot test material, you will need to have an eyedropper or Qtip, a medium bristle toothbrush, and a small section of white scrub pad. You will also need clean towels and a spray bottle with water. Dependent upon installation, you may need to use a ladder to reach the surface. Be sure to choose an inconspicuous spot that is weathered! Choosing a spot where the finish is intact (like underneath or on a vertical surface) will not yield correct results as the top coat or finish will still be intact. However, on a weathered area or part, the finish will probably be breached due to natural erosion.

Use the following guidelines for the respective materials:

VINYL - When spot testing STAIN MAGIC, RELEASE, VINYL SEALER, or VINYL CLEANER use an eyedropper or Qtip to apply product. Using the toothbrush or Qtip, scrub into a small area. If color starts to smear or lift, do not use the product. Rinse off with water and wipe dry. This testing is essential if you feel the material might be an eradicable fabric.
CLEANERS and SEALERS - Always spot test all chemical products on unknown fabrics. This also means fabrics that show environmental wear and tear. As a fabric ages it's integrity can start to decline. This means spot testing cleaning solution dilutions as well as sealer behaviors before starting a job.

ALWAYS SPOT TEST FIRST!
It is better to take a little extra time and be safe, then to have something go wrong or find yourself in an irreversible dilemma. Be sure to be aware of and follow the Fabric Manufacturer's WARRANTY instructions to ensure the fabric's proper and natural life span when using any type of cleaners and sealers.
"How to Clean Vinyl Awnings"

ALWAYS SPOT TEST THE VINYL MATERIAL FOR COLOR FASTNESS BEFORE CLEANING.

Method #1 -
THE BUCKET & DIP METHOD
1 - Select the proper cleaner dilution of Universal VINYL CLEANER or MAINTENANCE CLEANER.
2 - Start by cleaning the valance first followed by the top surface.ARSI bucket and dip method
3 - Dip the sponge into the cleaning solution, rub it on the rim of the bucket to remove excess cleaner and prevent dripping.
4 - Apply to the vinyl and scrub a 20 to 30 sq. ft. area.
5 - Allow to sit for 2 to 5 minutes, but not dry; then scrub again with more cleaner.
6 - Rinse thoroughly and try to keep any uncleaned areas dry.
7 - Repeat as needed.

Once the top side is completed, start on the underneath. By following this sequence, in most cases the top will be dry by the time you are finished with the underneath. Note that this is this most labor intensive system. Your personnel will be taking the pole to and from the bucket to the fabric many times. The only time this method should be used is when you cannot use one of the following methods or a sprayer breaks down on the job. Do not put too much cleaner in the bucket. Every time you dip, it will put dirt into the fresh solution. The cleaner will start working on the dirt in the bucket and lose some of its cleaning power through contamination.

Method # 2
THE HAND SPRAY METHOD
1 - Select the proper cleaner dilution of Universal VINYL CLEANER or MAINTENANCE CLEANER.
2 - Apply the solution from a hand pump sprayer to the vinyl. Spray from the bottom up. Use the mist selection of your sprayer to avoid streaking. If you select the stream, the cleaners effectiveness begins to break down as it runs over the dirt. This will result in clean "streaks" on the material.                                               
3 - Choose the area you want to clean and start by cleaning the valance first, then the area above it. Spray the cleaner on, work it in with a sponge or soft bristle brush, and allow to sit for several minutesm, but not dry out.                           
4 - Rinse thoroughly, and repeat if needed.  Arsi Vinyl Awning
5 - For excessive mildew, algae spray the cleaner on straight.
6 - Use a soft brush to get into sleeves and around the framework. Once you have completed the top, start on the underneath. By working on the underneath last, often times the top surface will be dry by the time you complete the under parts. Your coverage area will depend upon how hot the vinyl surface is. In the early morning you can clean 200 sq. ft. and more at a time. In the afternoon or as the vinyl surface gets hot, the cleaning coverage will go down to 30 to 50 sq. ft. at a tune. Try to keep your uncleaned areas as dry as possible. Keep your labor cost down! Clean your sprayers thoroughly at the end of every day to prevent deterioration and ultimate failure.

Method # 3
THE PRESSURE RINSE METHOD
1 - Select the proper cleaner dilution of Universal VINYL CLEANER or MAINTENANCE CLEANER.
2 - Apply the solution from a hand pump sprayer to the vinyl. Spray from the bottom up. Use the mist selection of your sprayer to avoid streaking. If you select the stream, the cleaners effectiveness begins to break down as it runs over the dirt. This will result in clean "streaks" on the material.
3 - Choose the area you want to clean and start by cleaning the valance first, then the area above it. Spray the cleaner on, work it in with a sponge, and allow to sit for several minutes.
4 - Using a pressure cleaner with a pressure of no more than 150 p.s.i. to 250 p.s.i., rinse thoroughly and repeat if needed.
5 - For excessive mildew, algae spray the cleaner on straight.
6 - Use a brush to get into sleeves and around the framework. Once you have completed the top, start on the underneath. By working on the underneath last, often tunes the top surface will be dry by the time
you complete the under parts.Your coverage area will depend upon how hot the vinyl surface is. In the early morning you can clean 200 sq. ft. and more at a time. In the afternoon or as the vinyl surface gets hot, the cleaning coverage will go down to 30 to 50 sq. ft. at a time. Try to keep your uncleaned areas as dry as possible.

Method # 4
PRESSURE CLEANING - (below 250 PSI)
We do not recommend the high pressure cleaning of industrial fabric materials; however, if this is what you plan on doing the cleaner should be used undiluted and spray misted on. Scrub in the solution with sponge and rinse with the pressure cleaner. Be aware that a pressure cleaner has a tremendous potential for doing damage to most materials on the market. Our tests have shown that many of the materials will suffer thread and scrim breakdown when high pressure cleaned. This damage may not appear at the time of cleaning, but as the sun and weather tighten and loosen the vinyl, it will show up in the tension of the material. Also, if your pressure setting is too high, it can actually drive dirt into the vinyl allowing the weather to get to the threads and scrim. In lighter materials, this condition can lead to "wicking". On many of the heavier fabrics, the total tested hydrostatic pressure is only 250 to 500 p.s.i. and cleaning at that pressure can cause irreversible damage. So make sure you are cleaning below the tested hydrostatic pressure of the fabric or, if the pressure is unknown, below 250 PSI.

NOTES & RECOMMENDATIONS - ALL METHODS
•When rinsing solution off the fabric, it will foam. Rinsing should continue until there is no foam present.
• Universal VINYL and MAINTENANCE CLEANER work better when applied to a dry surface. If there is water on the surface of the material, the cleaner must first break through it in order to reach the pollutants. During this process the cleaner is diluted. Also, don't allow the cleaner to dry on the material.
• When cleaning the underside of any material, wear safety goggles and breathing mask or be sure that wind or drippings do not get cleaner on you. If you are using a sprayer, consider getting an over-spray fitting.
•When cleaning in cold weather, use warm water ( below 105F) when making the cleaning solution. This will aid its efficiency. Most cleaning products lose much of there cleaning potency under 50 degrees. If you do not have access to warm water at a particular job site, consider carrying it in a thermos cooler and using it as needed. The water temperature should not be excessively hot as this could be potentially damaging to the vinyl.
• In the event the cleaner does not seem to be lifting all the dirt you feel it should, try the following methods:
-Scrub cleaner with white pad on Doodle Bug and rinse.
-If the material is not eradicable, use RELEASE. If everything fails, chances are that the stain is permanent.
"How to Seal Vinyl Awnings"

The basic difference between Universal VINYL SEALER 12 and Universal ULTRA GLOSS is in their concentration. The Universal VINYL SEALER 12 formula is 1/3 the concentration of Universal VINYL Ultra Gloss. Universal VINYL SEALER 12, on the other hand, should be used when long term protection is desired or to facilitate routine maintenance cleaning. Consider using Universal ULTRA GLOSS when a shine is required along with long term sealing. Also consider using Universal VINYL SEALER 12 or Universal ULTRA GLOSS when the fabric will becleaned only once a year.

Keep in mind that Universal VINYL SEALERS are basically forexterior conditions. You should use A.R.S. VINYL PROTECTANT on indoor vinyl or for short term protection on outdoor material.

EQUIPMENT LIST
• Fixi-Clamp holder - Available through a local janitorial supplycompany.
• Clean, dry sponge - a car wash sponge, if possible.
• Squeegee adapter - Adapts a common Acme threaded extension pole to a taper for using Fixi-Clamp. Plastic is recommended for longevity.
• Extension pole - Height should be determined by the job needs.
• Window strip washer - always wash new sleeves several times to remove all lint. Available through a local janitorial supply
company.
• 5 gallon bucket or pail - Make sure it's clean and dry.             
• Universal VINYL SEALER 12 or ULTRA GLOSS.                           
• Pressurized hand pump sprayer.
• Painters towels - clean and lint free.

Method #1
HAND APPLICATION
1 - To seal the vinyl, simply wrap a towel around a sponge and fasten it with the Fixi-Clamp. The ends of the towel should be tied or fixed together in order to eliminate dripping or the release of excess sealer. An alternative to the towel and sponge is a non-cellulose sponge mop, strip washer, lint fre pegged (so it will not roll) paint roller.
2 - Dip the applicator into the sealer; remove excess sealer by wiping on the rim of the bucket.
3 -The sealer should be lightly applied to the surface of the material.ARSI Vinyl Awning Sealing
4 - Always apply and work from bottom to top.
5 - Always check to identify any areas that might have been missed.
6 - You should consider using your strip washer with a clean sleeve to ensure that the sealer is level across the entire fabric. Simply pull the strip washer in a straight line down the vinyl. This will smooth out any irregularities in the sealer and leave a uniform coat behind.
7 - Universal VINYL SEALERS are designed to penetrate into the vinyl material. The will not build up on the surface. Any excess sealer on top of the surface should be wiped off with a lint free towel. This will eliminate and prevent any unwanted smears, drips or a splotchy look from occurring.

        Method #2
HAND SPRAYER APPLICATION
1 - Wear protective clothing, breathing mask and goggles. Use only in a well ventilated area. Read labels for additional cautions and directions.
2 - This method results in the quickest application.
ARSI Vinyl Awning Sealing 1    ARSI Vinyl Awning Sealing 2
3 - Using a hand pump sprayer, spray a light coat of the sealer using a rapid motion across the material. The sprayer should be fully pumped at all times to ensure the best atomization for a fine mist.                                                                               
4 - Should the sealer begin to sag or run, use your strip washer, pinned roller, or sleeve/towel as outlined in Method 1.
5 - With this style of application, it may require a second coat to ensure total protection. Remember two thin coats are better than one heavy coat.
ARSI Vinyl Awning Sealing 3    
6 - Any excess or build-up of sealer should be removed by wiping the area to prevent and eliminate any runs, sags, splotches, etc.
7 - Upon completion, release the pressure from the sprayer, hold the wand straight up and drain out any remaining sealer. This will prevent the sealer from deteriorating the "O" rings inside. The sprayer should be thoroughly clean and dry before any sealer is introduced to the sprayer. Be sure to allow the cleaned sprayer to dry completely before the next use.

    Method #3
SIPHON GUN SPRAYER APPLICATION
1 - Wear protective clothing, breathing mask and goggles. Use only in a well ventilated area. Read labels for additional cautions and directions.
2 - If you have occasion to seal material that is not installed and on the ground, you may want to consider using a compressor driven siphon gun.
3 - When using this method, ensure that the working pressure allows for a fine, even, "wet looking" coat that does not sag, run, drip or bead up.
4 - In the event you notice any drips or sags on the vinyl, use your strip washer and sleeve/towel as outlined in Method 1.

NOTES ON THE USE OF VINYL SEALERS:
Older vinyl fabrics with the scrim showing are normally candidates for resurfacing. You must evaluate the amount of wear, tear and deterioration in order to make a judgment whether to seal or resurface. Fabrics that are dry will normally require two coats of sealer, especially if the inner threads are beginning to show. If the fabric is stretched tight, it may have curves that will not allow a strip washer and sleeve to give uniform coverage. You may want to consider taking a piece of heavy duty industrial hose and using it in your sleeve in place of the strip washer. Simply fasten it to your Fixi-Clamp thus providing the flexibility needed. If you are applying Universal VINYL SEALER to RESURFACING COMPOUND, CLEAR-COAT, or COLOR-COAT be sure that the coating or compound is totally dry; otherwise, the sealer application may remove a small amount of color. Similarly, if the fabric has been resurfaced with stripes or in different colors, avoid passing your sleeve or towel over both colors. Consider sealing over one color, then the other, using different sleeves or towels. This will eliminate the possibility of smears from any of the colors. When applying Universal VINYL SEALER to eradicable material, be sure to spot test for compatibility. Also, be extremely careful not to "scrub" the sealer on the surface. To prevent any removal or breakdown of the eradicable dyes, you should use only light passes with the strip washer and sleeve or lint free towel to smooth out any irregularities caused by sags, runs, etc. The Universal VINYL SEALER should have a rnininium of two, but preferably four, hours curing time before sundown (nightfall) or before any rainfall. Try to time and schedule your work accordingly.
                                                                          
Owing to the nature of Universal VINYL SEALERS and their non-stick characteristics when dry, they should not be applied to surfaces that require adhesion; such as velcro snaps and tabs, areas to which graphics and lettering will be applied, etc. Universal VINYL SEALER is an industrial sealer and will seal (adhere) to anything it comes in contact with. Do not allow it to get on windows, automobiles, vegetation or other unwanted surfaces. If you do over- spray, or accidentally seal an unwanted surface, remove it immediately. Also, cover walks, driveways, etc. If it is allowed to dry on the pavement, it will have a dry, sealed look when the rest has a "wet" look. Getting it on plants or grass will result in potentially harmful, if not destructive, results.Be very careful when spraying Universal VINYL SEALERS. Watch which way the wind blows, etc. to ensure you are coating only the material, and not the surroundings. On windy days, when you cannot spray, consider using Method 1.
In cold weather, sealers have a tendency to CRYSTALLIZE on the surface. Keep this in mind when planning and carrying out any sealing work. It is recommended that application of any sealer take place only in temperatures above 55 degrees. You should also allow at least four hours of curing time before temperatures drop below 55 degrees.
The information contained in this technical brief is intended for use with Awning Rejuvenation Systems products. Awning Rejuvenation Systems International does not assume, and therefore disclaims, any liability to to any party for any loss or damages caused by any errors or omissions in this technical brief, whether or not such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident or any other cause. This publication may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Awning Rejuvanition Systems International, Inc.
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