As the summer months draw to a close, outdoor gatherings become few. It is that time of year to put the tiki torches and beach balls away, and pull out the sweaters, down comforters, and clean out the fireplace. The same should be said for replacement canopies for gazebos. With a gazebo more commonly associated as an outdoor gathering place during the summertime, care should be taken to make sure that the canopy on top is put away as well. Sure, it may seem like a daunting task: having to remove the entire fabric from the frame, folding it, and storing it away. But in the end, all of the effort will be well worth it, when next summer rolls around, because you will have another season to enjoy. Here a few tips and suggestions to consider when caring, cleaning, and storing your replacement canopy.
Because the replacement canopy is a cloth roof, over time and constant exposure to the sun, wind, and rain, it will eventually deteriorate. On average, it is used for about two to three seasons. This is dependent on the type of climate you live in. However, if you take extra care of the replacement canopy, it can last you another season or so. One of the first steps you can take once you remove the canopy is to clean it thoroughly. This can easily be done by washing the top down with a sponge or brush using a mild soap and water mixture. Once washed, allow the canopy to completely dry about 24 hours before storing away for the winter. It is not recommended that you wash the canopy top in a clothes washer. As an outdoor fabric, the material and construction of the replacement canopy is different then a cotton t-shirt.
Another way to wash the canopy is with the 303 Fabric Cleaner Concentrate. This cleaner can remove mildew, dirt, and other stains. Not only can it be used for outdoor fabrics, it can be used for indoor fabrics, such as furniture upholstery, carpeting, and vinyl. Its solvent-free formula removes mildew, mold, dirty, bird droppings, grease, oil, and most other stains from any water-safe textile material. Gazebo canopies, outdoor awnings, patio furniture, carpet, upholstery, curtains, fabric convertible tops, tonneau covers, bimini tops, and indoor furniture can all be cleaned with 303. This product is safe for the environment because it is non-toxic, biodegradable. It does not contain soap detergent or toxic chemicals and rinses off residue-free.
For removing spots and stains using the 303 Fabric cleaner, you can either use as a concentrate or dilute with water. Spray the area on the canopy that needs to be cleaned, and agitate with a medium brush or wet cloth. Wipe clean with a damp cloth as described above or rinse thoroughly with water. Allow the fabric to completely dry before storing or placing the canopy top back onto the gazebo frame.
To prevent the presence of mold and mildew on your replacement canopy, the Jomax Mold and Mildew Shield is also another product to consider using. It is great for interior and exterior use on fiberglass, tile, grout, fabrics, paint, vinyl, plastic and more. You can apply this product to your canopy top or other mold and mildew prone areas to keep your surface looking clean and good as new. To apply, simply spray one even coat on surface. Sprays on white to show coverage and then dries clear for efficient application.
After the replacement canopy is nice and clean, you can protect your canopy from the sun, water, and other elements with any type of fabric guard, such as Scotchguard or 303 High Tech Fabric Guard. The 303 High Tech Fabric Guard also protects patio swing canopy tops, umbrella canopies, and other outdoor furniture from deteriorating quickly. In addition, the Fabric Guard is safe for the environment, as it is non-toxic. It does not contain silicone, unlike some products that only repel water and require reapplication after 2 or 3 months. 303’s formula is “high-tech” in the fact that it impedes mildew formation and locks out anything that threatens to soil or stain your fabric.
For the fabric guard to be effective, the fabric itself must be clean and dry. The protectant will adhere better to a surface that is very clean. If the canopy is not dirt free or unsoiled, the Fabric Guard will not bond properly, affecting its performance. It is recommended that you apply two coats of the spray on the replacement canopy top. This provides an even coating. Allow the first coat to dry completely (to the touch) before applying the second coat.
If the canopy top will not be used, especially for the winter months, it is suggested that it be removed from the gazebo and stored away. Various cold climates can affect the lifespan of the canopy top, and constant exposure can deteriorate the fabric. Also, should huge rainstorms or snowstorms arise; the collection of water or snow can affect the lifespan of the canopy, as well as compromise the stability of the frame. Please make sure to clean the replacement canopy thoroughly before putting it away. The canopy should also be dry as well. Any type of moisture may allow mold and mildew to grow and, in essence, dry rot and ruin the canopy. Please make sure to store it in an airtight container or storage box until you are ready to enjoy it again.
Extra steps can be taken to ensure that the metal frame for your gazebo is in tip top shape. In addition to removing the replacement canopy, some people will detach the metal parts entirely and store it for the winter. If you do not mind taking down the entire frame and putting it together again when springtime rolls around, then storing the entire structure would be ideal. Since most folks are not able to do that every season, they just remove the canopy top, and leave the frame intact in their yard. To prevent the metal frame from exposure to the elements, a can of Rust-Oleum Rust Inhibitor Spray can stop rust from forming. This is a simple, easy to apply, rust/corrosion control product that is effective on metal because it creates a transparent barrier against rust. Not only is the spray great for steel frame gazebos, it also can prevent gardening tools, sporting equipment, and other outdoor metal items, from rusting due to constant exposure to the sun and air.
If you follow these tips you will be sure to keep your replacement canopy top and your gazebo looking like new. In reality, there is no way to beat Mother Nature, but if you are able to enjoy many years of parties, events and relaxing outdoors, then many more memories and moments are created because you took extra special care of your canopy top.