Shade Canopy Maintenance Tips

An EZ-Up style canopy is prized for its ability to give quick shade without a lot of hassle when it comes to erecting the structure. This makes it suitable for everything from outdoor festival booths to picnics. Although easy to put up and take down, it isn't maintenance-free. The canopy is typically made of either weatherproof nylon or a treated canvas. Both need regular care to remain in the best condition. The following tips can help.

Tip #1: Always dry thoroughly

You likely depend on the canopy to keep the rain off, and that is just fine. The issue occurs when you have to pack it up while it is still wet. If the moisture is left on the rolled up canopy, you are going to end up with mold or mildew. As soon as you get home, set the canopy up or at least spread out the fabric somewhere where is can dry quickly. Don't put it into a heated dryer, though, as this can melt the nylon or damage the waterproof coating on the canvas. It needs to air dry or dry in the warmth of the sun.

Tip #2: Wash occasionally

The canopy will become dirty, despite your best efforts, but you can wash it with care. Don't try to machine wash, though, as this will damage the weatherproof coatings on the canopy. Instead, use a mild soap – not a detergent or antibacterial soap. Dilute it in warm water and gently scrub out any stains with a rough washcloth or a soft brush. Then, rinse thoroughly with clean water and allow the canopy to dry before putting it away.

Tip #3: Seal the seams

Eventually the seams may begin to leak or the waterproof coatings may wear off. This is no reason to toss the canopy. You can apply a seam sealer, of the same type used on tents, along each of the seams to replenish the waterproofing. You can also use a spray waterproofing product on the top of the canopy if it begins to leak. Just make sure the type you choose is rated for use on nylon or canvas, as you don't want to damage the material.

Tip #4: Patch any tears

Over time, small holes or tears are inevitable. Fortunately, you can often repair these. Most manufacturers sell small repair kits. These consist of patches in a shade to match your canopy, along with the repair glue. You coat the edges of the hole with the glue and then apply the patch. After the repair dries, treat the edges with your seam sealer to prevent water leaks.

If your canopy is becoming quite tattered, you can simply purchase a replacement canopy to fit your frame. Contact a company like Van Raalte & Co., Inc. to learn more.