How do I keep my patio enclosure clean and looking its best?

Beautiful patio by the water with patio roof

Extruded aluminum patio roofs, pergolas, and other outdoor shade structures are engineered and designed to last a lifetime. Renaissance Patio builds all our structural components from aircraft-grade aluminum so they stand up to heavy Rocky Mountain snow loads, New England’s driving Nor’easters, and the Gulf Coast’s hurricane-force winds. They are factory-coated and cured with a 3-mil powder coating guaranteed not to flake, fade, or crack.

All this attention to detail and quality makes maintaining your Renaissance patio-insulated roof, translucent panels, gazebos, and sunrooms a breeze to maintain. Unlike wood patio structures, Extruded aluminum requires no constant upkeep. Aluminum is not susceptible to rot, termites, or rust, so it never needs to be repainted, restained, or resealed. In most cases, a quick spray is all you need to keep your new patio performing and looking its best. In fact, if you live in a temperate climate, your area’s average rainfall is probably enough to keep your Renaissance Patio shade structure free from dust and everyday dirt.

Routine Patio Roof Cleaning

Of course, as your outdoor space quickly becomes your family’s favorite “room” in the house, you will continually be working, playing, and entertaining. As a result, you may find fascia smudged by fingerprints, posts muddied by splashing rain, and lattices sullied by barbecue grill smoke. These are often easily removed with a soft-bristled brush and water from your garden hose. Stubborn stains may require a bit more cleaning power:

  • ⅓-cup of laundry detergent or car wash soap
  • ⅔-cup trisodium phosphate (TSP; Savogran and Soilax are common brand names)
  • 1-gallon water

Mildew on your Patio Cover

Black mildew spots may grow under eaves or fully enclosed patio roofs where it is protected from the elements. Increasing the cleaning solution concentration and adding some diluted bleach (hypochlorite) will kill it:

  • ⅓-cup detergent
  • ⅔-cup trisodium phosphate 
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 quart 5% sodium hypochlorite (most household bleach contains 2% to 10% hypochlorite)

Wear rubber gloves when preparing and applying the solution with a sponge or rag.

Environmental Black Streaking and Tar

Black streaks occur when calcium, lime, iron, and other minerals accumulate on your patio’s vertical surfaces and then are washed down by accumulating condensation. All vertical surfaces are susceptible, but those in cities (thanks to air pollution) and humid climates are most vulnerable. Cleaning them may require a trip to the store for a product specializing in the removal of environmental black streaks. Many Renaissance Patio owners swear by Gutter Zap 4; others have had success with LA’s Totally Awesome.

Tar, caulking compounds, and other sticky messes should be tackled with mineral spirits. Do not use a knife or razor black to scrape off the mess, as it can damage your patio’s protective coding. For the same reason, you should not use sandpaper or abrasive pastes to get rid of tar or caulking. Instead, apply the mineral spirits directly to the offending substances. Wipe it off and rinse thoroughly.Young girl washing sunroom

Cleaning Patio Roof Gutters

It should come as no surprise that the products recommended for cleaning the environmental black streaking caused by electrostatic bonding are ideal for removing the black streaks on gutters that come from the same source. Clean your sunroom and patio roof gutters at the same time you maintain the other gutters on your home. Note that commercial gutter cleaning products often become less effective during cold weather. Mixing them per manufacturers’ instructions in hot water can combat the negative weather effects.

Cleaning Screen and Sunrooms – Glass, Acrylic, and Screening

The glass panels in your sunroom can be cleaned with vinegar and newspaper or with any of the commercial glass cleaners. Avoid using solvents, abrasives, or razors to remove paint or other stuck-on gunk from your windows. And powerwashers do not help and could potentially damage window panes.

Glass cleaner should never be used on acrylic or polycarbonate panels designed to block sunlight and ultraviolet rays. Clean them using only mild detergents and water. Rinse thoroughly to prevent soap buildup which can attract dirt.

The fine mesh that surrounds Renaissance Patio’s screen rooms can be removed during winter if you will not be using the room. Clean them with soapy water and a hose before reinstalling.

Routine cleaning and maintenance will keep your Renaissance Patio looking new and providing decades of family fun. If you haven’t had one installed yet, contact us to explore the possibilities of creating your very own backyard oasis.

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