How to clean your school canopy

Posted on | Posted in Education

It’s important to take proper care of your school canopy to keep it in as good condition as possible. Our industry-leading canopies are built to last, and actually require very little maintenance. However, they still benefit from routine cleaning, so it’s a great habit to get into.

Cleaning your canopy regularly guarantees it stays looking its best. Not only that, keeping on top of proper canopy maintenance will save you money from any repairs in the long run. You might find you need to pay particular close attention to your canopy’s cleanliness in the autumn and winter months, especially if it’s located in an area with lots of trees which could gather on the canopy roof.

Here’s how to make sure your school canopy stays in tip-top condition.

Ongoing maintenance

There are several steps that you and your school maintenance team can take to stay on top of the upkeep of your canopy throughout the year:

  • Regularly check the roof and the guttering of the canopy to make sure leaves, twigs and debris don’t mount up too much. You might also find toys, balls or other personal items have made their way to the canopy roof too, so this is the perfect time to remove them. Some worry that their canopies will attract pigeons and other birds, but our canopies include no ledges suitable for perching or nesting underneath the canopy, alleviating this worry.
  • Clean out the grates and drains beneath the drainpipes to ensure rainwater is draining as it should. Drains can get blocked with leaves, mud, branches and litter, so use a brush to clear these away from the area before disposing of them.
  • In snowy weather, make sure snow is cleared from the canopy roof. All our canopies are built with site specific calculations for safety, so there’s no risk of the canopy collapsing under heavy snowfall. However, there is the possibility that snow may slide off the balcony, which is a safety risk to pupils and teachers who may be walking underneath.

Before cleaning your canopy

Before you get stuck into cleaning, there are several checks you must carry out:

  • Carry out a risk assessment of the area. Make sure you’ve removed any obstacles from underneath or around the canopy, like play equipment or tables and chairs.
  • Isolate and protect any electrical equipment and sockets in the area, such as heaters or lights, so they don’t get wet.
  • Section off the area to prevent people from getting too close. This is particularly important if the canopy cleaning is taking place during regular school hours, though we’d recommend canopy cleaning takes place over a weekend, or before or after school.
  • Make sure you’ve got the right equipment, including personal protective equipment and safety checked ladders or stepladders.

How to clean your school canopy

Once you’ve carried out a risk assessment of the area and ensured the canopy is clear of debris, you’re ready to start cleaning. Here’s how:

  • Make a solution of warm water mixed with a mild cleaning detergent, before using a soft cloth or sponge to gently wipe clean the roof of the canopy. In most cases, cleaning regularly with warm, soapy water is more than enough to keep the canopy dirt-free. You’ll find that everyday domestic cleaning products are suitable, so you don’t need to invest in any specialist products.
  • For any stubborn marks, use a soft bristled brush and try to work the dirt off gently. In cases of leaf mould or staining on the canopy roof, you may need to use a pressure washer directly on the stained area.
  • Use a small amount of white spirit to clean off any tar or grease. Make sure you’re wearing appropriate heavy-duty gloves to protect your skin.
  • When you’ve removed all visible marks and wiped down the roof of the canopy with soap, rinse well with a hosepipe until all the residue has been removed.
  • Leave to air dry.

Looking after your canopy properly ensures it continues to look as impressive as it did when it was first installed. We hope you found this advice useful. Find out more about our canopies for schools, or get in touch on 01254 777 002 or