Some frequently asked questions about starting
an Awning Cleaning Business:
Question: How do you charge for Awning Cleaning?
Answer: We mainly charge by the square footage. The price per square foot is determined by:
1. How dirty are the awnings?
2. What type of awning fabric? (canvas, vinyl, back-lit, metal, glass)
3. What types of stains are present. (bird droppings, environmental dirt, mold, mildew, rust, tree sap, roofing tar, paint)
4. How difficult the awnings are to reach?
5. How old are the awnings? (physical conditions - the older the awnings, the more careful and delicate we need to be during the cleaning process.)
6. Are we adding an UV protectant, sealer or water repellent?
7. How far do we travel to do the cleaning job?
The price for cleaning awnings ranges generally from $.25 to about $2.00 per square foot. We have a $120 minimum charge.
Question: What type of Equipment do you need to clean awnings?
Answer: I've cleaned many awnings with just a simple garden hose and a soft truck washing brush. Of course, other equipment can be helpful in getting the job done quickly. The basic awning cleaning equipment would include:
1. Water hose
2. Extension poles
3. Soft brushes
5. Water key
6. Pump sprayer
I've developed one tool that's a big time saver for me. It cuts one of my awning cleaning project from 8 man hours to just 2 man hours. That can be very helpful in making more profit. (In my awning cleaning training classes, I show you how to make this simple tool for yourself.)
Question: Where can I buy Awning Cleaning Supplies?
Answer: Here are a few websites for supplies - cleaners, sealers and tools:
I would recommend buying some cleaners or tools from each of these companies, then ask them lots of questions. When you spend a little money with somebody they often open up a whole lots more and will give you lots of good insights and advice. Tell them youíre just getting started in the Awning Cleaning business and have some questions.
I have ordered from all these companies and tried most all their cleaners and sealers. Winsol makes cleaners for many different companies and private labels them. I like Do It Right because they actually clean awnings for a living and sell supplies on the side and they have lots of hands on experience.
Question: Can all awnings be cleaned? (Canvas, Vinyl, Metal and Glass)
Answer: No! The most difficult thing about cleaning an awning is learning the ones you want to stay away from because they are too old or damaged to clean. (Only about 50% to 60% of the awnings are in good enough shape to clean without doing damage. Always check to make sure the fabric and seams are strong and in good shape.) As you get better at cleaning awnings and judging the conditions of the fabric you should be able to clean 80% to 90% of them.
Keep in mind, not all awnings can be cleaned to "brand new" looking. Some are too faded or stained to be totally restored.
Its hard to tell you what to look for in awnings that are to old or damaged to be cleaned without actually showing you, that's why I have the training classes. But let me try, just look and handle the seams and put a little pressure on them and see how it holds. If the thread is missing from the seam you can be sure the seams are weak. I hold the awning fabric in my hands and feel if the fabric is weak or not. It's really something you just have to see and feel to understand.
In my early days in cleaning awnings, I damaged a few awnings but learned quickly how to repair them so I wouldn't have to buy new awnings for them. (It was a good learning experience because I use those techniques now to repair awnings for my customers.)
If you use the right awning cleaning chemicals in the right way you should be okay and not damage the awning. But you can always test the chemicals in a small out of the way place before proceeding on the whole awning just to test things out. If any color from the awning comes off, stop!
Question: Is the Awning Cleaning Business profitable?
Answer: With proper training, techniques and pricing it is very possible to make $50 to $100 an hour while you're cleaning awnings. Personally, as my speed and skills increased I often earn $150 or more per hour while cleaning or repairing awnings.
Question: Is it easy to clean awnings?
Answer: Yes, if you're in reasonable good physical shape. Sometimes it is necessary to use a ladder and carry some equipment around like hoses and pump up sprayers. And once again, with proper training and techniques awning cleaning is relatively simple and easy.
Question: Where can I learn how to clean awnings, or get training and information on how to clean awnings?
Answer: A good way to learn awning cleaning is to spend some time with someone who is currently cleaning awnings. (This may be hard to get someone to share their secrets, tips and shortcuts. Most companies will not share their trade secrets with other companies and competitors.) However, we put together a DVD that we sell through PowerWash.com , 800-433-2113, called, "How to Make Money Cleaning Awnings", DVD #509. Lots of good information in this DVD. Their website is http.//www.powerwash.com/.
You can view part of this DVD at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua40CsgadM0
We also teach some classes on Awning Cleaning and Marketing that are very helpful in starting an Awning Cleaning business. At the classes we give lots of materials, pictures, forms and advertising items we use in own business, so if you get a chance it would be the best way to learn the Awning Cleaning business.
The class covers the following:
Awning Cleaning Training Class - 1, 2 & 3 Day Training Classes available in Fort Worth, TX
Items & Topics Covered
1. Why clean awnings?
2. Profitability of awning cleaning. (How much you can earn cleaning awnings.)
3. How to identify awning fabrics.
4. How to clean canvas, vinyl, glass and metal awnings.
5. How to identify awnings that can be safely cleaned and the awnings to stay away from.
(Not all awnings can be safely cleaned! Some are to old or damaged. Not knowing this will cost you money.)
6. How to inspect awnings.
7. What chemicals & cleaners are used to clean awnings. (Cleaning tips and tricks from a professional.)
8. How to identify & remove common stains on awnings.
9. Equipment needed to clean and repair awnings.
10. Safety tips.
11. How to clean windows below the awnings you just cleaned. (Window Cleaning Service add on business.)
12. How to do simple repairs on awnings.
13. Actual hands on training. (You may get a bit dirty & wet - be prepared.)
14. How to bid and give estimates on awning cleaning.
15. How to market, sell & promote your awning cleaning business. (Information can be used with any business.)
16. How to give FREE samples of your work away & make money doing it.
17. Receive many sample forms & advertisements to use in your awning cleaning business.
18. You will receive 100ís of photos and video clips of awnings to study and use after class.
19. How to network with others to help your business grow.
20. Questions and answer sessions.
21. After class follow up & consulting.
When you come to class, be prepared to take notes, pictures and get your hands dirty with actual hands on experience. Bring your work clothes and shoes/boots.
Contact PowerWash.com 800-433-2113 (www.powerwash.com/) for schedule of classes and information or Wayne Shockey, instructor & owner of Specialized Maintenance & Awning Cleaning Services, 817-577-9454 (website: www.AwningCleaningServices.com - email: wayne@AwningCleaningServices.com)
I have put together information entitled, "How to Clean Your Awnings" at our website that will help you understand the basics of awning cleaning.
Also, here is a website that will also give you additional advice on cleaning one type of awnings. They manufactures canvas awning fabric called Sunbrella:
And Winsol (a chemical manufacturer) has some great information at:
Question: Do you have any videos I can watch on Awning Cleaning on the Internet?
Answer: Yes, we have several at Youtube:
I hope this information has been helpful.
The best of luck to you on your business adventures. And if you are able to make it out here to Fort Worth to attend one of our classes, it will be great to meet you in person.
If you have any additional questions feel free to call me at 817-577-9454. I'm always happy to spend a few minutes talking about the awning cleaning business.
Have a great day!
Wayne Shockey, Certified Master Awning Cleaner, President of The Awning Cleaning Association
Specialized Maintenance & Awning Cleaning Services
P.O. Box 821953 - North Richland Hills, TX 76182-1953
817-577-9454 or at wayne@AwningCleaningServices.com - www.AwningCleaningServices.com
"It's not just an Awning, It's your Image!"
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Copyright (c) Awning Cleaning Services 1984-2011
Awning Cleaning Services Cleans, Repairs and Maintains most types of Awnings -
Canvas Awnings, Vinyl Awnings, Backlit Awnings, Canopies and Gazebos.
Proudly Serving Texas Since 1984 - Commercial Awning Cleaning, Residential Awning Cleaning
Awnings, Canopies, Gazebos, Shade Structures, Backlit, Retractable Awnings, Signs - Canvas, Vinyl, BackLit, Metal, Glass.
Specialized Maintenance & Awning Cleaning Services, P.O. Box 821953, Fort Worth, TX 76182-1953, (817) 577-9454