Frequently Asked Questions

Q:What materials are used in making the boat covers and awnings?
A:Awnings and boat covers from Canvas Man are made of the best quality materials available in the industry. We typically use products offered by Sunbrella©, Dickson, Stamoid and Ferrari to name a few.
Q:Can window awnings be left up all year long?
A:Yes they can. Most residential customers do take their awnings down for the winter. We recommend that you do this for various reasons. Storing the awnings for the winter alleviates the possibility of damage from heavy snow and ice situations. During the winter you generally will welcome those few rays of sunshine and enjoy the solar heat that the awnings that the awnings will decrease in the summertime. Taking the awnings down for the winter also gives you the opportunity to closely inspect the awnings to determine if any cleaning or repairs need to be done over the winter. We provide removal, storage and installation for this product.
Q:What can I do to keep my awnings in great shape?
A:One of the most important things that you can do to keep your awnings looking like new is to keep them as clean as you possibly can. We suggest that a couple of times a year, on a nice warm, sunny day, you take the pressure nozzle off of your garden hose, and by using your thumb only, you give the awnings a cool rinse. Do not use a pressure washer, cleaning chemicals, or hot water. If the local birds admire your awning as much as you do and decide to leave a little something on your awning - don't worry. Just let the mess completely dry and then remove it by gently brushing the soiled area with a SOFT brush (such as an old toothbrush), then give the awning a cool rinse and let it dry. Do not scrub wet. For cleaning problems Canvas Man can help. We provide cleaning services as well.
Q:What is a "stationary awning" and why should I consider one?
A:Stationary awning frames are constructed from round galvanized steel pipe and are permanently fixed to your house. They can be installed on a wall if the necessary height is available or they can be installed on the roof if the required height is not available. The cover is usually made from solution-dyed acrylic fabric , like Sunbrella© or Dickson that is available in hundreds of patterns and colors. The covers are put on in the spring , laced tightly across the framework, than they are removed in the fall, stored clean and dry. When taken down and installed correctly at the proper times a cover can last typically from 8 to 12 years depending on the environment. We provide removal,storage and installation for this product.
Q:Why should I choose a stationary awning over a retractable awning?
A:There are a few reasons. First, retractable awnings should not be left out unattended in case of a heavy rain storm or high winds. They can be damaged. With a stationary awning you put the cover on in the spring and remove it in the fall, you do not have to worry. The frame and cover are designed to withstand the elements without any damage. Second, retractable awnings are limited in size and shape, a stationary awning is custom made for your home and whatever design requirements are wanted and needed. Examples: Following a curved patio, stepping in around a chimney or gutter. No problem for a stationary awning. Also, a stationary awning can be enclosed with screens or clear panels to create a "beautiful outdoor room". A retractable can not.
Q:How long should my clear vinyl windows last?
A:Improper care is the quickest killer of marine windows. Cared for properly, you should get many years of service. This includes regular rinsing of salt spray, cleaning with soap, water, and soft cloth or sponge, and applying a Cleaner / Polish.
Q:How long should my new Sunbrella© top or awning last?
A:Seven to ten years, seems to be typical, provided it is fit properly and under the proper tension. Baggy tops that flutter in the wind tend not to last as long.
Q:Is Sunbrella© waterproof?
A:It is water repellent, not waterproof. Sunbrella® has a finish applied at the factory that repels water. Over time this deteriorates and needs to be reapplied. The proper procedure is to remove the fabric from it's frame, clean, and apply a water repellent product. Call us for details.
Q:Is there a waterproof Sunbrella®?
A:Yes, it is sold under the name "Seamark®" and it is a converted product, meaning that they take Sunbrella© and add a heavy vinyl backing to make it waterproof. The colors are the same as regular Sunbrella© and we will typically use Seamark© on bimini tops and make the enclosure out of regular Sunbrella©.
Q:How long should my thread last?
A:Five to Six years is very typical before a restitch is necessary. Covers should be brought in at five years, so seams do not split apart. Wind can do a lot of damage to covers in a very short time.
Q:What is the best way to clean Sunbrella®?
A:One of the best ways to keep Sunbrella® fabrics looking good and to delay the need for deep or vigorous cleanings is to hose fabrics off on a monthly basis with clear water. This practice will help prevent dirt from becoming deeply embedded in the fabric and eliminate the need for more frequent vigorous cleanings. In most environments, a thorough cleaning will be needed every two to three years.
Q:What about the snaps / zippers? Do they need maintenance?
A:When you clean your top, its a good idea to inspect the snaps and zippers. Take a close look to see if there is any damage - if so, give us a call: repairing it early will be the least expensive route. If everything checks out, we suggest that each snap, on the underside be lubricated with a small amount of grease or petroleum jelly in the socket. Zippers should be rinsed with fresh water to remove any salt spray, than after drying carefully lubricate with a spray silicone.
Q:How should I clean the clear vinyl windows?
A:Carefully! Windows should be cleaned frequently with either plain water or mild soap and water solution. Wet the windows first and try to remove any dirt or salt spray using water only than use a soft cloth to gently clean your windows. To maintain clarity and extend the life of your plastic window it should be treated with a Cleaner / Polish specifically designed for maritime use. No ammonia based products or anything abrasive. Give us a call - we are happy to recommend one.
Q:Why do clear vinyl windows become yellow and brittle?
A:From day one the plasticizers embedded in the vinyl to keep it soft and pliable begin to migrate to the surface, where they leech out into the atmosphere. This causes the clear vinyl to dry out, discolor, and become brittle. A Cleaner / Polish will seal these plasticizers in, protect against atmospheric pollutants, reduce scratching, and extend its useful life.
Q:Why will you not copy my old top?
A:Generally, not a good practice. At best, the top will be as good as the original fit. You eliminate guess work making a new pattern on the boat that will fit perfectly the first time. Exceptions being sail covers or other non-tensioned canvas items.
Q:Why can't you make me a new top using the old side panels?
A:Again, not a good practice, unless we have the original pattern of your top. We like to build from the top down, not the other way around. We would rather help a customer repair his top until the top and sides can be done together. This way we can design an engineered system of top and enclosure panels with no compromises.
Q:Can I leave my boat cover on for the winter?
A:Unless it is designed to be a winter cover, no. Your frame and cover were not made to withstand the elements of winter. To avoid extended wear and tear of your cover simply remove it for the winter season, look it over for any repairs that are necessary and store it clean and dry . Heavy snow loads can collapse your frame. Remember, never put a tarp over your existing cover. We recommend covering your boat with a heavy-duty green poly tarp or custom winter cover (designed by us, of course!).
Q:What should I do prior to storing my canvas for the winter?
A:Store dry and clean in a well ventilated area, Not a musty basement. Clear vinyl windows should be cleaned and polished to remove atmospheric residue prior to storage. This is extremely important to avoid unpleasant surprises in the spring. Also store large clear vinylpanels flat if possible with padding (brown or tissue paper) between individual pieces. It is OK to roll a top, enclosure panel or dodger, but be careful not to fold and put a crease in the windows or fabric.
Q:Help! I've got (name your stain) on my canvas! What should I do?
A: Don't worry - here are a few tips to help get rid of that pesky stain! The important thing to remember is that different stains require different approaches - so make sure you use the correct strategy. We also offer a product called "Stain Devil" which has different formulations for each stain challenge. We also offer professional cleaning services - feel free to contact us for details.
StainRecommended Cleaning SolutionsStain Devil #
BeerDawn® dishwashing liquld (2 oz.) / 1 gallon water / white vinegar (3 oz.)8
BerriesDawn® dishwashing liquld (2 oz.) / 1 gallon water / ammonia (4-8 oz.)8
Bird DroppingsDawn® dishwashing liquld (2 oz.) / 1 gallon water or try Goo Gone Grease Cutter (a hand cleaner), Grease Lightning, or Clean Rite Purple Power (available at Wal-Mart, etc.)call
Blood (dried)Dawn® dishwashing liquld (2 oz.) / 1 gallon water / ammonia (4-8 oz.)4
Buttervolatile solvent (acetone) 100%5
Charcoal, pencil marksvacuum, then Dawn® dishwashing liquid (2 oz.)/1 gallon water3
Chewing gumvolatile solvent (acetone 100%)1
ChocolateDawn® dishwashing liquid (2 oz.)/1 gallon water/ammonia (4 oz.)2
CoffeeDawn® dishwashing liquid/water white vinegar, volatile solvent (acetone)7
ColaDawn® dishwashing liquid (2 oz.) /1 gallon water7
Crayonpaint remover (100%), oil or grease remover (mix as directed)3
Egg (raw)Dawn® dishwashing liquid (2 oz.)/1 gallon water4
Grape juiceDawn® dishwashing liquid (2 oz.)/1 gallon water8
GravyDawn® dishwashing liquid (2 oz.)/1 gallon water2
Grease (car)volatile solvent (acetone) 100%5
Ink (permanent, India, ballpoint)paint remover (100%), volatile solvent (acetone) 100%, soap and water3
Iron rustCarbona™ Stain Devil #99
Lipstickpaint remover, oil or grease remover (mix as directed)6
Mascarapaint remover (100%), volatile solvent (acetone 100%) Dawn® dishwashing Liquid (2 oz.) /1 gallon water6
Mildewbleach (1 cup) / Dawn® dishwashing Liquid (2 oz.)/1 gallon water4
MilkDawn® dishwashing liquid (2 oz.)/1 gallon water8
Nail polishvolatile solvent (acetone) 100%1
Oilvolatile solvent (acetone) 100%5
Orange drinkDawn® dishwashing liquid (2 oz)/1 gallon water8
Paint (latex) wetDawn® dishwashing liquid (2 oz)/1 gallon water6
Paint (latex) drypaint remover (100%), oil or grease remover (mix as directed)6
Paint (oil or lacquer)paint remover (100%), oil or grease (mix as directed)5
Shoe polish (liquid)volatile solvent (acetone) 100%5
Shoe polish (wax)apply heated iron over towel, volatile solvent (acetone) 100%5
Suntan lotionPine Power® or pine oil detergent /Water (mix as directed)5
TeaDawn® dishwashing liquid (2 oz)/1 gallon water7
Tomato juiceDawn® dishwashing liquid (2 oz)/1 gallon water2
Tree sapturpentine (100%), Dawn® dishwashing liquid (2 oz)/1 gallon water10
UrineDawn® dishwashing liquid (2 oz)/1 gallon water/white vinegar (3 oz.)7
VomitDawn® dishwashing liquid (2 oz)/1 gallon water/white vinegar (3 oz.)7
Water colorDawn® dishwashing liquid (2 oz)/1 gallon water/white vinegar (3 oz.)6
Wax (candle)apply heated iron over towel, volatile solvent (acetone) 100%10
WineDawn® dishwashing liquid (2 oz)/1 gallon water / ammonia (4-8 oz.)/white vinegar (3 oz.)8

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