While it is true that an ordinary slab of cement outside your back door adorned with patio furniture can serve as a great gathering place, a covered patio can entertain friends and family come rain or shine … or in Arizona heat. That harsh Phoenix sun brings on more than just sweat and sunburns, though. Your patio cover takes quite the beating from those rays.
Arizona weather is unforgiving and it most definitely accelerates the wear and tear on your patio cover. What can you do to ensure your patio cover lasts as long as possible? Performing regular maintenance is the best way to prolong the life of a patio cover, including Alumawood patio covers.
The Difference Between Maintaining Wood and Alumawood
A patio cover is an excellent addition to any home. It serves as an extension of your living space where you can create hours upon hours of memories and fun. A patio cover is a big financial investment, too. It’s an addition to your home worth protecting by performing regular maintenance. But the type of maintenance depends on the type of patio cover.
An Alumawood patio cover does not require the same kind of maintenance as a patio cover made of natural wood. In fact, an Alumawood patio cover is a significantly less work to maintain than alternative material options.
No Paint or Stain Required
Although the term “wood” appears in the title, Alumawood is not a wood product at all. Rather, it is a patio cover that combines the best features of both aluminum and wood.
Alumawood is made from structural-grade aluminum alloys with a surface that is manufactured to resemble a natural wood texture. With Alumawood, you get the warm and inviting appearance of real wood without the required upkeep.
Wood must be stained and sealed every year or two to maintain its integrity. Without a coat of sealant, wood patio covers deteriorate and decay. Exposed raw wood becomes susceptible to wood rot, fungal overgrowth, insect infestations, and sun damage. This impacts the function and safety of your patio cover over time as the wood begins to crack, warp, split, and rot away.
If you have an Alumawood patio cover, you do not need to apply a coat stain or seal as part of your regular upkeep. Alumawood materials are finished with Aluma-Shield® with Teflon® – an exclusive, high-performance surface protector with a limited lifetime warranty. This paint coating works as a weather-resistant and anti-corrosive protectant.
Dirt and Grime Build Up
It’s only natural for outdoor structures to get dirty. Although the Aluma-Shield® paint system with Teflon® surface protector works to repel dust and dirt as well as oils or stains, any type of patio cover is susceptible to the occasional dirt build-up.
Heavy rainfall is usually enough to clear up any dirt residual on your Alumawood patio cover. But unfortunately, Phoenix does not receive a ton of rain outside of the monsoon season. For this reason, your Alumawood wood patio cover might need a gentle scrub every now and then.
If you want to remove mild dirt accumulation, all you need is some water and a soft-bristled brush. Better yet, use a long-handled scrub brush to get to those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.
If you feel like your patio cover is dirty enough that it needs more than water to wash away the grime, you can make this solution recommended directly by Alumawood:
- 1/3 cup detergent (such as Tide® laundry detergent)
- 2/3 cup trisodium phosphate powder (commonly referred to as T.S.P.)
- 1 gallon water
Stir up that concoction, gently apply it to the surface of your Alumawood patio cover, and begin scrubbing with a soft-bristled brush. Once the dirt is removed, make sure to fully rinse away the solution from your patio cover.
While mildew growth is not common on Alumawood patio covers, it can happen when the surface is too dirty for too long. The microorganisms and bacteria in dirt love to gather and accumulate when given a chance.
If you see signs of mildew accumulation on your Alumawood patio cover, Alumawood recommends the following solution:
- 1/3 cup detergent
- 2/3 cup trisodium phosphate powder
- 1 quart sodium hypochlorite 5% solution (such as Clorox® Bleach products)
- 3 quarts water
Once again, do not use anything other than a soft-bristled brush as you scrub to avoid scratching the surface of your Alumawood patio cover.
The Ease of Alumawood Patio Covers
Alumawood advertises that their shade structures offer “The Beauty of Wood, Minus the Maintenance” and it’s true. Their protective paint coating system even protects against termite and insect infestations.
Whether you choose to build an attached or freestanding Alumawood patio cover, you can rest assured this low-maintenance material choice will provide years of cool shade coverage for those many hours of relaxation and fun.