How to clean a marquee

With most parts of the country suffering ‘a bit of rain’ recently cleaning your marquees suddenly shoots up your to-do list. And rightly so, storing your marquees away when wet ages them very quickly, especially windows.

Firstly, there are two types of dirt you get on marquees

  1. There’s dirt that gets splashed on: Mud splattered on the sides,food thrown against the walls and leaves blown down on to the roof are all like this. This kind of dirt is relatively easy to wash off.
  2. A grey film builds up on to marquee covers over time. This makes the marquee look old and ‘tired’ and is a bit harder to clean off.

For splashed on mud you need to get hold of a power washer and a big tub of traffic film remover (TFR – basically concentrated washing up liquid, available from auto factors and used for cleaning lorry sides). Steam cleaners make life a bit easier compared to power washers but they’re a lot more expensive and a lot more problematic (I speak from experience).

So just power wash the dirt off using diluted TFR. For stubborn marks pour some undiluted TFR on and leave it for 5/10mins, then wash off.

Easy huh? Remember to always take a small tub of TFR in a plant spray with a cloth or sponge to every job just in case you tread on a wall or something when putting it up (it also looks good to the customer to see you ensuring their marquee is clean for them).

Then we come on to the grey film that builds up (a lot of people think this is just the material aging like canvas but it’s not and can be cleaned off to look like near-new).

To clean this off you need to spray the TFR quite strongly over the area and leave it for 5 mins. When you come back you need to ‘irritate’ the grey film to lift it off the surface for which you need a stiff brush or broom. If you’ve got a lot to do we used to use an electric floor cleaner (like you see cleaning supermarkets etc). Once you’ve gone over the whole area just wash it all off with your power washer and hey presto -back to (nearly) new!

There are a couple of exceptions to this second part.

  • window material shows scratches so don’t go over any transparent section with a brush or floor cleaner, just wipe it as thoroughly as possible by hand.
  • if your marquee uses ‘pvc backed’ material rather than ‘pvc laminate’ (which is what we use) then only use the brush/floor cleaner on the non-pvc backed side. PVC backing as a product is fine but if you start attacking it with a brush or floor cleaner it might start to flake away. That would be bad.

Basically the better you look after your equipment the longer it will be before you come back to us for replacements so the more money you make. It’s also offering your customers a better service, which is never a bad thing.

Thanks for reading

Spencer

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