You can extend the life of your product by caring for it properly. While canvas awnings are built to repel water and withstand mildew, there are certain things that you should do - as well as should not do - in order to keep yours in top shape.
First, make sure you keep your product clean, which will help further protect it against the accumulation of mildew. Even though there are many mildew-resistant materials available, you'll still need to make sure it doesn't form on the top or bottom surface. Eventually, it will not only stain the fabric but also damage it. To keep this from happening, hose down your canvas awnings once a month. You should preferably do this on a hot, sunny day to make sure it dries completely. Wash with a mild soap solution and then rinse as soon as possible. You can also keep the underside clean by brushing it with a clean broom. If your product is clean, mildew will not be able to form.
It's also important to keep vegetation, such as vines and shrubbery, clear of your canvas awnings. Some bushes contain acid that can damage your product. Make sure the frame is in good condition as well, because rust can lead to staining as well as deterioration. To keep your frame in good shape, give it a new coat of paint every four or five years. Also, if your product is under any sort of tree that can cause sap to fall on it, you'll need to clean it twice as often.
There are some things that you should not do as well. Don't fold or roll the canvas when temperatures are either extremely hot or cold, and don't drag it across any sort of abrasive surface such as a driveway or sidewalk. Try not to spray for insects anywhere close to your product, because the spray can cause staining and also reduce its ability to repel water.
Clear your product of water when ever possible. This will reduce the risk of mildew accumulation as well the chances of stretching and pocketing. Don't overlook any small tears or rips that may arise. Have a professional repair them as soon as possible. Also, don't use abrasive cleaners or any sort of harsh solutions, and try to avoid using a charcoal grill underneath your canvas awnings. Clean any twigs or leaves as soon as possible to reduce the chance of staining.