Skip to main content


Can't find the answer you were looking for? Call us on 0800 FRESCO or fill out a contact form and one of our friendly sales staff will happily answer any questions you may have.

Canopy & Awning Questions

How do I clean it?

Canopy cleaning instructions can be found here, and curtain cleaning instructions can be found here. You can also watch our canopy and cleaning video.

As a rule of thumb, your canopy should be cleaned twice a year, a bit more often in areas by the sea, damp areas or near industrial or geo-thermal areas. We do offer a cleaning service, or you can get external house cleaners to clean for you, but it is relatively simple to do yourself.

For the framework, use a soft (non abrasive) brush and a mild detergent solution, then simply hose off with fresh water.

For the roof, a water blaster is normally fine to use as long as it’s on low pressure only.

We find that it’s easier to use a soft broom/brush and a small amount of mild detergent, then hose off with fresh water.

Curtains can be cleaned by first hosing down, then cleaning with a soft cloth and either a mild detergent solution, or a mild window cleaner. You will need to allow the curtains to dry completely before rolling up to prevent the clear PVC going cloudy due to moisture being trapped inside the roll.

Will it be noisy?

When it rains, a PVC roof will not create excess noise. A polycarbonate roof can be very noisy when it rains – this is a major consideration if the covered area is near a living area or bedrooms. In addition polycarbonate creaks on hot days as it expands and contracts. PVC fabric covering is very quiet by comparison.

Will a canopy suit my house?

Fresco shades suit most houses due to the slim, low profile, and the fact that the joinery is coloured to match your house means the canopy blends into the house. Even older houses suit the canopy, because the frame is made from only 50ml pipe, it’s not obvious from a distance. When a white frame and white fabric are used, they blend into existing timber window frames, soffits and gutters, creating a classic and timeless look.

Do I need council consent?

Please check with your local council office to check the latest regulations and how they apply to your home/building. If you do require a consent, we can help you through the process. If you have any further questions, we would be happy to help.

Are the canopies retractable?

No, the shade is a permanent structure. People often ask this question, due to the prevalence of roller awnings, which we used to manufacture. We don’t make these anymore as there are so many problems with the wind and they simply don’t last the distance. In fact we are often asked to remove awnings and replace them with our shades because of the problems associated with retractable awnings.

Fabric & Materials

Is the fabric waterproof?

Our shades not only keep you cool in the warmer months, but they provide a dry area all year round, enabling you to BBQ outside in winter if you wish! While the canopies are designed to keep most of the rain out, they are not a fully sealed conservatory – they are not suitable environments for electrical appliances (such as TVs), or furniture which is not designed to be outdoors. It’s essential to identify and address existing issues with leaking gutters prior to installation, as they are not as easy to access after the canopy has been installed.

How long will the fabric last?

The fabric is an architectural grade PVC, which is very strong and robust. We guarantee our fabric for up to 15 years, but it is expected to last many more years than this provided it has been regularly maintained.

How strong is the cover?

Fresco Canopies use state-of-the-art Ferrari Preconstraint Architectural grade PVC, designed and manufactured in France specifically for tensioned roof applications. The fabric is extremely strong and robust and can even be walked on (although for safety reasons, we suggest you leave that to the experts!). Fresco Canopies can withstand most winds, however the warranty doesn’t cover extreme cases, such as cyclones. In the unlikely event that your canopy is damaged by extreme weather conditions, such as a cyclone, your household insurance should cover this.

What colours do the shades come in?

We have a wide range of fabrics available (over 15 colours), even black, but most people prefer the white or off white shades. The metal frame can be any one of 100 colours, so can match your house paint or contrast, depending on your preference.

How much heat does it cut out?

The PVC fabric cuts out about 80-95% of the heat and glare in summer, depending on the colour choice, yet in winter the low position of the sun in the sky means the warmth and light will still penetrate the area.

Does it block out UV?

Our PVC roof stops 99% of the UV rays, meaning it’s safe for you and your family, and protects your outdoor furniture (and pets) too!

How much light is cut out?

Most people opt for our white or off white PVC fabric, which is semi-translucent. Very little light is lost using this colour. Over winter the sun is lower in the sky, so very little light or sun is lost even in winter. Often customers tell us the loss of light is far less than they expected, in fact they barely notice the difference inside the house. For those who are very concerned about loss of light, we have a new translucent fabric that has a minimal affect on light.

Are all PVC's created equal?

Certainly not! There is a vast range of grades that could be used as a roofing material but very few should be used as a roofing material. Most PVC materials do not have the treatments to protect them from the elements. They are likely to breakdown and become unserviceable in a short space of time. Fresco Shades has been using Ferrari PVC for the last 12 years without encountering any of these problems. Our PVC roofing material is architectural grade, which means it’s very robust, and while we have a 15 year guarantee on the roof, in practice they last many more years.