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The Basics - Fabric Roof Maintenance

Having a drop-top on those sunny summers days can create a new love for driving. Open skies, wind ruffling through the hair - blissful images right? As we all know, those sunny summer days don't last forever, sometimes that roof needs to be up more than it needs to be down.

When you drive a car in the wet, it's obvious that dirt becomes temporarily stuck onto the paint and surrounding areas. Dirty rain water swiped away by the wipers doesn't magically disappear from the windscreen; it streams up and over the roof. On a hard top this isn't much of an issue as there is nowhere for the rain water to become trapped, unlike a fabric roof which if untreated will act as a magnet for anything wet. Any dirt and water that falls onto an untreated roof will be absorbed into the fibres, eventually saturating the roof for sometimes days on end. So what? The water will just dry away anyway so what's the issue..? Whilst the water may be a self-solving issue with time, the dirt that is repeatedly deposited will continue to build up within the roof fibres. The longer this dirt is left, the more time it has to develop and make the fabric look grubby..

In some cases, the roof will be cleaned in some form of schedule. The cars owner may do it twice a year or maybe every few months, but more often a case that the owner will only decide to pay some attention to the condition of the fabric once it is excessively dirty or deteriorated beyond repair - this is a worst-case scenario, but it happens. Gladly, the majority of the people who own summer chariots will see their car looking a little grubby and look to refresh it either personally or professionally. Sadly, it's not a certainty and a few people will continue to neglect to the point where green moss will begin to appear, ruining the look of the entire car. Even the most perfectly detailed vehicle can look tatty if the roof isn't maintained too..

So.. the care you take for your roof not only helps the vehicle look great, it will also prolong the life of the roof itself. After all, a replacement roof will be considerably more than the cost of a maintenance clean and re-proofing (even if you turn to a professional to carry out the process).

Cleaning the roof will free trapped dirt, help to bring back some colour to the fibres and prevent the dirt building up excessively if done in a suitable timescale from the previous clean. If you have ever tackled a roof yourself, this next image is no surprise to the amount of grime that gets released..

By re-proofing your roof once thoroughly scrubbed, the water that used to soak into the fibres will now act like water on a freshly waxed painted panel. If done correctly, the water will hit the fibres and simply roll off the surface leaving no trace it was even there. This water repellence will not only look amazing, the water carrying those dirt particles won't have a chance to absorb into the surface of the roof meaning that the likelihood of the grime building up will be massively reduced. Your roof stays cleaner for longer and remains in great condition for longer too. This is essential care to carry out on a soft top, especially for the winter months as most people know when trying to sell-on their car during this time; the better the condition, the more likely it is the vehicle will sell for a higher price than one with a tatty roof. Not to mention it may speed up the process.

So if your roof is looking a little tired, pay it a little attention, it might save you a lot more than you first thought..

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