Roller shutters are generally very durable and low-maintenance machinery, but they still require some looking after to keep them shipshape. After all, external shutters are bound to be subject to all kinds of wear and tear over time, whether it’s weather-related or otherwise.
It’s not just about keeping these mechanisms in good condition – aesthetics are important, too. It’s doubtful that dirty shutters will give customers or visitors the positive impression you’re hoping for. To keep your roller shutters working and looking their best, you’ll need to clean them regularly.
Why do you need to clean roller shutters?
General usage and exposure to the elements will lead to a gradual build-up of dust and dirt, which can eventually affect the mechanisms if you don’t clean the shutters often enough.
Twigs, leaves, and other debris from nearby plants or trees can also be blown into the shutters by the wind, clogging up the rollers or causing cosmetic damage like scratches and dents.
Jammed mechanisms can result in the door failing to open or close or getting stuck, causing a security breach, and leaving you no choice but to call someone out for costly onsite repairs.
Even if you can find affordable roller shutter repairs, whether that’s for roller shutters in Manchester or anywhere else, it’s better to not let things get that far in the first place.
Handling the shutters gently, occasionally greasing the bearings, and cleaning and polishing at least once every six months should see your roller shutters in good stead for the foreseeable future.
Whether it’s just cobwebs and water marks or excessive mud and dust, grimy shutters simply aren’t nice to look at. Luckily, keeping public-facing roller shutters clean is relatively quick and easy.
What should you use to clean roller shutters?
Typically, all you’ll need to clean your roller shutters should be a bucket of (clean) warm water mixed with a mild detergent, a sponge or soft-bristled brush, and a couple of soft dry cloths.
It’s recommended to use a light soap, like washing-up liquid, and avoid harsh solvents or sticky lubricants. Similarly, you shouldn’t use abrasive scrubbing brushes, scrapers, or steel wool, as these can all scratch the shutter surfaces and remove powder-coated paint.
You may want to use a garden hose to make washing and rinsing easier; this is fine, as long as it’s not a pressure washer, and you don’t spray the water directly into the mechanisms.
For the initial wiping of loose dust and debris, and a final wipe dry after rinsing, you’ll need at least two dry, clean, and non-abrasive cloths. This could be a microfibre towel, a specialist duster, or even just an old t-shirt – whatever works without scratching the roller shutter.
You don’t need to remove the shutter curtain to clean it, as taking shutters out and reinstalling them can interfere with how secure they are. However, if it’s a motorised roller shutter, be sure to turn off the power before starting to clean to ensure your safety.
How to clean the outside of a roller shutter
1) The first step in external cleaning of roller shutters is to ensure that they’re fully closed, providing access to the whole exterior surface.
2) Take a quick look at the shutter curtain and use a dry cloth to wipe off any loose dust or dirt.
3) Next, prepare a cleaning solution by mixing some washing-up liquid into a bucket of warm water.
4) Then dip a sponge or soft-bristled brush into the soapy water and gently scrub the shutter in downward motions.
5) If you’re unable to reach dirt or debris embedded between the slats, use a garden hose with a low-pressure spray to wash it out – but do NOT aim the hose at the roller assembly box, as this can damage the electrical motor inside.
6) When you’re satisfied that the dust and dirt has been removed, rinse away any remaining cleaning solution and use a second soft cloth to wipe the slats dry (this helps to prevent water marks).
7) Once the external side of the shutter is dry, roll it up at least halfway to access the inside.
How to clean the inside of a roller shutter
1) Always clean from the outside first, as this gets rid of the worst of the dirt without transferring it inside. The dust and grime is likely to be minimal on the inside.
2) Start with the shutter halfway down to clean the bottom half, then close it fully to clean the top half of the internal surface from the inside (just don’t apply too much pressure while the door is partially down).
3) Follow the same cleaning routine as you did outside, wiping away dirt using a wet sponge and a solution of warm water and mild detergent before rinsing off the surfaces.
4) If you need to reach higher spots, or get into small gaps, an extendable feather duster or sponge on a stick can come in handy to get rid of dust and spiderwebs.
5) Just as you did on the exterior, wipe the interior side dry with a soft cloth to prevent watermarks.
6) Once the shutter is clean and dry on both sides, test the mechanisms by opening and closing it a few times, making sure that it’s operating fully.
7) Repeat this process for any other roller shutters on your property.
How to maintain your roller shutters
When you clean your shutters 2-4 times a year, operate them carefully every day, and avoid storing items around them, you can expect them to stay in good working order for a long time.
That said, even the most cared-for shutters need servicing at least once every twelve months to comply with health and safety laws. Professionals can test and inspect your roller shutters to identify any faults and repair them as quickly as possible.
Wherever you might need roller shutter repairs or any kind of shutter servicing, you’re sure to find a local provider that you can rely on. Just remember to keep your shutters clean and lubricated, and they should pass the servicing tests with flying colors.