Mini Cooper S Sidewalk | Convertible Hood Clean
This rather splendid Mini Cooper came to us because the roof needed a clean, so they came to New Again because we are specialists at roof cleaning. We love to do roofs!
Somebody already had a go at cleaning this and made the cardinal mistake of putting a pressure washer too close to it. The average pressure washer doesn't actually put out a lot of water, so instead it really ramps up the pressure. The pressures are so high that you can actually cut through a fabric roof or the rubbers around your windows. In this particular case we can see that it's burned a zigzag pattern into the sides. Unfortunately this is permanent damage as it has changed the texture of the roof, but once the roof is properly cleaned and treated with a waterproof coating, it will darken out and even up the colour making this harder to see.
You also get marks where the fabric folds when you put the roof down. Once dirt and grit gets into the fabric of your hood, it does two things. Firstly it acts like lapping paste or liquid sandpaper, so every time your hood folds or moves it causes abrasion. It will actually wear holes right through over time, and we have example videos here where that has happened.
Secondly, all that dirt is exactly what's needed for moss and lichen to grow on your roof. As a result, your roof gets that green effect and patches of white and yellow lichen.
We treated this car with our multi-stage, long-lasting, hydrophobic nano-coating. It repels water, helps repel dirt and lasts 2 years. After that, you can come back for another deep clean and have it re-applied which we would suggest is preferable to waiting until it's all covered in moss.
As is usual on these Minis of this age, the rubber and metal strip around the back of the hood has rippled up and perished. This is not a major problem, you can buy new ones, and they are easy to fit which is what we would recommend. The rest of the rubbers were treated with a rubber reviver which makes them supple and soft, helps them back into their original shape and thus, once they are cleaned they form a good seal and stop water getting in. This car had had a leak and as a result mould had grown on the inside which had left some stains on the leather upholstery. Luckily, we are also specialists in leather seat restoration and all things to do with leaks and decontamination.
In addition to all this, as part of our convertible roof cleaning service, the customer opted for us to clean out all the drainage pipes (which a lot of people don't even realize they have) to prevent leaks in the future. They also took advantage of a special offer we had on at the time when they had their exterior waxed with AutoGlym's latest and greatest sealant which finished things off nicely.
What we would recommend is that you use products which are made for cleaning cabriolet roofs. The lichen on your roof is a form of algae and incredibly difficult to kill, it can even survive in space. It's a combination of single cell organisms which can reproduce asexually and is much like a fungus. The best way to get rid of it is to soften it using soap and water, then scrub it off. I'm not sure any particular detergent is better than any other, although an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial will kill it, these might not be particularly adept at removing it. We have tried cleaners with enzymes and even these don't work as well as elbow grease. We have tried a lot of things and unfortunately there is no "quick fix".
The good news is that the green stuff (Chrysothrix Chlorina) comes off relatively easily with repeat washing, and the white or yellow spots (Xanthoparmelia and Caloplaca Thallincola) comes off with a good scrub. Just don't over-do it with the scrubbing and be careful around any stitching. Just keep an eye on what you are doing.
And so we'd recommend using the detergents which are designed for convertible roofs such as Renovo Fabric Soft Top Cleaner. Then re-waterproofing the hood, because these products do have anti-fungal properties which help prevent it growing back.
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