If you own, or have ever owned a convertible then you will probably be aware of how quickly the roof can become dirty and soiled. This is because what is essentially a woven piece of fabric is openly exposed to a wide variety of contaminants and hazards that can very quickly and easily become ingrained in the fibers of it. Things like tree sap, bird droppings, traffic film and general road grime all combine to contaminate, degrade and discolor convertible tops.
If these contaminants are left sitting on the roof for any considerable period of time, or if your convertible spends any time parked under a tree or near to a hedge or other vegetation, then algae and mold can relatively quickly begin to begin to form and take hold, leaving the roof with a very unsightly spotted, streaked, green look which can be very awkward and time consuming to remove. Rainwater acts as a catalyst for the mold & algae formation too, as the top soaks up and retains the water and can remain damp for extended periods of time, providing the perfect conditions for it to form and persist.
This is one of the main reasons why if you own a convertible it is not only essential to regularly clean and maintain your roof but it is also a very sensible idea to treat it with a quality fabric sealant/roof proofing product in order to thoroughly protect it. These products fundamentally create a water tight, impenetrable barrier that protects the top from all of the hazards and contaminants mentioned above. They most commonly come in a liquid or aerosol spray and should be applied only after the top has been thoroughly cleaned, dried and decontaminated.
Protecting and reproofing your convertible top is a process that only really needs to be undertaken once every while, depending on how often the car is used and where it is kept. Usually one treatment per year will be sufficient to keep most convertibles roofs sufficiently protected and looking their best but for more heavily used vehicles, or ones that are kept close to trees and greenery then it may be advisable to protect your top every six months to ensure it remains properly protected all year round.
Obviously, if you own a convertible then the likely hood is that it will see plenty of sun in its lifetime. The sun poses another threat to the roof as the UV rays can over time fade, discolor and dry out the material leaving it looking old and tired even if it isn’t. Most good quality fabric protection/roof proofing products will contain UV inhibitors which will protect the top from the potentially harmful rays and prevent it from becoming damaged, no matter how much sun it sees. Protecting and reproofing your convertible top also helps to keep it operating optimally and working properly by preventing it from degrading, drying out and becoming excessively tight which could potentially lead to excessive wear and even tears.
Also, properly protecting and reproofing your convertible top will help to prevent leaks and interior dampness which can often be a problem, especially with older convertible vehicles. A protected top will bead up and repel rain and wash water meaning that it quickly runs off and does not simply soak into the material and cause damp spots and leaks around sensitive areas like the window seals, joins and body connections etc.
Finally, a thoroughly protected convertible top will make cleaning it much easier because the dirt and contaminants are not able to penetrate and take hold of the fibers of the material, meaning that a normal non wax, non detergent based shampoo product used in conjunction with a soft brush or wash mitt will be all that is required to restore your top back to a clean and freshly re protected look on a regular basis.
So you can now see how simply protecting your convertibles roof initially once, then reproofing it intermittently can provide a number of benefits and protect it from a number of different contaminants & hazards. It is certainly worth either protecting your convertible top yourself or getting a professional to do it for you as it will effectively extend the life of the top, keep it working properly, prevent it and the rest of you car from looking tired and neglected and also prevent you from potentially facing a substantial bill later on in the vehicles life for repairs or even replacement.