Knowing how to clean aluminum siding is important in maximizing the life of your metal cladding. For additional information, leanr more about aluminum siding.
How To Clean Aluminum Siding
You should clean aluminum siding annually to rinse off all the accumulated dust, pollen, and other wind borne debris. Usually, with just a quick rinse, your walls will look brand new. Learning how to clean aluminum siding is normally very easy and doesn’t require much in the way of equipment. A garden hose and a soft-bristled brush or chamois are about all you need. If there is a little build-up that the hose doesn’t easily remove, then you will have to use some solvent and a little elbow grease. To help make the job go more quickly, you could rent a pressure washer.
Steps On How To Clean Aluminum Siding
Look For Chalking
During your yearly examination, look for chalking. Chalking, or oxidation, is an effect of weathering. Chalk occurs on aluminum due to aging and weather effects. While the material is rigid and holds up well to the environment, chalk will show up eventually.
Hose Off The Siding
First, hose off the siding with cold water to remove all the chalk that is loose. Next, check for additional chalk by rubbing your hand over the aluminum siding. If your hand has white powder on it, there’s still chalk on it.
Hand scrubbing is very efficient for removing chalk. Carefully scrub the surface of the siding with a sponge or scrub brush. Two washes may be necessary to remove the chalk.
Power washing blasts off chalk that hand scrubbing can miss. Most hardware stores and gardening departments of retail stores sell or rent power washers. Since the pressure of the water can be dangerous and cause injury, be sure to follow all safety instructions.
Checklist On How To Clean Aluminum Siding
1. Make sure your windows are closed! You don’t want to spray water into your living room and angle the spray away from shut doors and windows.
2. If you have shrubbery or flowers below, protect them from damage by the chemicals in your cleansers by covering them with plastic.
3. Be safe. Remove any potential obstacles that might get under foot and trip you while you’re focused on cleaning or rinsing.
4. Shut off the power to any outside lights or outlets that might come within the line of fire.
5. Work from the bottom up when washing to maximize the impact of your cleaning solvent, and the top down when rinsing to avoid accumulated residue.
6. As soon as you’ve finished, douse your house with a hose. As tempting as it is to take a quick break between cleaning and rinsing, don’t risk having your cleaning solution dry while on the siding, negating all your hard work.
Making Your Own Cleanser
A Simple Cleanser
You can whip a batch of your own cleanser by just mixing one teaspoon of baking soda and two tablespoons of mild liquid soap or detergent in one gallon of hot water. Be sure to add the soap last to reduce foaming and don’t scrub hard to avoid scratching your siding. If your siding is particularly greasy, for some reason, add one tablespoon of washing soda. If there are signs of mildew, try adding one tablespoon of borax.
Vinegar And Water
Another approach is to just use a vinegar and water mixture in a thirty to seventy ratio. This solution will clean, disinfect, remove mildew and eliminate any water spots you might have from precipitation or sprinklers. Whatever you use, try to avoid anything with bleach, ammonia, alcohol, or other damaging substances.