Lots of homeowners are choosing aluminum siding these days. It offers a lot of practical benefits. Aluminum siding looks great for years without needing to be replaced or repainted, and it requires very little regular maintenance. But it can accumulate dust and grime over time and start to have a dirty or worn appearance. That’s why we recommend cleaning your aluminum siding at least once a year and fall is a great time to do it!
Aluminum exteriors have a number of advantages such as tough resistance to water damage, insect infestation, heat and rust, as well as mold, mildew and other contaminants. It doesn’t expand and contract with changing temperatures or high humidity. This type of siding can really stand up to though seasonal elements and natural threats. Plus, metal siding can help decrease heating and cooling costs.
Yet, any type of home exterior will get grimy as the months pass. We’ve provided some tips for homeowners on how to care for aluminum siding, best practices for power washing it, and how to manage some of the most common challenges.
How to Maintain Great Looking Aluminum Siding
Aluminum siding is a smart choice for residential exteriors because it lasts for practically the entire life of a house. To keep it looking new, there are a couple of simple steps to take.
- Clean the siding at least once a year.
- Plan to have the siding repainted about every 12 to 15 years, before the enamel becomes chalky and the finish fades.
How to Clean Aluminum Siding
Built-up mildew, dirt, hard water stains, algae, plant material and vegetation can be a real eyesore. But this ugly layer can be clean off with the proper equipment and technique. Many homeowners and exterior washing services use power washers for this tough job. However, we recommend soft pressure washing for best results and care for the siding material.
- First, rinse the aluminum siding off. Use a medium pressure level and an angled spray nozzle. You will want to focus on one side of the house at a time and spray from the top to the bottom.
- Next, put on the proper safety attire including gloves, glasses and a mask.
- Add a detergent solution to the soft or power washer tank. Read the instructions on the cleaner packaging to ensure that the mixture is prepared correctly.
- Turn on the washer and spray the siding with the detergent. You should stand close to the house and use a low-pressure setting. Using lower pressure is important in this step because it gives the cleaner ample time to work effectively on buildup and stains. High-pressure water would spray it off before it had time to do its job.
- Allow the cleaner to work. Wait a few minutes before scrubbing or rinsing it off.
- Then, rinse the area thoroughly from high to low with a high-pressure setting. and wide spray nozzle. Point the sprayer down and keep it about one foot from the surface of the siding. Make sure that all the detergent has been removed before moving on to the next area.
- Finally, let the siding dry.
Challenges with Power Washing Aluminum Siding
Power washing is the go-to tool for the majority of homeowners and cleaning service providers, but it presents a few challenges. Let’s take a closer look at these.
High-Pressure Causes Damage to the Siding
Power washing can be too harsh for some aluminum siding, or other types of exterior siding like vinyl, brick or stucco. Unfortunately, too much pressure can do more harm than good. Sometimes it damages the material or pushes the aluminum away from the structure of the house. If this is a concern for you, we recommend soft washing. Learn more about this alternative below.
Detergent and High-Pressure Spray Hurt the Landscaping
Bleach agents and other harsh cleaners can damage or kill your grass, flower, and bushes. Protect them by covering the plants with a tarp or plastic sheet before getting started. You can also choose a water-based, biodegradable washing solution that is more plant-friendly.
Siding Dries Before You’re Able to Clean It
With cleansing detergents, it’s important that the siding is moist. If you’re trying to tackle the wider façade of your house, work in sections. Divide your workspace into areas that are four to five feet wide. This will help you to apply the cleaner before the surface dries.
Tough Debris and Stains Don’t Wash Away
There’s no easy way around it, cleaning the exterior of a home is a dirty job. After going through the regular cleaning steps, you may still see stains and dark patches on the aluminum siding. Stains can be especially tough to remove below the lip of the siding. For these areas, try scrubbing with a soft-bristle brush that attaches to the pressure washer. It can also be helpful to repeat the washing and rinsing steps for a thorough clean.
Mold and Mildew Aren’t Budging
You may need to apply a weak bleach mixture to kill mold and mildew growth. Specialized products, like Jomax House Cleaner, can also help with mildew removal. Use this after going through the regular cleaning steps, then rinse it thoroughly off the siding.
Consider Soft Washing
A lot of the challenges that come with power washing aluminum siding can be avoided by simply opting for soft washing. This more delicate spray cleaning process is perfect for exterior materials including vinyl siding, painted wood, brick, stone, and stucco.
Get more advice on How to Clean Other Home Exteriors: Wood, Vinyl, Brick and Fiber Cement.
Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal – Call Trotta’s
Is your home exterior looking a little tired and worn? Trotta’s Power Washing can help you spruce it up. With professional pressure washing and soft washing services fit for virtually any type of surface, we can help you restore curb appeal at your house. Contact Trotta’s at (330) 915-3754 or request a free quote today.