Aluminum siding is available in different patterns, including the horizontal and vertical panels that come in a wide range of prefinish colors. You may also find aluminum siding with a wooden texture. The popularity of aluminum as a siding material is mainly due to its durability and low maintenance costs. However, this type of siding is prone to denting, chalking and fading. While minor dents can be repaired; in case of major denting, the whole panel has to be replaced. Other problems, like chalking and fading, can be cured with regular maintenance and cleaning. Oxidation of the siding is termed chalking, which is caused by weather. You can clean and paint the siding to give it a new look.
How to Clean Aluminum Siding
Though durable, aluminum siding is prone to chalking. It can also fade due to accumulation of dust and grime. Hence, this siding has to be cleaned at regular intervals, in order to retain its looks and to enhance its life.
- The first step is to cover the outdoor furniture, shrubs, etched glass, and metal wall pieces, that are located near the siding. This is because, the cleaning solutions may harm the plants and cause damage to other structures.
- Shut the doors and windows and switch off the power to the outside electrical units, like lights.
- If the siding has mildew growing on it, you have to use cleaning solutions with bleach. In that case, use gloves, boots and goggles; to avoid direct contact with the cleaning product.
- For cleaning an aluminum siding, you may use a pressure washer. Otherwise, clean it with a soft brush, a bucket of water and laundry detergent. A pressure washer may cause denting, so it is better to clean the siding with a brush and a cleaning solution. If you want to use a pressure washer, make sure that it is set in the 'low pressure' mode.
- Add ¼ cup of laundry detergent to four gallons of water and mix well. Cover your head with a shower cap and wear old clothes. Start from the top of the siding and work your way down.
- Use a hose to spray water on the siding to remove the accumulated dirt and debris. Now dip a long-handled brush in the cleaning solution and scrub away the dust and grime.
- If there is mildew, you can clean the surface with a solution made of one part bleach and five parts of water. Chalking can be removed by scrubbing with a cleaning solution and elbow grease. If you don't want to use bleach, replace it with one tablespoon of borax. A 30:70 mix of vinegar and water is also useful for this purpose.
- Spray water over the siding to rinse off the cleaning solution, which can leave marks, if not cleaned properly.