Aluminum Home Siding Maintenance
One of the reasons aluminum is favored as a siding option is its low- upkeep status. Aluminum siding is strong and durable, and almost maintenance free. Still, as with any investment, it'll last longer and look better over time if you properly clean and maintain your aluminum siding.
At least once a year, clean your siding and repaint as necessary. Inspect it closely and look for scratches. Aluminum is generally rust resistant, but scratches are the weak spots. Repaint them as soon as you see them don't put it off. Rust sets in quicker than you think, and can wreak havoc. During your yearly examination, look for chalking. Chalking, or oxidation, is an effect of weathering. It may not be preventable, but it can be taken care of. Repaint wherever you see it.
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Maintaining Aluminum House Siding -- Continued
Aluminum is quite hardy, and much more insular than vinyl siding. However, while sturdy, it's not completely impervious to dents or scratches. If you find a dent, you might be able to push the dent back out, but sometimes you would be better off replacing the panel. Many times the panel above and below the damaged one may also need to be replaced.
Repainting Your Aluminum Siding
Repainting your aluminum siding doesn't have to be a major drama, and in fact if you prepare well it can go quickly and be quite effective. Just remember these three things:
Sand it first and use a fine-grit paper, somewhere between 150 and 240. Use a metal primer and spray paint for best results. You can patch your aluminum siding with a filler intended for metal if it's necessary. Look for dents first and honestly assess whether to attempt to fix, or just replace the panel.
Cleaning Aluminum Siding
Cleaning aluminum siding is very easy, and doesn't require much in the way of tools. A garden hose and a soft-bristled brush or chamois are about all you need. Or, you could rent a pressure washer if you wanted to make the job go quicker.
You should clean your siding annually to rinse off all the accumulated dust, pollen, and so on. A quick rinse, and your siding will look brand new!
If there is a little build-up that the hose isn't dispensing with right away, then you will have to use some solvent and a little muscle. You might also consider rinsing your siding twice a year or as needed in the future, just to avoid this scenario.
No need to get fancy cleaners just mix 1 teaspoon baking soda and 2 tablespoons of
mild liquid soap or detergent with 1 gallon of hot water, and you'll be able to remove
the grime with ease using your brush (a long-handled brush would be a good idea) or
chamois. Don't scrub hard; you don't want to scratch your siding. Add the soap last to
If your siding is particularly greasy, for some reason, add 1 tablespoon of washing soda. If there's mildew, try adding 1 tablespoon of borax. Another idea is to just use vinegar and water (30/70 mix). Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and mildewcide, and will also eliminate any water spots you might have from rainstorms or nearby sprinklers. Whatever you use, try to avoid anything with bleach, ammonia, alcohol, or other damaging substances.
Remember to wash from the bottom up and rinse from the top down to minimize streaking and staining. If you're using a pressure washer, make sure you use a low-pressure setting or you may dent your siding.
Tips for cleaning your aluminum siding:
Make sure your windows are closed! You don't want to spray water into your living room.
Angle the spray away from doors and windows.
Cut the power to any outside lights that may get wet.
If you have shrubbery or flowers below, protect them from your cleansers by covering them with plastic.
Remove anything that might get in the way of cleaning the siding, or get in your way (safety first!).
Work from the bottom up when washing, and the top down when rinsing. Don't take a break after washing but before rinsing! You don't want your cleaning solution to dry while on the siding.