One of the advantages of aluminum siding is that it is low maintenance. Unlike wood siding, aluminum siding will not rot or decay. However, over time aluminum siding can get dirty or suffer from a white build-up called “chalk.” Although cleaning aluminum siding is similar to cleaning vinyl siding, there are some important differences. Here are some tips on cleaning aluminum siding.
Prepare your house and grounds – Make sure you’ve closed all doors and windows and turned off any outside electrical outlets or lights. Cover any plants to prevent damage from the cleaning solution.
Mix up a cleaning solution – A typical recipe for cleaning vinyl or aluminum siding calls for 1/3 cup of powdered laundry detergent for each gallon of water. If you need to remove mildew add a quart of oxygenated bleach to each gallon of water. A four-gallon bucket holds enough solution to be useful while remaining light enough to move.
Use a power washer – While a garden hose can remove much of the dirt, a power washer can make the process easier. Use the low setting to avoid damaging your siding. Work from the top down to avoid washing the dirt into areas you have already cleaned.
Use a brush – Attack really tough stains or chalk deposits with a soft bristle brush. You can either use a long-handled brush or use a ladder to reach high spots. Make sure to follow all ladder safety precautions.
Rinse – Rinse the cleaning solution away with clear water, working from the top down. Allow the siding to dry before you decide if more cleaning is needed.
By following these simple steps for cleaning aluminum siding you should be able to improve the appearance of your home. If your siding still looks worn or faded after cleaning, you may need to paint your aluminum siding as well.