8 Tips for Cleaning Aluminum Siding

Yellow aluminum siding with two windows.

With the right materials and techniques, cleaning aluminum siding can be a very easy and effortless task. Aluminum is an attractive, resilient, and tough material to use for the siding in your home which requires very little maintenance, but that little maintenance should be done to keep the best look and longest lifespan for your siding. Following are some of the tips that can be useful when cleaning yours.

Clean Regularly

To prevent excessive dirt, dust, and mold from accumulating, it is recommended to maintain a regular cleaning schedule. Cleaning the siding at least once a year will keep it looking better and make it last longer.

Be Prepared with the Required Cleaning Gear

You will need laundry detergent, bleach if there is mildew on the siding, water from a hose or pressure washer, a cleaning brush, gloves, protective eye wear, a hat, and a jacket. Either a long handle on your brush or a ladder is best for hard-to-reach spots. Make sure you choose a pleasant day to work outdoors, as the task may take some time. If you choose to use a pressure washer, you must be very careful to use a low setting to avoid damaging the siding or causing water to pass through to the underside.

Prepare the Cleaning Area

Before you clean the aluminum siding, you must clear the area of all items that may be damaged by the cleaning solution. Ensure that there is no way the water can enter your home through openings in windows or doors close by. Cover any outdoor plants with plastic to avoid exposure to chemicals. Ensure that there is no risk of electrical hazards by turning off all electric equipment nearby.

Use Appropriate Materials to Clean Mildew and Chalking

To clean stubborn mildew, you will need bleach. Vinegar and borax are other good, eco-friendly alternatives for cleaning mold and mildew. You can also look for special cleaning solutions that are meant for cleaning aluminum siding at your local hardware store.

To distinguish between mildew and dirt, apply a small amount of bleach on the area in question. If it remains dark in color, it is dirt, but if it changes color and lightens, it is mildew.

Rinse the Siding Before and After Applying Cleaning Solution

By rinsing the siding beforehand, you can get a better result with the scrubbing and cleaning. You must also promptly rinse the siding after cleaning before the solution dries out and leaves marks.

Work From the Top Down

Start scrubbing from the top, using a soft brush that will not leave marks or scratches. Promptly rinse the areas that have been cleaned as you scrub and move downwards. This will avoid the formation of drip marks on the siding.

Seek Assistance if Needed

You will need some assistance if you are going to be working on a ladder. Have someone hold the ladder when you climb on it to scrub. Falls from a ladder can be very dangerous and must be avoided at all costs.

Spray Water at an Angle

Avoid spraying water directly at windows and doors, as there is a chance it may leak in through small gaps.