Power Washing Aluminum Siding
When it looks like it is time to power wash the aluminum siding, your head might be overflowing with questions. There may be so much mildew and discoloration, you might even wonder “Is it cheaper to paint or replace aluminum siding?”
But usually, the main thing people notice is oxidation. This happens when older paint is starting to break down.
• Many houses were built in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s with aluminum siding. And many people opt for this material today.
• This type of siding is lightweight and recyclable. It is great for a variety of extreme weather conditions and can be painted in many exciting colours.
• There are also different kinds of coating that can be baked onto the surface making it look like other materials.
1. When the paint on aluminum siding is starting to oxidize, the surface becomes chalky. If you rub your hand on it, it will look like a white powder has come off on your skin. This reaction makes the brightness of the paint colour duller or less vibrant.
2. So is power washing recommended for this project? Absolutely.
3. For cleansing you can use something like oxalic acid or trisodium phosphate (TSP). These can be found at your local hardware store or home store.
4. If you are using a cleaner, you can attach it to a hose, a pump sprayer or pressure washer and make sure to apply it evenly to prevent streaking.
5. When using a pressure washer choosing a wider tip with 3000 PSI (pounds per square inch) will be able to blast through the dirt and grime. But when you first turn it on, start at a lower setting and work your way up, so you get used to holding the handle.
6. Staying about ten feet back, overlapping your back and forth arm movements and pointing downward on your aluminum siding as opposed to upward, will have the most even and efficient results.
7. Spraying upward can cause water to get behind the panels and the pressure can even cause some panels to bend or tilt farther from the side of the house, decreasing protection.
Remember that pressure washing aluminum siding takes time and patience. If you are going to paint over the aluminum siding, the evenness of the cleaning is not as relevant but if you intend on just power washing, then you want it to look as consistent as possible.
Pressure washing your entire home may take four to six hours. This can be a tiring process, especially depending on the weather conditions. And if you have an older property, it may take two times to get the job done to your liking.
For most houses, pressure washing once or twice a year is recommended most often. An added benefit to power washing this regularly is you will notice all the little repairs that need your attention.
It might be panels that need replacing or repair. Maybe it’s some shingles on your roof.
Power washing is a great way to make your yearly assessments. The buildup of mold, mildew, cobwebs, bird droppings, bird nests and even moss in some climates, can be what inspires you to stay on top of such a big project.
And if you live in a city, the dirt and grime can seem to build up more quickly. It will keep your home with great curb appeal.
Please remember that using a power washer can cause physical harm if it is not used responsibly. Follow all directions and recommendations making sure to wear whatever protective gear necessary to prevent injuries and lacerations.
If power washing your aluminum siding is not right for you then you can try these tips.
1. Give aluminum siding a simple rinse with a garden hose
2. Mix TSP with water or whatever all-purpose cleaner from your local hardware store you prefer in a bucket.
3. Using a soft bristle scrub, car wash brush or power scrubber, apply your cleaning fluid, overlapping as you go for evenness
4. This will separate the dirt and grim from the aluminum siding. The dirty water will run off the house looking almost white from the chalky residue. Continue over all exposed surfaces and rinse with the garden hose once more.
5. For a nice finish, try going over aluminum siding with a water and bleach solution
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