Cleaning aluminum siding may seem difficult but it's actually quite easy if you have the proper equipment. If you don't have the proper tools and experience it could take far more than you intended.
Some of the most common mistakes to avoid made by homeowners and contractors when cleaning aluminum siding are:
Trying to remove the powdery coating called oxidation on aluminum siding when washing a house. Removing this coating can cause discoloration and in some cases cause the siding to look like a completely different color.
Failing to examine the surface and surrounding areas for electrical outlets, open windows and other obstacles.
Not wetting down the grass and bushes in the areas to be cleaned. BR>
Using too much pressure when cleaning aluminum siding can also force water up behind the siding where it will cause mildew behind the siding or in some cases, blow the siding off the house!
Washing aluminum sided homes from the top down or letting chemicals dry on the house, which may leave streaks on the siding.
Using a ladder when cleaning aluminum siding can damage the aluminum siding or result in serious injuries and death from slipping off the ladder.
These are just some of the types of mishaps that many people have when cleaning aluminum siding on homes. If you decide to use a power washer on your aluminum siding, here are some general guidelines to use.
Make sure the machine your using puts out a minimum of 4 gallons of water per minute and less than 1000 PSI.
Most homeowners or new contractors will buy a machine from a hardware store that puts out 1,000 PSI but only uses 2 gallons per minute of water. While this machine may work, it will triple the amount of time to do the job properly.
Be careful if you're making your own chemicals to clean aluminum siding, mixing bleach and ammonia can create a poisonous gas.
We suggest using chemicals that were designed to properly clean aluminum siding. Some contractors buy a house wash that's available in most hardware stores and are unable to achieve the results they were expecting. Most of the house washing agents contractors use can be purchased from Sun Brite supply, these products are designed to clean aluminum siding more effectively and give better results.
The best way to perform house washing is by using an X-Jet this tool can cut your cleaning time by 50% or more! if you don't have one then use a power washer that has a chemical injector built into the machine.
Using a chemical injector to clean aluminum siding will allow you to pull the soap from the container, mixing it in the machine with water and spray it onto the house using low pressure starting from the bottom up. Make sure when using a power washer that you don't shoot water or chemicals up under the siding, this can cause significant mold problems behind your siding.
Allow the chemical to dwell on the siding but not too long, it may damage the aluminum siding your cleaning. Then using low pressure, rinse the product from the siding. Make sure when your rinsing the product off the siding that you start at one end of the siding all the way to the end. Do not stop or vary your distance from the siding, or it will cause the surface to be cleaned un-evenly. When you have finished cleaning the aluminum siding, make sure you thoroughly rinse off all the plants and grass in the area!
Peter Marentay, Owner of Sun Brite Inc.
Mr. Marentay joined Sun Brite Inc.in 1998 and immediately created a new division of the company - Sun Brite Supply. Since that time, SBS has become one of the fastest growing suppliers of specialty products to the pressure washing industry.
Pete co-authored the Power Washers of North America Wood Certification course and is currently an Advisory Director of PWNA. He is a PWNA Certified Instructor. PWNA Certification is available separately for those interested at the end of the class.
Pete has taught this 4-day hands-on class since 1999. The important focus of this 4-day course is Profitability.
Toll-free 1-877-5-SUPPLY or 1-877-578-7759
Phone (770) 277-9924
Fax (770) 277-1612
361 Pike Boulevard, Suite 240
Lawrenceville, Georgia 30045