Wondering how to clean aluminum siding? You need to spend only about one day per year keeping the durable and resilient material looking its best. While most of the problem will be with dust and dirt, aluminum siding may also attract mold if there is trapped moisture within joined pieces. A few supplies and several hours is all it takes to eliminate either problem.
What You'll Need
Besides a bucket, a soft-bristled long-handled brush, a hose and some liquid laundry detergent, you'll need to pick up some commercial aluminum siding solution at a home improvement store. While the soap and water treatment will get rid of dirt on the aluminum siding, the commercial solution will get rid of the "chalk," a white buildup that often forms on aluminum that is exposed to the elements.
Before You Clean
Check that all windows and doors are tightly closed because you'll be using a hose all around the house, and water can easily enter through a crack and damage the inside of the home. You may want to temporarily cover shrubs and flowers from the spray of soapy water; cover them with some plastic while you are cleaning. However, take the plastic off as soon as you finish with an area, or the plants could die.
Cleaning Aluminum Siding
Use the hose to spray loose dirt from the aluminum siding. Don't spray too hard, or you could cause dents in the siding pieces. Mix the soap and water together in a bucket, about one part soap to six parts water. Dunk the brush in the solution, and scrub the siding, working in about five-foot sections. When the area is scrubbed clean, rinse it off immediately with the hose. Soap that is allowed to dry on aluminum will leave white marks.
Cleaning For Repainting
When the sun's ultraviolet rays hit aluminum siding for many years, the painted aluminum oxidizes and forms a chalky substance. This can be cleaned off with a pressure washer with 3000 psi or greater. Simply hold the pressure washer wand close to the aluminum siding's surface, taking care at joints and corners so the siding does not lift up due to the water pressure. The chalkiness will come right off, as will most of the paint. The aluminum siding is then ready for a new paint job.
Fiber cement siding is a popular choice for its balance between durability and cost.
Whether you're renovating or building a new home, deciding on which siding material to use is a major decision, not to mention a major expense.