Proper Care For Aluminum Siding

Is your siding looking dull and chalky? Find out how to properlycare for it with these tips and instructions.

Aluminum siding starting to make its first appearance on American homes sometime in the 1950's. It was a sturdy covering that helped to add some insulation value, and it required little maintenance.

Today, many older homes still have the original aluminum siding on them. And, why not? The metal itself resists rust, dents, and dings. The only problem with this type of covering is its paint. Oftentimes, a house that has painted metal siding on it begins to look dull and chalky. If you wipe your hand across the exterior wall of a sided house, for example, your hand will come up soiled with a white, chalky substance. This problem is caused by oxidation and lack of proper care.

As long as the paint on your aluminum sided house is fairly new and is in good shape, you can simply clean it once or twice a year. Cleaning it will help the siding retain its bright, colored look. It will also remove any dirt and other contaminants that have accumulated on it over the past seasons.

To clean your aluminum siding, you can try to use a low powered pressure washer. If the oxidation doesn't come off by using pressure, you'll probably need to use a garden hose, a brush that is attached to an extendible pole, a solution of hot water and household bleach in a bucket. This bleach solution should also remove any stubborn spots such as tree sap, mold and mildew, or bird droppings.

Use caution when you are working with household bleach. You should wear waterproof gloves, long sleeved clothing, and a pair of safety glasses to protect your eyes from splashes.

After the siding is cleaned, be sure that you thoroughly rinse it with a garden hose and plenty of water.

Otherwise, if the paint on your aluminum siding is old and past its prime, you'll need to repaint it.

Of course, the first step is to clean the exterior walls of your house. The steps to do this are described above.

Then, take a "walk around" inspection and check for any loose pieces of metal, places around windows and doors that need caulked, as well as other needed repairs. For small or shallow dents or dings, you can fill them in with the same kind of putty that auto body shops use. Larger dents can actually be pulled out with a plunger type auto puller.

Once those repairs are made, and the siding has completely dried, you'll need to begin giving your house its new paint job by applying a quality primer. The primer should be an oil-based primer that's made especially for metal siding. You can use a brush, roller, or paint sprayer to apply the primer to the exterior walls of your house. Read and follow the manufacturer's directions on the container in order to achieve the best results.

After the primer has been applied, and is completely dry, you can then repaint your house. You should use a good quality acrylic-based latex house paint. Again, read and follow the manufacturer's directions on the container in order to achieve the best results.

You can use a brush, roller or paint sprayer to apply the paint too. Just make sure that you cover every inch of the aluminum siding. Also, be careful not to paint any area too lightly or too heavy to avoid bare places and drips.

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