Power Washing Aluminum Siding – Do’s and Don’ts


When considering the many benefits to choosing aluminum siding while building or renovating, it’s no wonder why we see so many homes clad in this durable, inexpensive, and sleek armor.

Apart from it being light, easily installed, and common enough to be easily sourced wherever you live, it is also much more durable than many other siding materials. To power wash in more humid states like New Jersey and Georgia, for example, aluminum siding has become the norm. That’s mainly due to the fact that aluminum doesn’t rot or swell in high-moisture environments the way that wood might, and it is highly resistant to mold and mildew.

But alas, aluminum siding does come with its own unique maintenance requirements and challenges. One such challenge is that aluminum siding is easily dented. It is also best to clean aluminum siding once per year. This, along with re-painting the aluminum siding every 12 to 15 years helps ensure that the metal does not become dull or chalky in appearance, and both of these tasks require you to get comfortable with the idea of power washing your own aluminum siding or hiring someone to do it for you.

But exactly how does someone go about power washing aluminum siding? Follow these simple do’s and don’ts and you will be well on your way.

  • Do choose the right power washing detergent and power washer for the job.

The How

  • The right detergent will state that it works well for power washing aluminum siding.
  • Your power washing equipment should be able to spray at a pressure of around 1200-1500 PSI.
  • The best power washing equipment for the job will allow you to use detergent and will give you the option of switching the power washing spray level between low pressure and high pressure.
  • DO apply your detergent by either using the soap applicator that came with your power washer, another type of spray applicator that you can attach directly to your garden hose, by adding the detergent to your power washer’s tank (if it has one), or by applying it manually.

The How

  • Use a low pressure spray setting.
  • Add the detergent to the soap applicator or tank, being sure to follow the directions for both your power washer and from the back of the detergent bottle for proper application on aluminum siding.
  • Begin at the top of a single exterior wall and spray with a side-to-side motion, working your way down toward the bottom of the wall.
  • Allow the detergent to sit for the time specified on the product label, likely 5-10 minutes.
  • Switch your power washer to the high pressure setting and remove the soap applicator or rinse out your power washer’s tank with clean water. Then thoroughly rinse your siding.

The How

  • Begin at the top of a single exterior wall and spray with a side-to-side motion, working your way down toward the bottom of the wall.
  • Lastly, let your siding dry.

Be sure to avoid these DON’Ts and you can’t go wrong

  • DON’T go too high with your power washer pressure level, especially if your aluminum siding is relatively thin.
  • DON’T spray things that aren’t part of your siding and make sure you protect your landscaping. Harsh detergents can damage your landscaping and plants.
  • DON’T let your detergent dry before you can rinse it off. Do smaller sections if you need to, but it must remain damp while on your siding.
  • DON’T think that power washing your aluminum siding will totally spare you from having to scrub away some tough stains. Elbow grease will get you far!

And, voila. Just like that, you can mark this honey-do off your list (until next year, at least)!



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