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Aluminum Siding

History of Aluminum Siding

While I am sure you did not plan on getting a history lesson upon visiting our pressure washing website but the history of aluminum siding is too interesting to ignore. The first architectural application of aluminum was the mounting of a small grounding cap on the Washington monument in 1884. Some thirty years later, sheet iron siding was patented and shortly thereafter Sears, Roebuck and Company began offering steel siding in stone and brick patterns. It was not until the end of the 30’s that aluminum was finally put to use on the residential side. In 1946 aluminum siding experienced growth in the northeast and a year later the first subdivision to solely use aluminum siding appeared in none other than Pennsylvania.

About Aluminum Siding

There are two inherent issues with aluminum siding. First is color fading. When aluminum siding was first manufactured the aluminum was added as a layer (or several layers) of coating. These top layers are exposed to sun light resulting in an eventual discoloration. Modern aluminum siding has the paint baked into the metal during the manufacturing process so no color fading should occur. Second is oxidation. Over time you may see a thin layer of white chalky substance appear on your siding. This is a result of oxidation, which is the natural interaction between oxygen molecules and any surface it comes into contact with. The same process that causes cars to rust and fruit to spoil causes a white film on aluminum siding.

Cleaning Aluminum Siding

It is important to understand that cleaning aluminum siding is a tender process. Using a pressure washer can easily cut into the top layers of paint revealing a gray undertone. Similarly, using the wrong cleaning agent can have the same results. In our experience a combination of bleach, trisodium phospate, and a few hours of elbow grease garners the best results. Additional tips include:

  • be sure to lay a tarp under the area you plan to clean to ensure to surrounding vegetation is harmed
  • never scrape aluminum siding as the smooth surface can easily be damaged
  • if using a pressure washer use little pressure
  • a zinc oxide primer is best for bare aluminum

J&J Power Wash offers residential and commercial aluminum siding pressure washing services. No matter how dirty your aluminum siding is we can help. To set up a free estimate call us 215-703-8306 or fill out our online form. Click on the images below to enlarge them or visit our portfolio page for additional before and after pictures.

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Serving the Greater Philadelphia and South Jersey Areas