Metal siding is one of the lowest maintenance siding materials available on the market today. Its low maintenance qualities are one of its biggest benefits — requiring less time and less money in upkeep than vinyl, wood, and other materials. However, there are a few ways you can help your metal siding stay looking new. Here’s some metal siding maintenance tips to follow!
1. Routine Visual Inspections
As we mentioned, metal siding is an extremely low maintenance siding material. Typically, once it’s installed, you can go quite some time without putting any money, time, or effort into cleaning or other maintenance care. Our team recommends that you do a once or twice a year visual inspection to your metal panels to ensure they’re still performing the way they should be. You should be looking for any damages to your siding panels — scratches, knicks, impacts, and other types — so you can address them quickly before they turn into bigger issues.
It’s especially important to inspect your panels after serious storms and high-speed winds to make sure all the panels are still intact. If you have exposed fastener siding panels like Corrugated or Box Rib, we also recommend giving a thorough inspection to your fasteners to check for any signs of rust or weathering to the hardware. Regular inspections are the easiest way to find and address problems with your siding in an efficient manner and can help save you serious time down the road.
2. Rinse & Wipe Your Panels
Most of the dirt, dust, and other grime that can accumulate on your metal panels can usually just be rinsed away with a garden hose or wiped down with a wet microfiber cloth. Our team doesn’t recommend power washing your siding because it can dent and damage metal panels if used too closely. Most of the time, a simple spray down does the trick. We recommend using microfiber cloths to avoid any small scratches that can come from other rougher fabrics.
If you have hard-to-reach places on your siding and need to use a ladder to reach them, make sure to follow safety procedures. You should be wearing closed-toed shoes with good traction if you must climb up a ladder. Your ladder should also be OSHA approved and you may want to consider purchasing padded stabilizers to better protect your metal siding’s paint/finish. The coating on your panels offers a lot of protection, so you don’t want to scratch or scuff it up from leaning a ladder against it.
3. Use a Light Cleaning Solution
If you have some stubborn dirt or stains on your siding panels, a light cleaning solution may be needed to get them back to looking brand new. Bridger Steel recommends mixing a ¼ cup of detergent (this could be a mild dish soap or car washing soap) with a gallon of water. Simply just rinse your panels, apply the solution to your siding with a microfiber cloth, sponge, or soft-bristled brush and let it sit on the surface. After about 5-10 minutes, rinse it clean and your panels should look good as new.
This cleaning solution is typically considered safe to use on almost all of our paints and finishes for metal siding. However, we always recommend talking to your Product Specialist before applying any chemicals or cleaning solutions onto your panels to avoid damaging or unintentionally removing the paint/finish. If your siding panels have tough to remove stains like rust or algae, they may need a deeper clean than just the solution mentioned above. If that’s the case, it’s best to reach out to one of our team members for recommendations in order to avoid permanently damaging your siding.
It’s also important to remember to read any cleaning product’s recommendations on their labels. Some cleaning solutions can be harmful and toxic to not only your siding, but also to you and the ground below, too. Also, if you have landscaping, plants, bushes, or other items on the ground below your siding, it may be best to protect them with a tarp or other type of covering in case the cleaning solution runs down onto the ground below.
Other Maintenance Tips to Consider
A few other tips you may want to keep in mind when cleaning your metal siding includes the following:
- Avoid Damaging Products — Not only do you want to avoid harsh cleaning solutions and chemicals, but you don’t want to use other harsh products like wool scrubbers, wire brushes, paint thinners, power washers, or sandpaper. These products can permanently damage your metal panels and cause them to have a shortened lifespan and not perform the way they’re supposed to.
- Work in Sections — When you’re cleaning your siding, it’s easiest to work in sections across the panels. Start in one section, first using a cloth or soft-bristled brush horizontally, and then in that same section, use it vertically. This can help really loosen up any dirt or grime and make the tasks less daunting. After you’ve rinsed one section clean, move to the next.
- Turn Off Outdoor Electricity — Since you’ll be working with water, you don’t want to risk any dangerous situations with electricity. We recommend flipping the breakers off to any outdoor lights, covering any outdoor wall outlets, and making sure any extension cords or other electrical-related products are put away safely. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
If you want to keep your metal siding looking new for years and years to come, be sure to follow these metal siding maintenance tips. Always doing routine visual inspections, rinsing any visible dirt, and tackling stubborn dirt with the light cleaning solution can help keep your metal panels looking new and performing their best.
If you’re interested in using metal siding for your next project, get in touch with one of Bridger Steel’s Product Specialists today. Our team of experts can help you find the perfect metal siding panel and color/finish based on your specific needs. We can even make some recommendations if you’re not sure where to start. Contact Us today or fill out the Get a Quote form to get started!