Aluminum fencing is one of the most used fences in residential spaces. The material is tough, stain resistant, and aesthetically appealing. It also gives a clean look and the variety of designs offered can range from a chic modern look or minimalist designs, making it an all-in-one solution to your fencing needs.
Aluminum fences are also known for their relatively easy upkeep. However, even if the tough outer finish of the fence makes it fundamentally maintenance-free, you still need to ensure that it gives a bright and clean look over the years.
In this article, we lay down the steps to keeping your fence clean and bright as new. But first, what makes aluminum fencing so durable?
The Powder-Coated Finishing
Aluminum fences come with a powder-coated finishing that makes them durable and luster over many years. This powder coating is applied by automatic guns that apply paint in powder form.
An electrostatic charge on these tiny particles allows them to stick to the aluminum surface. The powder-coated aluminum is then moved to a curing oven making the bond created between the paint particles and aluminum so strong that it withstands harsh weather conditions and remains smooth over the years without issues of cracking, blistering, or chipping.
However, if one lives near a coastal area, an industrial area, or a highly dusty locality, chances are that the powdered finishing will gather dust particles on the surface, thus making the aluminum fences seem faded and old.
The luster of the powdered finish might also fade over time, but the following cleaning techniques can help you to maintain the look of the aluminum fencing over the years to come:
1. Cleaning the Chalk-like Residue
As the powdered coating on the aluminum fence ages, it may result in oxidation which results in a chalk-like residue on the fences. This is more common in places where the fence gets direct sunlight for several hours during the day.
This chalky residue comes off by cleaning with mild soapy water and then rinsing it with water. However, if this chalky residue results in a dull appearance of the fence, rubbing some car wax on the railings can restore the shine and make it look as bright as new.
2. Maintenance Tips for Dusty and Coastal Areas
If you live someplace which has a lot of exposure to dust, chances are that dust will accumulate on the railings. Also, those living near coastal areas experience abrasive salt buildup on the fences.
In this case, washing off the aluminum fence with water at least once a week is recommended. If the buildup does not go away simply by spraying water from a hose, wipe some mild detergent water on the railings.
However, make sure that you don’t use abrasive cleaners, sponges, or brushes as they may damage the powdered finishing.
3. Maintenance Tips for the Harsh Winter Season
If you reside in a place where the winter seasons are harsh, chances are that it may impact the look and placement of the fences. This is because consistent freezing and thawing of the snow and the soil might loosen the posts.
In this case, installing fences when the environment is not too cold and securing the posts with thick cement prevents the loosening of the fences.
Aluminum fences are best for harsh winters because the paint does not corrode due to the dampness of the snow. However, piling up the snow against the fences means putting pressure on the fence which again, causes issues of loose fences.
Incorporating Periodic Cleaning Routines
Periodic cleaning and maintenance routines regardless of the locality and weather conditions are a must for aluminum fences:
Quick Cleaning for Aluminum Fences
If you live in an area where there isn’t a lot of dust or the weather isn’t harsh, the fence might still need cleaning to keep looking its best. Hosing down the fence once every two or three weeks is sufficient for areas where the climate is temperate.
Although, a deep cleaning routine once a year or every 18 months is recommended for even low-maintenance areas.
Deep Cleaning Routine for Aluminum Fences
A deep cleaning routine should be done at least once a year for aluminum fences, so it looks newly installed over the years to come.
1. The first step includes getting rid of any wild grass or weeds growing near the fence. Even though vegetation does not damage aluminum fencing like it damages wooden fencing, it is good to keep the fencing area neat to keep that clean look that aluminum fences are designed to give.
2. If the railing is spaced closer together, chances are that you only have cleaned it over the year by spraying water on it. To make sure that the dirt and residue are clean from the inside out, wiping each railing with a damp cloth or soapy water in case of tough debris should be a part of the deep cleaning routine.
3. Make sure to water down the soapy water as leaving cleaners on the aluminum fence may result in corroding the powdered finish.
4. If the paint looks dull, wiping car wax on the surface can restore the shine. Make sure you do this after the fence is completely dry.
5. Next, make sure to oil the hinges, as well as unlubricated hinges, which might make squeaky noises. The hinges might also become loose with use and may look crooked, ruining the look of the fence. Thus, making sure that the hinges are tight and lubricated is necessary to upkeep its neat and polished look.
Summing it Up
Aluminum fences are timeless installations in the residence. Even though the powder-coated finishing is highly durable and sustains harsh weather conditions, it doesn’t require maintenance, but a little extra effort will help to keep it looking as good as new.
Having a periodic quick cleaning routine and a deep cleaning routine for aluminum fences keeps it looking neat, avoids results of loosen posts, and maintains the luster and shine of the coating.