Posted on: 30 April 2015
Aluminum storefronts look beautiful, and compared to many other types of facades, they require considerably less maintenance. For the most part, you don't have to worry about repainting, sanding or sealing like you do with wood, and you don't have to worry about masonry repairs like you would with a brick storefront.
However, eventually, your aluminum storefront will become dirty. Luckily, with the right approach, cleaning your aluminum storefront and protecting it from staining is relatively easy. To help you out, take a look at these five essential tips:
1. Consider an anodized finish
Keeping your aluminum storefront clean starts before it is even installed. If you want your storefront to resist stains from acid rain, pollution or other common sources, consider adding an anodized finish to it.
This type of finish seals the metal. By essentially closing the aluminum's pores, an anodized finish prevents staining elements from getting into the metal. Additionally, when you opt for an anodized finish, you can add a colorful touch to your storefront as the finish acts as both a sealant and a stain. It really brings out the "grain" in the aluminium.
2. Pressure-wash your storefront on a regular basis
The easiest and most effective way to clean most dirt and debris off your storefront is to pressure-wash it. The water from a pressure washer can easily remove bird poop, cobwebs, dirt and other debris.
If you want to keep your storefront looking tidy, plan to pressure wash it on a regular basis. To make it easier to remember when to pressure wash, consider doing it whenever you clean your windows. If your storefront is near the coast or anywhere else with a lot of salt in the air, you will need to clean your aluminum more often. Salt corrodes, so ideally, you should try to prevent it from building up.
If water alone doesn't work to clean the storefront, fill the detergent dispensers of the pressure washer with a mild detergent.
3. Spot clean grease with denatured alcohol
If you have grease stains on your aluminum storefront, those stubborn stains may not be washed away with water and regular soap. Instead, try tackling them with a high-quality dish soap. Surprisingly, these soaps have such an amazing ability to cut through grease that they are even used to clean birds after oil spills.
If greasy stains persist in spite of your pressure washing, scrub them gently with a soft rag and a bit of denatured alcohol or mineral spirits. To reach high spots, use a long-handled foam mop.
4. Avoid abrasive cleaners and steel wool
If you have spots that just will not go away, do not succumb to the temptation of using an abrasive cleaner. Abrasive cleaners can corrode the aluminum, causing even more unwanted damage. Also, do not use steel wool as that can scratch your aluminum exterior and ruin your finish.
5. Consider specialized restoration as needed
If you have a very old aluminum storefront, or if you purchase a building with a neglected storefront, it may have suffered damage that you simply cannot clean on your own. In these cases, consider contacting a professional company who specializes in aluminum cleaning and restoration.
These specialists have a range of products at their disposal that can help remove everything from acid etchings to concrete, stucco and mortar residue. Using a special process and commercial products, these expert aluminum cleaners separate the unwanted substances from the aluminum. Then, they thoroughly clean the area to prepare it to be sealed. Finally, they add a layer of sealant to prevent future damage and staining.Share