How to Clean and Maintain Aluminium Fencing

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Aluminium fencing is one of Australia’s most popular fencing options. It requires virtually no upkeep, and once installed, homeowners can pretty much forget about it. It will remain strong, durable and attractive for years, provide security and privacy, and also increase the value of your home.

However, every type of domestic fencing requires cleaning and maintenance to keep it in top-notch condition. But with aluminium fencing, the process is quick and easy.

Why is maintenance required?`

Most materials exposed to wind, sun, and rain will degrade over time. Aluminium fencing is an exception to this rule. However, like many outdoor structures, it will still collect dirt and plant residue, so needs the occasional modest clean to keep it looking neat and tidy.

If you live close to a dusty or heavily industrial area, it may require more regular maintenance, and in coastal areas, it is recommended you frequently spray your fence with water to reduce the accumulation of salt.

What cleaning equipment do I need?

Equipment you’ll need to clean your aluminium fence:

  • A garden hose
  • Sponges
  • A mild, non-abrasive soap (like a multipurpose cleaner)
  • Gardening tools to remove plant material

Commercial aluminium fencing undergoes a special treatment called powder coating before being sold, which gives the fencing its distinct finish and sheen. A coating of fine powder is applied to the metal by charging it with an electric current, which then finishes into a resistant, protective cover. Therefore, it’s essential the cleaning equipment you use doesn’t damage the finish or the material itself. Although it’s quite difficult to damage the coating through conventional means, products that contain solvents like acetone can easily penetrate the coating, as will abrasives like steel wool.

What’s the cleaning process?

Cleaning aluminium fencing is quick and simple, and can be completing by doing the following:

  1. Begin by thoroughly rinsing down all the aluminium slats with a garden hose, including removing any dirt, dust, or plant foliage. Avoid using a power hose as it could potentially damage the finish. Hose from bottom to top and then back to the bottom. This will clean the surface on the way up and avoid the collection of dirty “run-down” water, which can lead to streaking.
  2. Mix your non-abrasive cleaner in water and then take a soft, wet sponge and remove any other matter by cleaning the fence’s entire surface.
  3. If you still notice residue or build-up, use a clean, non-course brush to remove it (but be gentle!)
  4. For more stubborn organic stains (like mould), mix equal parts of water and vinegar and apply using a cloth or spray bottle.
  5. Lastly, rinse your fence thoroughly with a hose and either wipe dry with a soft cloth or leave it to dry naturally.

As the powder coating on the aluminium gets older, it can start to oxidise a little, which decreases its lustre and leaves a light chalky powder on the surface. This can be more prevalent in areas of the fence that receive direct and consistent sunlight. Applying regular car wax can protect it against wear, reverse some of the oxidation and return shine to your fence. After applying it with a clean cloth, leave it on for an hour before removing it.

How often should I clean my fence?

The frequency of cleaning will depend on whether your aluminium fencing is located near foliage or whether you have animals around your home. Plants can start to wear away the coating if left unchecked and animals leave a variety of…well, mess!

As a general rule of thumb, you should give your fence a clean every 12 to 18 months. You should also regularly inspect it every year to check for signs of oxidation or damage.

What maintenance is required?

Regularly maintenance includes tightening screws and oiling any gate hinges. You should also realign loose posts, and objects or materials should not be mounted or stacked near the fence.

To maximize the life of your fence, you should ensure gates are secured with a latch or a lock to prevent them from swinging open.

Not all of these measures are 100% necessary with aluminium fencing, however, at FenceCorp we understand how much pride people take in their homes in Brisbane, and if you’re lucky enough to have aluminium fencing, these measures will ensure your fence looks fantastic for years to come.

To inquire about the supply and install of a range of fencing products in all styles and colours, call our friendly Brisbane fence contractors today (07) 3715 5055.

References

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