How to Clean Aluminum Patio Enclosures
Are you seeing streaks instead of sunbeams when enjoying your aluminum patio enclosure? It’s a common problem.
The beauty of having a sunroom or screened porch is that you’re getting a protected outdoor-indoor area that’s essentially free of maintenance. However, you need to do some gentle cleaning to stop the entropy that comes from exposure to the outdoors.
A mix of rain, pollen and general debris can cause a film to form that makes your beautiful enclose look dirty, murky and worn. While screened enclosures generally don’t need much maintenance, you may need to clean yours more frequently if you have a shaded yard with a good amount of trees.
Unfortunately, a dirty enclosure isn’t just unsightly. The discoloration you see creeping throughout your screen and aluminum parts can actually be mold or mildew taking over.
The good news is that you can have your screen porch looking like new once you know the secrets to how to clean aluminum patio enclosures. Devoting just part of a single afternoon to reviving the glisten of your outdoor living space will make your sunroom ready for company again!
Ideally, you’re going to want to use a method that is gentle and simple enough to clean your entire enclosure at once. This will help you to avoid the need to remove screens.
Take a look at how to clean aluminum patio enclosures easily and safely!
Start With a Little “Deep Cleaning” on Doors and Windows
Make sure you’re starting with a clean slate before you moisten things up! Start by vacuuming debris from the door and window tracts in your enclosure using a shop vacuum.
You can also use a hose to “blast” any stubborn, caked-on debris away. Additionally, this is a good time to “detail” the doorway and tracks using a wet cloth.
Tip #1: If You Want to Clean Your Aluminum Enclosure by Hand
Anyone with a little dish soap, a hose and some free time can wash a glass patio enclosure by hand. Keep in mind that you may need to get up on a ladder for this if you have a “vaulted” enclosure.
First, whip up a mix of dish soap and warm water until you have a sudsy mixture. Next, use a brush with ultra-soft bristles, a sponge or a microfiber cloth to apply warm, soapy water to gently clean the entire surface area of your enclosure. Lastly, just rinse it all down with your hose.
The good news is that you can just walk away to let it air dry after that.
If your enclosure was covered pretty badly in debris or pollen, you may need to actually repeat this process a second time to get a crystal-clear look.
Tip #2: If You Want to Use a Power Washer
If your enclosure is larger, you may want to consider “speeding up” the process with a power washer. This is actually a great option if you’re trying to spruce up a pool enclosure with complex angles. Pool enclosures can often be too grimy for the usual “elbow grease” method of washing by hand with soapy water and a brush.
Power washing works so effectively with aluminum enclosures because you’re removing stains and buildup with hot water that is also pressurized. It can achieve in seconds what might take several passes with a handheld brush.
Of course, caution is needed with a power washer. You can damage your screens if too much pressure is applied. This is why many people prefer to hire professionals to do power washing.
The simplest tip for not harming your screens when using a power washer is to start off on the lowest setting.
Tip #3: If You Want to Clean Your Aluminum Enclosure the Natural Way
What happens if you still see stubborn mold or algae after using dish soap or power washing? If you’d like to use all-natural products for cleaning your aluminum enclosure, look no further than vinegar.
Using a 50-50 combination of hot water and vinegar, simply repeat the process of washing your enclosure by hand using a soft brush or sponge. You can also choose to just focus on your problem spots with vinegar if the rest of your surface area looks good.
Once you’ve scrubbed thoroughly, simply rinse the enclosure with your hose. The best part about this option is that you are doing intense cleaning without any worry about the mixture that is running down into your grass because vinegar is totally natural and harmless.
Tip #4: If You Need a More Potent Option for Stubborn Stains on Your Aluminum Enclosure
What happens if soap and vinegar don’t get the job done? Some people opt to use bleach.
Several points need to be covered regarding safety and efficacy when talking about using bleach on your screened porch. First, bleach is a very harsh chemical that you should only handle while wearing gloves and protective eyewear.
It’s important that you avoid contact with your skin or eyes when using bleach.
Additionally, you should not use bleach in any areas where kids or pets will be playing immediately after you clean your enclosure.
You also have to be very cautious about discoloration when using bleach on an aluminum surface. There is the small chance that bleach could actually discolor your aluminum. Do a spot test on a small portion of your enclosure before cleaning it with bleach to test the reaction.
Keep in mind that you should only use a diluted bleach mixture consisting of one part bleach to three parts water. Gentle scrubbing with a soft sponge should be enough to remove most stains.
Final Thoughts on How to Clean Aluminum Patio Enclosures
These tips allow you to clean every component of your screen porch quickly and efficiently without the need to really pay attention to details. The benefit of using gentle options like dish soap or vinegar is that you can let your enclosure air dry naturally before letting everyone get right back inside for leisure without any worries about air quality or safety.
If you feel overwhelmed by the idea of scrubbing or spraying your outdoor living space from top to bottom, you can hire a company to power wash your enclosure for you.
The bottom line is that giving your enclosure just a little bit of TLC will keep it clear, crisp and beautiful without any worries of mold, mildew, algae or pollen.