5 Ways To Clean Aluminum Soffit And Fascia

How Do You Clean Aluminum Soffit And Fascia

New homeowners learn very quickly that there are a surprising number of chores involved in routine maintenance. Many things you’ve never considered before are suddenly on your to-do list. Some challenges are daunting and expensive, but not external cleanup.

I will walk you through five ways to clean aluminum soffit and fascia so you can keep your new house looking as good as the day you bought it.

How Do You Clean Aluminum Soffit And Fascia

  1. Remove any cobwebs, dust and debris with a dry stiff brush.
  2. Use a leaf blower or compressed air to blow dirt out of soffit vents.
  3. Pre-soak caked on dirt with warm water.
  4. Spray mold and mildew cleaner and let sit for 5 minutes. Or you can mix 1 part vinegar to 2 parts hot water.
  5. Then use mild laundry soap to scrub the soffits and fascia.
  6. If the aluminum is rusty, use aluminum cleaner to deoxidize the metal chemically.
  7. Use a hose or pressure washer with a medium tip to quickly spray off dirt and debris.

Soffit and fascia are the areas under the eaves and the horizontal outward-facing plane right under a roof’s edge.

Though these aren’t always aluminum, many of the cleaning methods are the same. I’ll share five techniques to de-grunge the area easily, including one that you should never use on wood or other surfaces.

5 Ways To Clean Aluminum Soffit And Fascia

The vents in white aluminum soffits need a little extra attention before you can get to the overall cleaning process. Even a good dusting won’t remove the accumulation inside.

Grab a tall ladder with a wide base for this project and watch your angle, or you’ll end up with a face full of dirt for your efforts.

It’s important to use compressed air to force debris and dust from the environment out of the hollow interior before you wash, so you don’t accidentally create mud and block the holes in a manner that requires more work to get clean.

Too much dirt makes a better hiding spot for pest animals like mice and insects.

Next, you’ll need to collect your materials. Unless you are using a pressure washer, you will need a bucket. Detergent like a mild laundry soap is ideal for cleaning soffits and fascia.

1. Pre-Soak

Pre-soaking caked-on dirt and mess will help you wipe down soffits and fascia easily. For this method, you need a sponge and warm water.

All you need do is moisten the grunge. Let it sit for a few minutes so the water soaks in and wipes away built-up dirt and dust layers.

The pre-soak method works best on newer white aluminum fascia and soffits with an undamaged layer of sealant paint on them and a lot of actual dirt.

Arid environments where dust blows and cakes in crevices will see a lot of this type of mess. If you are fortunate, you can wipe away all the mess with your sponge or a microfiber towel. You may not even need soap.

2. Sponge, Spray, and Bucket

Sometimes you’re looking at less dust and more of a buildup of mold, mildew, and debris. In this case, an old-fashioned sponge and bucket are also the best solution, but you’ll need more than plain water.

Spray on mold and mildew cleaner works well, but you can also opt for mixing one part vinegar to two parts of hot water. Don’t scald yourself but use water as warm as you can comfortably work with.

Ensure that you put on proper protective gear for this method, as working with mold can be hazardous to your health.

Wear a mask, eye protection, and long rubber cleaning gloves. You may also need a soft-bristled scrub brush if your mess is tenacious.

You can also use this method for general small messes and the occasional outdoor party-related splatters. It seems unlikely, but you’d be surprised how high barbecue sauce, or a dropped drink can reach.

In this case, you should only need some dawn dish soap instead of bleach or other mold treatments.

3. Pressure Wash

For high rooflines, mixed problems, or people who aren’t great with ladders, a good pressure washer is the ideal solution.

Be sure to watch your angle, or you’ll end up wet and filthy very quickly. Nonetheless, a pressure washer is crucial for quick cleanup around many outdoor areas.

I recommend the Sun Joe SPX3000 from Amazon. This superb pressure washer has a twenty-foot hose to make the job easier. Plus, Sun Joe SPX3000 comes with two removable detergent tanks for quick cleanup.

Sun Joe SPX3000 - SJB 2030 Max Psi 1.76 Gpm 14.5-Amp Electric Pressure Washer
  • [POWERFUL]: 14.5-Amp/1800-watt motor generates
  • [VERSATILE]: Tackle a variety of cleaning tasks: homes, buildings, RV’s, cars, trucks, boats, decks, driveways, patios, lawn equipment, and more. With two 0.9 L onboard detergent tanks, removable tanks carry and store different types of detergent to simultaneously tackle different cleaning projects.
  • [TSS (Total Stop System)]: Automatically shuts off pump when trigger is not engaged to save energy and prolong pump life.
  • [NOTE]: To ensure a fully functioning washer, please make sure all hoses and cleaner connections are properly and securely fastened.

Last update on 2024-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

An additional word of warning about pressure washing vented soffits. Please be careful with the pressure. While it won’t typically damage the soffit itself, you can potentially end up with water inside your attic. Turn the pressure down for a safer clean.

4. Deoxidize With Chemicals

When the mess on your fascia and soffits is more of the ‘tiger stripe’ or aluminum oxidation variety, you need to deoxidize.

The best way to do this is with an aluminum cleaner. Choose one that is specially formulated to handle both the metal and the mess.

By deoxidizing your aluminum, you can wipe the mess away like you would with other dirt. Meguiar’s M4901 Heavy Duty Oxidation Remover from Amazon is safe for soffits and other high-tech painted aluminum surfaces.

Meguiar's M4901 - Heavy Duty Oxidation Remover - 1 Fluid Gallon
  • MARINE CLEANER: Safely removes light to moderate oxidation, water spots, stains and scratches from gel coat, fiberglass and high-tech paint surfaces
  • RESTORE COLOR: Enriched feeder oils restore color while adding and enhancing brilliant shine and gloss. Restores the original color of older fiberglass gel coat surfaces by effectively removing surface degradation
  • UNIQUE FORMULA: Unique diminishing abrasives break down and safely disappear during application, leaving the surface with a brilliant look and shine
  • VERSATILE: Safe and effective by hand or by machine
  • COST-EFFECTIVE: Larger 1 gallon container is more convenient and cost-effective for larger boats and RVs

Last update on 2024-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It is also important to wear protective clothing when working with a chemical deoxidizer. Grab your gloves and glasses, at least. Moreover, it’s a good idea to wear durable work clothing made to handle heavy-duty jobs.

5. Extendable Brush Tool

Reaching the roof from the ground doesn’t always mean high-powered jets of water or shaky leaders. You can always grab your bucket of detergent and an extendable brush tool.

You will need to ensure you don’t stand directly underneath the area you’re scrubbing, or the dirty water will drop down on you. Otherwise, this is a great low-tech way to clean up high.

I prefer a DocaPole 6-24 Foot Hard Bristle Brush Extension Pole. However, you can get twelve and thirty-foot versions as well. The Bi-level, multi-angle design lets you reach every tiny corner while keeping your feet firmly on the ground.

DocaPole 6-24 Foot Hard Bristle Brush Extension Pole - 11” Scrub Brush with Telescopic Pole - Long Handle Cleaning Brush and Deck Brush for House Siding, Deck, Garage, Patio and more
  • 24’ HIGH-REACH HARD BRISTLE BRUSH – Offering up to 24 feet of reach (and up to 30 while standing), the DocaPole 6 to 24’ Hard Bristle Cleaning Brush is perfect for cleaning house siding, decks, garage floors, gutter guards, brick, concrete – the brush’s stiff synthetic bristles are optimized for tough scrubbing on tough surfaces – the 24 foot DocaPole Extension Pole makes it possible to reach almost any dust, dirt, gunk, and grime that needs washing
  • BI-LEVEL DESIGN WITH RUBBER BUMPER PROTECTION – Bi-level, multi-angle design enables the brush to maintain maximum surface area contact during regardless of the angle of attack – a rubber protective bumper encircles the brush head to ensure surfaces are not harmed during use, protecting exterior paint on siding, decks, patios, and other surfaces the brush may be used
  • DRY-USE AND WET-USE – Use the DocaPole brush with soap and water to wash aluminum, composite or wood siding, scrub your deck, or scrub your patio, garage, or floor tile – alternatively, keep the brush dry to use it as a broom or duster to sweep off the driveway, walkway, porch, sidewalk, or entry way
  • 24 FOOT MULTI-USE DOCAPOLE EXTENSION POLE – the 6-24 foot high-quality, light-weight aluminum extension pole is a premium telescopic pole featuring a solid metal tip + a screw-on hinge tip; its universal threaded tip makes it compatible with a wide variety of attachments to accomplish all your hard-to-reach tasks – thumb lever clasps allow for easy pole extension and retraction and the padded grips make for comfortable use – use with DocaPole attachments or other threaded attachments
  • THE DOCAPOLE EXPERIENCE – At DocaPole, we stand by all our extension poles and attachments as the best on the market. We offer easy-to-access phone support and customer service to all our customers. We encourage you to explore our full range of extension pole products and attachments to get the most out of what DocaPole offers

Last update on 2024-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Helpful Tips To Know About Cleaning Aluminum Soffit And Fascia

Tidying up around the outside of your home doesn’t have to be a headache. Soffit and fascia cleanup is simple but also vital. Dirt and debris can attract insects or even house microscopic mold spores allowing them to get a hold of your roof.

Here are a few more helpful tips to know about cleaning aluminum soffits and fascia.

  • You should clean your soffits and fascia at least twice per year. If you live in an area where mold or dust is a big issue, you may want to schedule it more often.
  • When you clean your fascia and soffits, remember to scrub the undersides of your gutters as well. Since these are all in the same area, a problem with one can lead to a mess for all three.
  • Watch out for water. If you have pets or other people in your home, make sure you warn them that you will be cleaning so they can stay away from the dirty water. Not only is it a trip and fall hazard, but you can also end up hurting someone who walks under dripping chemicals. Even a blend of vinegar water is bad if your child or pet gets it in their eyes.

Final Thoughts

You may not notice soffits and fascia at first when you look at a home since they are just part of the overall curb appeal. In fact, most people don’t know that part of a roofline has a name.

Sadly, once they get dirty, you can’t miss them. No one likes a moldy, rusty, filthy overhang above their head. While it seems difficult to reach those areas first, a good ladder or extendable brush will solve the problem.

Whether you scrub, pressure wash, or use chemicals to deoxidize, once you finish, you’ll really see the difference in how your home looks.

Drew Thomas

My name is Drew Thomas and I’m the creator of Fun In the Yard, your one stop site for all your outdoor games, sports, party activities, outdoor gear, and lawn & gardening tips.

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