Aluminum Siding job?

Hi guys, all house washes I have done so far have been either vinyl or brick. Someone inquired today about a house wash for aluminum siding. In the 20 years that I have drove past this house I have never seen it washed. I licked my finger and rubbed the aluminum siding and it did have a lot of white chalk, oxidation come off. I mentioned it wont remove this and they are still interested in a HW. They did not mention plans to get it repainted so is there any additive to use to wash without setting it up for paint prep? I’ve been doing 3gal 12.5 Sh, 2 gal h20, and elmonator is that a mix to use on aluminum? Please advise

Set expectations with the customer from the start and warn them of what may happen and have it in your bid. If they are good with that proceed to the soft wash on the house.

Use your house wash mix and you will be fine.


IMO, issues are removing paint down to metal in places & potential blotches of inconsistent sheen. If it were my home I’d rather have it clean. If you want the job I’d explain the potential results & offer to test wash an inconspicuous area for a a set fee & go from there. Be clear, don’t over promise or guarantee, quote the price you need. Put the decision in customers hands. Use lowest pressure possible for application & rinse.

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You may find that it has no more algae, but it doesn’t clean worth a hoot otherwise. It’ll look almost the same when you’re finished.

Customer calls: "Hey I’m interested in getting my house washed.
Me: Great. Is it stucco or vinyl?
Customer: Alum…
Me: Click.

Just kidding. But I don’t wanna be.

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After looking more closely at pics I’m agreeing with @squidskc. Not much to clean there unless they come to terms with a paint job, but probably best to leave prep to the painter. I’d pass.

“My insurance requires me to have a signed damage waiver for any aluminum siding wash.”

Weeds out the scammers looking for free siding replacment.


That’s a really good idea and a great way to CYA.


I have never heard of an insurance company that requires that

Mine doesn’t :sunglasses:

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I guess I don’t get the lying part of it then.

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In northeast ohio we have a ton of aluminum siding. I would say at least 25 percent of the houses have it. While I would love to just not wash it ever, I am not in a position to turn away a quarter of my potential buisness this early on. Let me explain the process I use in dealing with this in more detail.If I show up to do an estimate and the aluminum just looks like a train wreck waiting to happen I recommend they rethink a house wash and go about my buisness.If it looks like it will come out nice, I walk the customer threw all the risks involved in great detail. Then I tell them about the waiver. I’ve done 20-25 aluminum houses this year not including prep for paint jobs and I haven’t had any problems.
The waiver makes me feel better that the customer understands the process and is not going to sue me over any little imperfection . Saying my insurance requires is something I added early on. A gentalman wanted me to wash the rear of his home and see how it looked to decide if he was going to paint it or not. I was ok with it but wanted him to sign a waiver . After 10 minutes of back and forth I walked away from the job. I felt if I would have just said my insurance requires it things would have went alot smoother. I’ve found that it’s more definite and leaves less room for argument.

You don’t have to explain lying to me. If you can sleep at night and I don’t sub work to you then I guess it’s none of my concern.

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Let the right of passage begain!

I dont see the harm in it personally. It’s an effort to cover my own ass and save myself a potential argument with a customer. Please explain.

You’re grown. Not my role to teach you that lying is wrong.

Funny becuse it seems like that’s exactly what your doing. Come on now dont be bashful. You’ve already called me a liar, while suggesting I should be having problems sleeping. Please explain what I’m doing that offended your moral superiority.

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You don’t need to tie your disclaimer statement to your insurance. In fact, your legal liability risk is less if you don’t. It’s okay to CYA. Just be straight up about it & sleep peacefully.

It’s not an argument with a customer you should be worried about as much as an argument with a judge.


Now that’s a good point. I never thought of it from that angle.


What annoys me is you lying to a customer. Notwithstanding what it speaks of a person, it lessens the credibility of contractors who depend on this for their livelihood. Calling you a liar after you admitted you lied to customers casts do derision on me.