Aluminium copings are a popular choice for topping walls, ledges, and other surfaces in outdoor areas. Made from aluminium, these copings are lightweight, durable, and low maintenance compared to other materials like natural stone. However, some periodic cleaning and maintenance are still required to keep aluminium copings looking their best. Here are some useful tips for maintaining pristine aluminium copings.
Make it a habit to inspect your aluminium copings at least twice a year. Look for any signs of damage, wear, stains, or discoloration. Catching issues early makes repairs easier. Also, check for loose joints or seams that may allow water intrusion and cause more severe issues down the road.
Regular cleaning is key to keeping aluminium copings pristine. How often you need to clean depends on environmental factors like rainfall, pollution, and tree debris in your area. For many regions, thoroughly cleaning aluminium copings every three months is sufficient. Use a soft brush and mild pH-neutral cleaner to remove dirt and grime. Avoid abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads that could scratch the aluminium surface. Always rinse the copings thoroughly after cleaning.
Regularly remove any accumulated leaves, dirt, bird droppings, and other debris from your aluminium copings. These can stain or corrode the aluminium if left to sit. It’s advisable to sweep away such debris as soon as you notice it, in addition to your scheduled cleanings.
Check Caulking and Sealants
Aluminium copings typically have caulk or sealants at joints and seams to prevent water intrusion. Check these areas when inspecting your copings and look for any cracks, gaps, or deterioration. Re-apply fresh caulk or sealant as needed to protect from moisture damage. Quality caulking suitable for aluminium is important for a long-lasting seal.
Address Signs of Oxidation Early
Aluminium oxidises when exposed to air, causing pitting and dulling of the surface. While oxidisation is unavoidable, you can minimise it by cleaning and protecting your coping mechanisms. In cases where you notice whitish areas of oxidation, use a metal polish containing oxalic acid to restore the aluminium’s shine.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals
Steer clear of harsh chemicals and solvents on aluminium, especially when trying to remove stains. Acidic or alkaline cleaners can damage and discolour aluminium. Scouring powders are also too abrasive. For tough stains, use a paste of baking soda and water and scrub gently with a soft cloth. Test cleaners on a small, inconspicuous area first before applying them to the entire coping.
Repair Damage Right Away
In spite of your best maintenance efforts, aluminium copings will inevitably get the occasional scratch, dent, or other damage over time. Fix these issues immediately to prevent further deterioration. Small dents or scratches can often be buffed out with ultra-fine (0000) steel wool and metal polish. For more extensive damage, copings may need to be removed, re-welded or replaced altogether.
Use Non-Corrosive Fasteners
When it comes to aluminium copings installation, make sure to use non-corrosive screws, bolts, and fasteners. Stainless steel hardware is ideal. Copper, iron, or steel fasteners can react with aluminium and cause corrosion. Apply sealant over fastener holes for extra leakage protection.
With frequent inspections, prompt cleaning, and minor repairs, you can keep your aluminium copings looking as good as new and extend their lifespan for many years. A small investment of time in regular maintenance goes a long way in preserving the value and curb appeal that aluminium copings bring to your home or commercial property. Follow these tips and enjoy the low-maintenance elegance of aluminium copings that stand the test of time.