Exterior Metal: Protect Your Exterior Building Metal Surfaces with Regular Maintenance & Restoration
Anodized aluminum is an ideal material for building exterior finishes: lightweight but strong; flexible and moldable; durable and protective against the elements.
But that doesn’t mean you can install it and forget it.
Over time, aluminum starts to weather, fade and degrade. The good news is, regular maintenance and restoration will preserve its natural luster and extend its life, preventing or reducing major restoration costs while preserving your property’s appeal.
Oxidization: Aluminum’s Achilles Heel.
While aluminum has many strengths, it has a particular vulnerability to weathering. To prevent that degradation, some aluminum frames are treated via an electrochemical process called anodization, which creates a hard protective coating.
As time passes, even anodized aluminum will degrade, and not only will it fade and discolor – becoming an ashy white – but moisture and oxygen will create pits that burrow deep into the protective metal anodizing coating. Once this happens, you’ve passed the point of no return, so it’s imperative to give exterior building metal surfaces the attention they deserve.
Maintain. Restore. Relax.
Corrosion. Surface contamination. Bonded dirt. Those are real concerns for buildings with exterior metal. That’s why you’ll want to schedule regular cleaning and resealing. One coat of sealer is good; two or three are better – and not really any more difficult to apply, since the sealer flash-dries after 20-30 seconds, enabling us to apply multiple coats on a single visit.
For narrow strips of metal, our experts apply the sealer manually, wiping it on with a cloth. For larger panels, the preference is spraying, but budgets determine that. We recommend spraying because it’s impossible to wipe a large area with perfect evenness (mostly due to wind and environmental factors). Over time the hand-wipe application becomes visible as striations. You won’t see them immediately, but they’ll be glaring after 10 to 24 months.
We highly recommend annual maintenance to keep your building looking like new. For larger rectangular buildings, we suggest dividing the job into thirds, so that at the end of three years you’ve covered the entirety of the building.
Oxidization isn’t the only threat to your aluminum finishes, by the way. Temperature changes also cause metal to expand and contract. That can lead to damage or dislodgment when those metals interact with waterproofing and fasteners to the building. In the process of cleaning and restoring, we thoroughly inspect all surfaces to ensure they remain properly affixed to your building.
If you haven’t used HSG for metal maintenance and restoration, here’s what to expect:
- INITIAL TESTING (MOCKUP). The first time we perform maintenance and restoration, we take some special precautions to ensure you get the results you expect. This is because there are a number of different sealers we can use on metal, and it’s important to choose the right one. Consequently, we start with a test panel to make sure the products are appropriate for the type and grain of the aluminum as well as your particular environmental conditions. The initial testing mockup also establishes a benchmark for what to expect from maintenance and restoration going forward.
- EFFICIENT PERFORMANCE. One of the things we pride ourselves on is meeting or beating our projected completion dates. We realize having a crew outside your building can be a distraction, so we do everything possible to minimize our presence there by working as efficiently as possible.
- PREDICTABLE PRICING. We’ll provide you with a fixed-price contract that reflects the size of your building and the results of the testing.
- RELIABLE SCHEDULING. To keep your building looking great, we’ll work with you to establish a regular maintenance schedule – and we’ll stick to it so that you never have to wonder if the work is getting done.
HSG Is Here For You.
Whether you’re a prospective customer or a longstanding one, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Decades of experience and continual education and innovation make HSG the expert in our field, and we’re happy to share our knowledge with you.