Cleaning Your Metal Carport
For a treated and regularly washed metal carport, cleaning often means a simple spray down with the hose periodically. However, if the metal of your aluminum or steel carport hasn’t been sealed, or if you left unwashed for quite some time, there are a few extra step that need to be taken to wash it down good.
Step 1 – Owner’s Manual
Before attempting to clean your carport, be sure to check the owner’s manual to see if there are any special cleaning instructions or recommendations for your particular model.
Step 2 – Moss and other Growth
The first thing you should do is remove any moss or other growth. Growth like this commonly occurs if the carport is regularly shaded by the house or under trees and when moisture builds up. To remove it, simply mix a solution of 1 part bleach to 5 parts water (be sure to wear protective gloves, eye wear, etc.) and use a garden sprayer to soak the moss or mildew covered areas well. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes and spray it down with the hose. Repeat as necessary until all growth is gone.
Step 3 – Rust and Oxidation
Not all metals will rust, but even the ones that don’t will still oxidize, such as aluminum, and this needs to be dealt with. Purchase a rust remover specifically for your metal, and follow the instructions on the bottle for use. You may need a rough scouring pad for bad rust spots. If scrubbing hard to reach spots, note that you should NEVER place your full weight on a carport. You may need to buy a scouring pad on a telescoping pole.
For aluminum, you’ll often be able to tell it is oxidizing because it doesn’t shine like it used to. To remove oxidation, use a metal polishing paste.
Step 4 – General Cleaning
For most of the rest of what is one your metal carport, you can remove with a mixture of water and a soup solution. Use a soft bristled brush on a pole to get any hard to reach spots. Be sure that you rinse from top to bottom to keep any soapy streaks from forming.
If you have a larger carport, you should start with the roof and rinse immediately after washing, before moving on to the rest, so that the sun doesn’t dry the soap on top of your carport. Dried soap, depending on the solution that you use, can be very difficult to remove.
Step 5 – Sealant
Once your carport is completely clean and bone dry, apply a sealant to the metal. This will protect your metal and make future cleanings a much easier process. Often, with a proper sealant, you won’t need to do anything more than regular spray downs with a garden hose.