Cleaning and Maintenance

TODAY'S HIGH QUALITY PAINTED AND ANODZIES ARCHITECTURAL FINISHES ARE EXTREMELY DURABLE. But even the best finish needs a little TLC. And with the most careful treatment of the windows, curtain-wall or storefront during installation and daily use, occasional damage will occur.

This article discusses the recommended care of painted or anodized finishes on architectural metal and looks at three levels of concern: Care and Cleaning, Minor Repairs, and More Complex Refinishing.

THE CARE AND CLEANING OF PAINTED MATERIAL: Today’s factory applied heat cured painted finishes are durable and very colorfast. The Kynar® and Hylar® based products that meet the AAMA 2605 specification with trade names such as Duranar® by PPG, Fluropon® by Valspar or Trinar® by Akzo-Nobel are warranted to retain their color and gloss level for many years. However, to assure that they retain their original beauty, even these highly durable finishes should be cleaned occasionally. When selecting a cleaning solution use mild soap solutions that are safe for use with your bare hands such as those products that one would use to wash a car. Avoid the use of strong acid or alkali cleaners as they may damage the finish.

Solvents no stronger than mineral spirits or denatured alcohol may be used to remove grease, sealants or other materials. Never mix cleaners or cleaners and solvents as the resultant mixture can cause harmful or even dangerous results. Do not use abrasive cleaners or materials such as steel wool or abrasive brushes, which can also harm the surface.

Once heavy soil, grease or sealant is removed the mild soap solution should be applied with a soft cloth, sponge or soft brush. Rinse the surface thoroughly with clean water and dry with a soft cloth.

In coastal areas where the finish is exposed to salt spray or in areas containing heavy industrial pollutants the cleaning should take place on a regular basis. For example cleaning the painted finish can be scheduled as a part of the regular maintenance program for glass cleaning.