Vinyl siding is one of the most popular choices among today’s homeowners due to its durability, color and style options, and low-maintenance qualities. When your siding is first installed, it can completely transform the look of your home and make it the envy of the neighborhood. Although vinyl siding requires minimal maintenance, it does become dirty and stained over time with rust, insect and bird droppings, spider webs, and pollen. You may also notice that algae, mold, or mildew form on your siding in areas that are damp and shady. If your siding is starting to look a little drab from exposure to the elements and you want to bring back that brilliant look that it had when it was new, it is easy to clean. It is essential, however, that you follow best practices to keep your siding looking new without damaging it.
First, gather your tools and cleaning products
When you set out to clean your vinyl siding, you want to be sure to have all the necessary tools before you get started. The essentials that you will need include:
- Soft cloth
- Soft-bristled brush with a long handle
- Garden hose or pressure washer
- Cleaning solution
Use a cleaning solution that is safe for your siding
There are several options available for homeowners to clean their siding safely. Most DIYers find that solutions made from products they have around the house do a great job and save money, but there are also commercial products available that you can use on vinyl siding without causing any harm. Consider these ideas when you are gathering your supplies for the job:
- To make your solution that is great on mold and mildew, combine 30% vinegar and 70% water.
- When your siding needs a more powerful cleaner, you can also mix your solution with a gallon of water, a quart of liquid bleach, 2/3 cup of powdered household cleaner, and ⅓ cup powdered laundry detergent.
- Many homeowners fear that their cleaner may damage their landscaping, but there is a solution to that problem as well. If you mix a cup of oxygen bleach and a gallon of water, you can get the job done without worrying about your plants.
- If you have particularly tough stains that your homemade cleanser doesn’t seem to work on, you can remove those stains with household cleaners like Soft Scrub, Murphy’s Oil Soap, Windex, or Instant Rust Out.
- There are commercial products available for cleaning exterior siding, as well. Simple Green makes a siding cleaner that is biodegradable, non-toxic, and can be used with a pressure washer, or for handwashing.
- Be sure to avoid any cleaners that may be harsh enough to damage your siding, such as furniture polish/cleaner, acetone, grease remover, undiluted chlorine bleach, and organic solvents.
Have a plan of attack
There is a right way and a wrong way to clean your vinyl siding. The best technique to achieve the most attractive final product is:
- Work from the top down in manageable sections, typically 5-10 feet in width.
- Begin by applying your cleaning solution with a soft-bristled brush.
- Rinse each section with a garden hose or pressure washer before it dries to avoid a dull film being left by the cleaner.
- If you are using a pressure washer, be sure to keep it on a low setting.
- When rinsing your siding, be sure to keep the stream from your hose or pressure washer facing downward to avoid forcing water behind the siding panels.
Although pressure washers make the job a lot easier, it is a good idea to check with your siding manufacturer to see if they advise against their use. Always remember to use a low setting and use caution around any plumbing fixtures, windows, and doors.
With a little regular maintenance, you can keep your beautiful vinyl siding looking like new for years to come. The product is so resilient and durable that it requires very little maintenance, other than cleaning. Many homeowners put cleaning the siding on their spring checklist so that the house looks its best for summer. As long as you do it once a year, any season is fine if the weather is nice. If you would like to find out more about the ways that vinyl siding can benefit your home and beautify its exterior, the professional contractors at Mr. Roof are here to help. Call us today at (800) 884-9760 to speak with one of our team members.