There are many great reasons to invest in Vinyl Siding for your home. It’s tough, durable, looks great, and handles even the harshest weather. It’s also extremely low maintenance and doesn’t need to be cleaned too often. However, you do need to clean once in a while, and when it comes to vinyl siding cleaning, things get a bit more difficult. Cleaning your home’s siding is a big undertaking no matter what material you’ve chosen to use. With vinyl specifically, there are a few serious dos and don’ts to keep track of. If you want to get the most out of your home’s vinyl siding and keeping your house looking like new season after season, read on for a few helpful tips to guide you through.
Hose It Down
The first step to cleaning your siding is simple. Use a wide pressure hose. Then, start spraying your siding from top to bottom. Start at the highest point using a tall ladder, and make your way down steadily. Don’t use too much pressure or too little. This step is all about removing the most superficial layer of dirt from your siding. The more intensive cleaning will come later. For now, you just want to make sure you’re doing a thorough job and hitting every spot equally to avoid streaking. Try not to get too much water spilling behind the siding itself since this can lead to mold and mildew later on. Spray with the nozzle down so that the water will naturally drip off and not get trapped.
Use a Simple Cleaner
When it comes to actually applying a cleaner to strip your siding of dirt buildup, a gentle approach is best. Try mixing two parts water with one part gentle laundry detergent or trisodium phosphate. Using a simple water and vinegar solution will also do the trick. You’ll be able to give your vinyl siding a sparkling finish without stripping it. Once you’ve mixed your cleaner, use a large brush and begin applying it to your siding. This time, you’ll be starting at the bottom and working your way up, being careful to do an even, thorough job. Use even strokes and take your time. It may seem like an endless task, but if you set yourself up with a pre-curated playlist or a few great podcasts to listen to while you clean, you’ll be able to make the work go quickly.
Don’t Use Abrasive Materials When cleaning your vinyl siding, it’s extremely important not to use harsh chemicals and abrasive tools like steel wool. Though vinyl is incredibly sturdy, it can also be damaged by the use of cleaners and brushes that are too harsh. While this might seem like common sense, many traditional household cleaners and products are formulated with chemicals that can lead to damage and discoloration on your siding. If you use organic cleaners that use minimal ingredients, you should be safe. It’s also fine to trust tried and true household cleaners, as well as cleaners that specifically target vinyl. Stick with gentle cleaners and trusted household products like Murphy’s Oil and Lysol, as well as bleach for spot treatment. Just make sure you don’t use too much of anything so as to avoid streaking or staining your vinyl siding. You can use brushes to scrub dirtier areas, as long as they don’t involve coarse bristles or anything that looks like it will leave a scratch. The important thing to remember is that you want to clean your siding without damaging its ability to do its job. That means being as gentle as you can possible me when it comes to the cleaning, spraying, and treating process.
Treat Mold and Mildew
Vinyl is a strong, weather-resistant material that will protect your home for years against snow, sleet, rain, and the changing seasons. However, like any material that’s consistently exposed to the outdoors, it will also fall prey now and again to moisture buildup resulting in mold or mildew. To avoid this or treat new patches, there are products on the market in wipe form or spray form that are created to attack mildew without hurting the vinyl. You can also use oxygen bleach as a spot treatment for specific stains. Always dilute your bleach, and in the same way you used your pressure sprayer to remove the initial layer of dirt, be careful not to apply too much pressure and to do an even job. Since you’re only applying this solution to targeted parts of your siding it shouldn’t take too long. After you’ve treated your siding, scrub each treated area with a gentle brush to make sure it’s setting in.