Summer means enjoying your outdoor spaces with morning gardening sessions, afternoon barbecues with friends and family, and casual dinners al fresco. Spending this much time outside is great — and it also creates the opportunity to notice if the exterior of your home looks dull or dingy.
If you have vinyl siding, it’s extremely easy to spiff up the outside of your home! While vinyl siding does not require painting and is one of the most durable building materials on the market, it requires some routine and cleaning due to normal factors, such as:
- Exposure – After four seasons of leaves, snow, rain, pollen, bird and insect droppings, spider webs, and wind, you can bet there are some things to clean off your house.
- Stains – While the vinyl siding brands we use, such as those from CertainTeed, are designed to resist the most common stains (algae and rust), they may still occur over time and need to be cleaned off.
- Mildew – North-facing and damp parts of your home that don’t receive enough sunlight (think eaves and porch enclosures), tend to develop mildew when not regularly cleaned.
Cleaning your siding can also extends its life. Routine cleaning will get rid of pollutants before they discolor or damage the siding material. Cleaning also provides an opportunity to take a closer look for issues like small holes or gaps or loose boards, before they get out of hand. This can save you thousands of dollars later.
Additionally, a clean home exterior can enhanced curb appeal, which is of course, particularly important if you’re planning to sell your home.
How to Clean Vinyl Siding
The tools and techniques for cleaning your vinyl siding are easy to find and implement, respectively. Pick a sunny afternoon, put on your favorite music, grab a bottle of cold water to stay hydrated, and soon your home will look as beautiful as it did the first day your siding was installed.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Soft-bristle extension brush
- Nylon scrub pad
- Garden hose
Best cleaners to buy:
- Rust-Oleum Jomax House Cleaner.
- Scrubbing Bubbles Fantastik All-Purpose Cleaner.
- Home Armor E-Z House Wash.
Important Note: avoid injury when working with chemicals (cleaners) by reading all the instructions first. Always dispose of chemicals as described by the manufacturer.
How to clean vinyl siding
Safety first! Always have someone with you when using a ladder. Make sure you wear a sun hat. Use gloves when handling chemicals.
- Read the instructions prescribed by the cleaner manufacturer.
- Apply the vinyl siding cleaning solution with a soft-bristle cleaning brush, scrubbing the full length of each lap (the long boards that overlap each other).
- Prevent streaking and residue accumulation by starting at the bottom and work up towards the top of the house. This keeps the areas already washed wet until it’s time for the rinse. Otherwise, dried-on dirt and soap can be more difficult to remove.
- Use your garden hose to rinse off any residue on each section before it dries.
How to power wash siding
Power washing your siding can be faster and easier than scrubbing with a brush, although some manufacturers advise against it, and others recommend using a limited amount of pressure, so check their guidelines first. Here are a few tips if you decide to power wash instead:
- Make sure you are using the appropriate power washer and settings so you don’t damage your siding (if it’s too powerful you can take the finish off).
- You’ll want to avoid driving water behind the siding. Be sure that the stream is at eye level and pointed straight at the siding, not at an upward angle.
- Use caution when using a pressure washer around doors, windows, and plumbing connections.
What Not to Do
- Avoid highly abrasive scrubbers, steel wool, paint remover, straight chlorine bleach, paint thinner, spot removers, or liquid grease remover.
How Often Should I Clean My Siding?
To keep the exterior of your home looking its best and to give it many years of trouble-free protection, we recommend cleaning your vinyl siding once a year.
Wishing you a great rest of the summer with plenty of time to enjoy your home, both indoors and out.