01 Aug How Do I Clean My House’s Siding?
After the siding contractors have done their job, you can expect many years of beauty and durability from your home’s vinyl siding. Cleaning it on an annual basis will help extend its life and reduce your replacement costs.
Start with an Inspection
The time when you clean your siding is also a good time to check it for damage and age-related wear. Look to see if there is any siding that does not seem to be properly attached. Check carefully to see if there are chips, cracks or bulges in your siding. Finding those signs early can make it easier to repair while avoiding costly full replacements.
Regular Cleaning Instructions
In most cases, it is possible to clean your siding thoroughly using warm, soapy water. Adding a half a cup of trisodium phosphate, which is available at grocery stores and hardware stores, can increase the solution’s power to clean. If you cannot find trisodium phosphate, a third of a cup of powdered laundry detergent can help as well.
Divide the siding into ten-foot sections and concentrate on one at a time. Begin by scrubbing the siding with a soft brush attached to a handle for proper reach. Go from bottom to top to avoid streaks. Rinse often to keep grime from building up during the job.
Cleaners like oil soaps or non-abrasive cleansers can be used to sop treat tough stains or dirt. These are often effective against stains like crayon, grass and grease.
Do not use hard brushes or abrasive cleansers. These can scratch your siding, making it more prone to staining. You should also avoid harsh cleansers like undiluted bleach, solvents or household furniture polish. These all contain ingredients that can damage your siding, reducing its life.
Should You Use a Pressure Washer?
A pressure washer can make faster work of cleaning your siding. However, some siding manufacturers do not recommend them, as they can damage some siding. Look at manufacturer instructions to see whether a pressure washer is safe.
If you do opt for a pressure washer, use a low amount of pressure. Keep the stream of water at eye level and straight ahead. If you apply water pressure at an angle, it can cause water to find its way under the siding. Be careful when using a pressure washer around doors and windows and delicate fixtures like plumbing connections.
With proper maintenance, you can expect as much as 50 years of useful life from your vinyl siding. Making siding cleaning one of your annual jobs means it will last longer and look better, protecting your investment in your home.