Vinyl siding is a versatile, beautiful cladding material for any home exterior. It offers the appeal of wood without the maintenance or worry of rotting, splitting or insect damage. Although it’s extremely durable, that doesn’t mean you never have to care for it. Maintaining your vinyl siding is easy, as long as you know what to do. Vinyl siding can accumulate dirt, grime and stains from weather, bird droppings and rust, and it’s also prone to discoloration due to insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Read on to find out how to care for vinyl siding to make sure your cladding looks good as new!
How to Wash Vinyl Siding
To wash your vinyl siding, you’ll need a soft cloth or long-handled soft bristle brush. For textured surfaces, use a soft bristle brush to keep the grooves in the texture free of stains. To prevent streaking, start at the bottom and work up towards the top of the house. Make sure to thoroughly rinse any residue as you go to prevent streaking.
Effective Vinyl Siding Cleaning Solutions
Vinyl siding generally only requires periodic cleaning with mild soap and water from a garden hose. You can also use the below cleaning solutions if you feel as though your vinyl siding needs more than soap and water. Always rinse off the solution thoroughly with water after removing the stain.
1. Small spots of mold and mildew can be removed with cleaners such as Windex or Fantastik.
2. If you notice bigger mold and mildew stains, combine 70% water 30% white vinegar for an all-purpose vinyl siding cleaner.
3. If your siding requires a stronger solution, mix one-third cup powdered laundry detergent, two-thirds cup powdered household cleaner, one quart liquid laundry bleach and one gallon of water.
4. There is an environmentally-friendly siding cleanser made by Simple Green that can be used manually or with a pressure washer. It’s specifically formulated for use on vinyl and aluminum siding, stucco, terracotta roof tiles and painted wood and can be used for your cleaning needs.
Can You Use a Pressure Washer?
Yes, you can use a pressure washer to clean your vinyl siding, just make sure to read the washer instructions carefully and check with your manufacturer. Some manufacturers advise against the use of pressure washers and some recommend a limited amount of pressure. If you get the go ahead from your manufacturer, make sure to hold the power washer at eye level and refrain from holding it at an upward angle as water could be driven behind the siding. Be careful when using a pressure washer around opening like windows and doors.
What Not to Do
Never use cleaners containing organic solvents, undiluted chloride bleach, liquid grease remover, nail polish remover, or furniture polishers or cleaners. These products can damage vinyl siding’s surface. Also avoid using highly abrasive scrubbers or steel wool, which can also cause damage to your siding.
While vinyl siding doesn’t require much maintenance, you still need to clean it periodically using the tips above. For more information about properly caring for your vinyl siding, refer to the Vinyl Siding Institute.