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How to Clean Vinyl Siding

how to clean vinyl siding

After some time, your vinyl siding will start to look somewhat unappealing. One way to avoid reaching this stage is to occasionally clean it before all the mold, mildew, dirt, dust, rust, and grease start to accumulate. Not only cleaning it regularly is a good idea, but it will also still be at a stage where the dirt will easily fall off, as opposed to waiting when some of it is harder to scrub off.  

Generally, all you will need to clean your vinyl siding is a bucket, a garden hose, soft bristle brushes, microfiber cloths, and your multi-purpose liquid cleaner. If the siding is already at the stage that rolling up your sleeves and giving it a good scrubbing doesn’t work, then you may have to resort to something more robust. If it has not reached that stage yet, here are four steps to how you can clean your vinyl siding. 

Step 1: Inspection

Before you start the process of cleaning your vinyl siding, you will need to inspect that the siding has no damage. These will include siding that is no longer intact and have come loose. Look for cracks and vinyl that have chipped off. Clean the damaged area and repair them with a caulk gun to seal the crack. These are important so that the water and cleaning solutions do not build up in those areas causing mold and mildew to grow.

Also, make sure that all the windows near the siding are closed and that there are no cracks wherein water could seep in and leak water into the house. If there are plants beneath the siding, soak the plants first, this will allow the chemicals to be diluted faster, causing only minor damage to the plants. Double-check that if there are any outside electrical outlets, they are securely closed. Also, unplugged any lights that may be outside.

Since you will be using a cleaning solution, it is advised that you wear comfortable clothes, rubber gloves, safety eyewear, and closed shoes. Pick a day that the sun isn’t too hot. To avoid accidents, remove items that may get in the way and make sure that small children and pets are not playing nearby. If you are using a ladder to reach the top, have a friend or family member hold the ladder. If you will be doing the job all by yourself, inform somebody that you will be outside and tell them that all the windows must be closed until you are finished.

can i clean vinyl siding

Step 2: Washing

Start by hosing down the vinyl siding. This will wash off some of the dirt, leaving you with what needs to be scrubbed. Now it is time to get your ever-reliable multi-purpose cleaner. If you don’t have one, you can purchase them at the local grocery or hardware. In a bucket, mix warm water and your cleaner, or if you are targeting the growth of mold and mildew, you can combine 70% water with 30% white vinegar. Both of these solutions will do. If you tried using the water and cleaner solution and it didn’t work, try the water and vinegar next. Avoid cleaners containing chlorine, bleach, acetone, or cleaners meant for cleaning the furniture.

Step 3: Scrubbing

Using a soft-bristled brush and your preferred solution, start scrubbing away the dirt from the siding. Most prefer cleaning from the top and work their way down, but it is a better idea to start at the bottom and work yourself along the sides. This will allow you to see parts of the vinyl siding that needed extra scrubbing that you may have missed. If you started at the top, you may miss covering all the areas and will have to go back to the top. 

Step 4: Time for the Hose Again!

While the solution is still wet, hose down the area that you already scrubbed before moving to the next section. Make sure that your hose has a spray to penetrate areas that your brushing missed. Other than a bristled brush, you can also use a broom with a long handle. Avoid using anything abrasive because it could damage the vinyl material on the siding. The brush will help reach the lower parts of the siding and the broom for the higher, harder-to-reach areas. Use a soft cloth to dry the vinyl siding once you are done. Microfibers are highly recommended because they will not scratch the siding. You will need a lot to cover the entire siding. 

Are Water Pressure Hoses Advisable for Vinyl Siding?

Another alternative to cleaning vinyl siding is by using water pressure hoses. You need to be very careful and not use it at the highest pressure because it will damage your siding. Make sure to ask the siding manufacturers to know what and what you can not use on the vinyl. If you can use water pressure, be careful that you do not spray the eaves of your roofs. These could damage the vents installed or have water get into the inside of the roof, causing the wood to rot from the inside.

Vinyl siding can be vulnerable to other elements. There are bird droppings, insects, and even spider webs that can add to grime accumulation. Outdoor fertilizers and insecticides used for your garden can also factor into the vinyl siding’s overall discoloration. Then there are splattered driveway sealants, motor oils, and paints that may have been left unnoticed and hardened. All of these elements can make cleaning your vinyl siding a frustrating task.

Just like the maintenance of your windows or regularly checking that your roof vents are functioning, making sure that your siding is clean needs to be done periodically. Not only will cleaning keep your home presentable, but the solutions will aid in repelling insects and other living elements from growing.

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