Simple and Easy Ways to Clean Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding epitomizes low-maintenance exterior home material. Carve out just one day a year to clean the sides of your entire home and you can enjoy a lifetime of advanced weather protection and elevated curb appeal. Despite its strength, style, and substance, vinyl siding does have a weakness: the elements.
Everything from pollen to bird droppings to spider webs to rust can dull and fade the sides of your home. Grimy mold and mildew can grow in shady, moist areas. Insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers can alter the siding color. Home exterior products like caulking, driveway sealant, tar, motor oil and paint can spill or splash, leaving stubborn stains.
The good news: a little bit of time, water, oxygen bleach and elbow grease gives your home’s exterior years of a “like new” appearance and trouble-free protection. Gather your garden house, grab your gallon-sized bucket and garner your grit. Discover King Quality’s simple and easy ways to clean vinyl siding.
Scan the surroundings and check the conditions.
Before you start soaking, scrubbing and spraying, walk around the house to check for any loose vinyl pieces, cracked siding or other points vulnerable to water damage and mold and mildew growth. Close any windows and doors and inspect any caulking and glazing around the windows vulnerable to water seepage.
Spray to remove dirt, grime and stains.
Grab a garden hose with a spray nozzle or a pressure washer set on a medium pattern (too narrow of a pattern can damage the siding) and hose down the vinyl to remove surface dirt and grime.
Some vinyl siding manufacturers advise against pressure washing while others recommend a limited amount of pressure. Check to see if your manufacturer recommends a certain way to clean vinyl siding.
Stand a few feet from the house and clean in small areas at a time. Split your siding into 5-foot x 5-foot sections and test the pressure washer in those areas to make sure it works without damaging the paint or finish.
Spray from bottom to top, keeping the nozzle moving in a side-to-side motion with a steady pace to prevent streaking.
An upward spray can force water to run behind the siding, penetrate the insulation and cause water damage and mold and mildew growth. (The same problems can happen in the corners and crevices where the boards end. Plan to wipe them clean of any misted off-spray with a dry towel.)
Rather than blast the water straight on, hold the nozzle or tip of the pressure washer at a 45-degree angle to the window and trim. Spray down on the siding in the direction of the overlapped joints to better lift and remove dirt from beneath the vinyl.
Create a siding and plant-friendly cleaning solution.
At King Quality, we never clean vinyl siding with harsh chemicals. Instead, we recommend mixing one gallon of water and one cup of oxygen bleach into a bucket. Unlike regular chlorine bleach, oxygen bleach allows you to clean the vinyl without damaging your siding materials or landscaping.
The siding and plant-friendly solution saves you the time of pre-soaking soil in garden beds, the risk of plants absorbing harsh chemicals, the hassle of damaging vinyl siding and the danger of breathing in fumes from chlorine bleach.
Scrub with (or spray on) the cleaner.
Use a pump sprayer to wet the siding with the cleaning solution and let it soak for ten minutes. Dip a soft cloth or long-handled, soft-bristle brush into the cleaner and gently scrub the vinyl. Use the same bottom-to-top motion as the water spraying. And rinse the solution with a garden hose from top to bottom —often as you go—to avoid uneven drying and spotting.
For tough-to-remove dirt, grime and stains, add the cleaning solution to a medium-pattern pressure washer and follow the same spray motion (bottom to top) and rinse motion (top to bottom). Clean vinyl siding one section at a time until you finish the job.
A pressure washer saves you a lot of the time and energy of cleaning vinyl siding by hand. (Just double check with the manufacturer and make sure it doesn’t damage your siding.)
Clean and dry the corners.
Grab a dry towel and wipe down residue on the inner and outer corners of the siding, which are most susceptible to extra moisture and water damage.
Let us do the dirty work.
Don’t have the time or energy to clean vinyl siding? Hand the job over to the pros. Reach out to King Quality today and discover the royal treatment for you and your home.
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