Widely used in home construction today, vinyl siding is a popular material choice due to its durability and resilience. It does require some routine care and cleaning, but luckily this is a fairly easy job.
As recently as 2011, 33% of new single-family homes in the U.S. were sided with at least some vinyl. (U.S. Census Bureau) Despite its widespread use, there is still some confusion in the minds of homeowners regarding exactly how to clean and care for vinyl siding.
One of the best ways to get started is to equip yourself with a soft cloth, an ordinary long-handled, soft-bristle brush, a bucket for your cleaning solutions and a garden hose at the ready. One tip to remember: starting at the bottom helps to prevent streaking and re-rinsing. Work your way up towards the top of the house. It is important to thoroughly rinse away any residue as you go.
Cleaning Solutions to Consider
Depending upon the current condition of your siding, there are multiple options for home-made cleaning solutions.
• For grimy conditions with lighter mold and mildew, try an all-purpose mix of 70% water to 30% white vinegar solution.
• For tougher jobs, try a stronger solution by mixing together one-third cup powdered laundry detergent, two-thirds cup powdered household cleaner, one-quart liquid laundry bleach and one gallon of water.
• If you are concerned about damaging your landscaping, concoct a vinyl siding cleaner solution of one gallon of water mixed with one cup oxygen bleach in a bucket. The oxygen bleach will clean the vinyl without damaging your landscaping.
• For the toughest stains like grease, oil, rust or ink – general household cleaners like Fantastik, Lysol or Murphy’s Oil Soap should do the trick and are safe for vinyl siding.
Finally, your local hardware store or big box home center has multiple pre-mixed solutions as well. Many attach to a garden hose for nearly fool-proof mixing and application.
Pros and Cons of Power Washers
These marvels of meticulous cleaning can be tricky when used to clean vinyl siding. It makes the job incredibly easy, however some manufacturers advise against it. Still others recommend only a limited amount of pressure. With loose or poorly fitting siding, you run the risk of detaching and damaging panels.
Be cautious. Make sure that the water-stream is at eye level and pointed straight at the siding, not at an upward angle. Do not drive the water flow into gaps and overlaps. Avoid getting water behind the siding. Also use caution when power washing near openings like windows, doors, and plumbing connections.
New Siding from Tri County Windows & Siding
If you have given a cleaning project your best effort and the results just are not what you hoped for, consider starting over with a new siding quote from Tri County Windows & Siding. We are dedicated to your satisfaction with the entire selection and installation process, and estimates are always FREE.