How to Properly Clean Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding has risen to the forefront in today’s siding market for a reason – it’s more durable than many other exterior building materials, resisting wind and hail, standing up to moisture, and providing energy-saving benefits wood and aluminum siding cannot. Vinyl siding is owner friendly and requires very little maintenance – it will never need to be sanded, refinished, or repainted.

However, dirt and mildew can accumulate on vinyl siding, reducing your home’s curb appeal and causing potential damage to the siding that can shorten its lifespan. Following these essential tips once a year can keep your siding clean and maintenance-free for years to come. 

Use a pressure washer. When used properly, pressure washers can be the easiest way to remove bird residue and general grime from vinyl siding. Keep the nozzle about ten feet from the surface to avoid gouging the siding, and work in ten-foot, horizontal sections, using caution to avoid spraying water underneath horizontal lap joints. If you don’t own a pressure washer, rentals can be found easily for a relatively low daily fee. 

Use a cloth or brush. If you don’t feel comfortable using a pressure washer or don’t wish to rent or own one, a much cheaper alternative is using a soft cloth or bristled brush and some cleaning solution. Work in ten-foot sections from the bottom of your house to the top, rinsing each section as you go to avoid streaks. 

Find a Solution That Works for You

Once you’ve determined your preferred method of removing grime, choosing an effective cleaning solution can reduce the amount of elbow grease needed to make your siding shine again as well as prevent other residue from accumulating.

Use baking soda and vinegar. No, you’re not performing a science experiment – a 70/30 mixture of water and white household vinegar can remove even the toughest of exterior grime. For those problem spots, scrub with a mixture of baking soda and water; you’ll want to add just enough water to a cup of baking soda to make a thick paste and retain that fine, gritty texture. 

Mix up your own vinyl siding wash. A mixture of one gallon of water with one cup of oxygen bleach can make an effective vinyl siding cleaner and tackle even the toughest mildew spots. Alternatively, your existing laundry soap and everyday household cleaners can be used as well – try one gallon of water, one cup of laundry soap, and ⅔ cup of TSP (trisodium phosphate) or household cleaner.

Try readymade cleaners. There are many vinyl siding and house cleaning solutions on the market, all of them promising superior cleaning capabilities. Some can be used in conjunction with a pressure washer, while others are designed to be applied with a brush. Make sure to mix all concentrated vinyl cleaners as directed on the bottle. 

Whether you’re pressure washing or scrubbing with a store bought or homemade solution, take care to cover and protect surrounding landscaping. Following these simple steps will ensure that your home’s exterior keeps its curb appeal year after year. 

Reach Out to Tri County Windows & Siding

Need more information on how to care for your vinyl siding, or wondering whether it’s time to finally replace it? Reach out to Tri County Windows & Siding for all your home exterior needs. 

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