Spring cleaning your home should include cleaning vinyl siding along with your gutters, and windows. Additionally, take time to conduct a thorough inspection of your home’s exterior. Conduct cleanings and inspections annually. We recommend spring because winters can be rough on your home and give you time to prep your home for the summer.
If you have chosen vinyl siding for your home, you are in the right place. Vinyl is the most popular type of siding due to its ease of upkeep and low cost. Let’s go through how to clean and maintain your siding!
Cleaning Vinyl Siding
First, you may be new to vinyl siding, whether buying a new home or having it installed for the first time. If you’ve had wood siding or concrete fiberboard before, please pause and take your time reading how to maintain vinyl siding. Material differences mean different maintenance requirements.
What Supplies Do I Need For Cleaning Vinyl Siding?
Grime and wear will dictate how deep of a cleaning you will need to perform. The great thing about vinyl siding is that, at the bare minimum, you can hose off your home. A simple wash down will remove pollen dust, dirt, and debris. However, if mildew or algae is beginning to form, you are going to have to step up your cleaning regiment.
Feazel will provide you with the supplies you need so you can tackle everything you need in one trip to the home improvement store. We’ll also provide you with several types of DIY solutions that you can easily make at home to keep your siding looking new.
- A soft-bristled brush with a handle that extends to reach the higher-up places on your home
- Five-gallon bucket or a pump sprayer
- Garden hose
- Spray nozzle
- Cleaning solution- homemade or store-bought
Solution for Washing Vinyl Siding
Feazel suggests using one of three different levels of solution. What level you need depends on how much cleaning your vinyl siding needs. From light mildew to heavy cleaning to a sensitive solution to protect your landscaping. Each of these features easy-to-find products that won’t take scouring the far ends of the internet to source.
The basic solution will remove light stains and mildew from your vinyl siding. If you find that this doesn’t quite get the job done, move up to the aggressive cleaning solution.
- Distilled white vinegar
- Mix at a 70% water to 30% vinegar ratio
Aggressive Cleaning Solution
- One-third of a cup of powdered laundry detergent (such as Tide, All, or Arm & Hammer)
- Two-thirds cup of powdered household cleaner (like Bar Keepers Friend or Comet)
- One quart liquid laundry bleach
- One gallon of water
Watch The Landscaping Solution
- One gallon of water
- One cup of oxygen bleach (such as Oxiclean or Seventh Generation)
How To Clean Your Vinyl Siding
Now that you have all of your supplies, conduct a quick inspection of the exterior of your home. Remove any empty bird nests, vacated wasp nests, cobwebs, etc.
Divide and conquer. You don’t want to look at the whole house as one piece to clean. Section it off in a way that works for you. Start at the bottom of the siding and work the soft-bristled brush horizontally until you reach the top of the siding. Rinse off the solution and any grime from the top down. Repeat as necessary and then move on to the next section.
Do Not Use These Products On Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding has different properties than wood or concrete fiberboard. The differences mean that not all cleaning products or methods will work for your vinyl siding. Below you will find a list of do not use when cleaning your home’s exterior.
Steel Wool or Abrasive Products
Steel wool will scratch your siding at a minimum. Whatever you’re trying to remove may finally go away but in exchange for a scratched patch of siding. Avoid using anything too rough.
Undiluted bleach can pull the color out of clothes in the blink of an eye. It will cause issues with your vinyl siding. Only dilute bleach when cleaning the exterior of your home.
Liquid Grease Remover
If you have a great stain on the exterior of your home, do not use a liquid grease remover. Instead, use this solution.
- 2 tbsp of liquid dish soap (such as Dawn)
- 1 gallon of warm water
- Dissolve the soap in the water
- Clean the great spots with a nylon scrub brush and rinse
Can I Power Wash My Siding?
There are some things we suggest leaving to the experts and power washing is one of them. Vinyl siding can easily gouge. Power washing can force water into places that will create mold or mildew problems. If water gets into your insulation, it loses its effectiveness. Moisture in your attic or walls can lead to mold and mildew growth. If you must power wash your siding, hire a professional.
What Regular Maintenance Do You Recommend For Vinyl Siding?
Vinyl is a durable siding material and low maintenance. In terms of regular maintenance, there are two things you need to do.
- Clean your siding annually
- Inspect it annually
How Can I Protect Vinyl Siding?
There are measures that homeowners can take to help preserve their vinyl siding. Some of the common mistakes that you may not think about having to do with your hobbies, landscaping, or future plans for your home.
Grill A Safe Distance From Your Siding
One thing your vinyl siding does not like is heat. By grilling or smoking too close to your home, you run the chance of melting or warping your siding.
Keep your grill more than 10 feet from your home.
You know the sound every time you hit a rock or a stick when mowing the grass. Those rocks or sticks are thrown someplace. Mowers can throw rocks at speeds above 170 MPH. If those rocks come into contact with your siding, you can expect a ding, dent, or crack. Clear any rocks, branches, or anything throwable from your outdoor space.
Additionally, it may benefit to create a space between your siding and your mowing area by building flower beds that extend 2 feet (or more) away from your siding. Increase the distance between the area you mow and your siding to eliminate thrown rocks.
Some household products may discolor your vinyl siding. Be aware of pesticide and herbicide usage near the exterior of your home. The same goes for stains and sealants. If using any of these products, be aware of overspray, wind, and working too close to your siding.
Painting Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding may fade over time in the sun. Some homeowners try to preserve their siding for another year or two by throwing a coat of paint on it which is fine. However, repainting can introduce a larger problem. Certain siding isn’t geared for dark colors so if you have a lighter siding and paint it dark, you may run into warping due to heat transfer.
Trees and Shrubs- Keep Them Trimmed!
Trees and shrubs can grow and push themselves behind your siding. This is a problem because it can create a bridge to your siding effectively allowing insects easy access to the areas behind your siding. Keep your trees and shrubs pruned to prevent damage due to your landscaping.
Vinyl Siding is a Low-Maintenance Favorite That Can Enhance Your Curb Appeal
Vinyl siding is a cost-effective way to enhance the curb appeal of your home. The low-maintenance properties make it no surprise that it is a popular choice for siding material. If you are having siding issues with your home, please consider scheduling a free consultation with our team of siding professionals. Feazel has been proudly serving our communities for over 30 years. Contact our offices in Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, Indianapolis, and Raleigh today!
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