How to Clean Your Vinyl Siding This Spring
Vinyl siding is one of the most popular siding materials available for homeowners. It’s durable, resistant to damage and fading, and looks great. It does, however, require some routine cleaning and care to keep it looking its best and prevent long-term damage.
Check out this guide to help you spruce up your vinyl siding this spring:
Getting the Area Ready
Before you start cleaning, you need to prepare the area. Make sure you:
- Close all doors and windows.
- Turn off the electricity to any outside outlets and electrical units including lights.
- Cover plants, shrubs, and flowers.
- Move outdoor furniture and toys away from your cleaning area.
- Mask metal, etched glass, or delicate light fixtures with plastic.
- Look for mildew or mold so you can pay special attention to those areas while you’re cleaning. If you find a suspicious spot but aren’t sure what it is, do the bleach test. Dropping a spot of bleach on mold will make it turn white, while dirt will stay dark.
- Inspect your vinyl siding for damage. If you find any, it’s important to repair it before cleaning to prevent making problems worse.
Cleaning Your Vinyl Siding
Make sure you have these tools on hand before you start cleaning:
- A hose and/or pressure washer.
- A soft brush, a broom with old towels, and/or a sponge mop.
- A large bucket (about 18L).
- A cleaning solution.
You can make a cleaning solution at home by combining water with components like vinegar, detergent, or all-purpose cleaner. If you have landscaping you need to be careful around, you can use oxygen bleach or another environmentally friendly cleaner.
It’s important to avoid cleaning products containing organic solvents, liquid grease remover, undiluted chlorine blech, nail polish remover, furniture polish, or highly abrasive scrubbers like steel wool. These can scratch or corrode the surface of your vinyl siding, causing costly long-term damage.
When you’re ready to start cleaning, follow these 4 steps:
1. Prepare your cleaning solution and get your tools ready – whether a mop, brush, or broom wrapped with an old towel. Whatever you use, make sure it’s long enough to give you the reach you need!
2. Use your hose to spray loose debris and dirt off your siding. Spray downward at a 45 degree angle so you don’t get water behind your vinyl siding. Trapped moisture can cause siding to bulge, damage framework and insulation, allow mold to grow, or lead to electrical damage later on.
3. With your cleaning tool, scrub dirt and debris away. You should clean from the bottom up to stop soap and dirt from running down onto areas you haven’t cleaned.
4. Rinse from top to bottom, making sure to get rid of soap before it can dry and leave marks.
You’ll find it easiest to work in 1-2 metre sections around your house, repeating steps 2-4 as you go.
Staying Safe While Cleaning Your Vinyl Siding
As you’re cleaning, remember to make safety your number one priority:
- Wear eye protection to guard your eyes from loose and flying debris.
- Always remain at least 2 metres away from electrical masts and powerlines.
- If you’re using a pressure washer, never direct it at yourself, another person, an animal, or windows. Doing that can cause serious injury or damage.
- Don’t use a pressure washer while standing on a ladder. The kickback can cause you to lose your balance, fall, and hurt yourself.
If your house is too big for you to tackle yourself or if you have stubborn stains that just won’t come off, contact a professional contractor. They can diagnose any issues and clean your siding efficiently, effectively, and safely.
Quality Exteriors takes pride in delivering durable home vinyl siding products and superior service to customers throughout Southern Ontario. Contact us to schedule a free in-home consultation.
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