How to Clean Vinyl Siding
Even though vinyl siding is the most popular choice amongst homeowners because of its durability, versatility and how resilient it can be, it does require some cleaning from time to time due to the accumulation of dirt, grime, mildew, and mold that has to be removed quickly.
Cleaning instructions usually come with the manufacturers manual and are often found on the warranty.
Luckily for you, cleaning Vinyl Siding is an easy job and there are various products that can be used to do it.
The Vinyl Siding Institute says that the best way to clean it is using a soft cloth or an ordinary brush. To help to prevent any striking you may star at the bottom and work your way to the top. A thorough cleaning means you must wash away any residue as you go.
Some good solutions that can be found in your household include:
Mixing water and vinegar, 70% water 30% vinegar, this is a deadly combination that removes mold and mildew. Another deadly combination is 1/3 laundry detergent, 2/3 household cleaner, 1/4 bleach, and a gallon of water, with this mixture you have to make sure that your children and pets are nowhere near you, you can use a fireman nozzle in your hose for a more effective spray.
Remember that working with this mixture, will require you to cover any vegetation you want to protect, bleach is deadly for plants, you may also want to wear a face mask, these ingredients mix together can be really dangerous should you inhaled for an extended period of time.
Now that you have your mix ready, you may start, one gallon of the mix will be more than enough to cover a 10 x 20 siding area. Once you applied the mixture to the siding, let it work out for five to ten minutes.
After that time has passed, you can use your garden hose to rinse the siding. Depending on how much mold and mildew there is, you may want to apply two or three coats of the mixture.
There are products like Simple Green that gives you an environmentally friendly cleaner that is made especially for Vinyl Siding, aluminum siding, terra cotta, stucco and painted wood.
Rust stains can be removed using products design to do so. General Household cleaners can be used on tough dirt and stains.
Cleaning Vinyl Siding is extremely easier with a pressure washer (if don’t own one, we’ll explain how to do it without one). To begin start by ensuring that the stream is an eye level and pointed straight to the siding and not at an angle so you don’t drive water behind the siding. Remember to be careful when using the pressure washer over doors and windows.
Try to avoid using any cleaner that has solvents, chlorine bleach, nail polish remover, etc, any of this products can damage the surface of the Vinyl Siding. Don’t use any abrasive scrubbers or steel wool, they also can cause damage to the surface.
However, if you don’t own a Pressure Washer, here is an alternative, The Vinegar Solution, just like the one above, but more thoroughly. Using this solution is much safer for the environment and does a better job at removing mildew, mold and mildew stains.
Vinager is the most effective way at getting rid of the mold and mildew on porous surfaces, however, the process is a bit more time consuming, here is a list of what you will need:
* Plastic container
* Rubber gloves
* Baking soda
* White vinegar
* Small scrub brush (for a more deep cleaning)
* Large scrub brush
Because you will be doing this by hand, and probably by yourself, a good way to tackle this pickle will be to divide the panels into sections, starting with the most visible ones and work your way to the less visible ones. Before you start, you may want to remove any foliage you have or to put a tarp on top if they can’t be removed, remember that vinegar kills plants just as easily as bleach does.
Take out your bucket and begin to play being at a Potions class back in Hogwarts, as mentioned before we are working with a 70% water and 30% vinegar. On the plastic container mix a paste of 1/4 water and 1/2 baking soda.
Now you have your potions ready or mixture, grab your ladder and go to the first sections you have determine the most important, start at the top of the siding, so the mixture that runs down will help losing up the dirt and mildew making your job a lot easier.
Be sure to wear your rubber gloves to prevent any damages to your hands from the mixture, use the large scrub to rub against the grain. Rinse your scrub brush, as dirt, mold, and mildew accumulate.
Use your baking soda paste for those tough stains you find. The baking soda abrasive nature will work to remove debris and stains, make sure you remove the paste after you finish with the stain.
There are some chemical cleaners that you can use
Is an Industrial cleaner that can be safely used on your Vinyl Siding, this versatile cleaner can be applied also to cars, floors, driveways. This cleaner is recommended when using a Power Washer because it doesn’t damage the grass or plants. This cleaner is powerful enough to clean your home thoroughly but safe enough to be used around your home.
This cleaner is recommended only for professionals it does not only cleans your Vinyl Siding, also decks, gutters, concrete, and awnings. This cleaner is suited for professionals in need to remove oxidized paint and removing black streaks from your siding.
Remember that if mold is left there for a long time it can leave permanent damage to the Vinyl Siding, giving your home a grimy look, leading most homeowners to wrongly paint over the vinyl. Insects are very comfortable makings nests near the mold in your vinyl siding, so make sure that you clean it regularly, no avoid any major expenses in the future.