If your house was built in the past 50 years, the chances are high that you have vinyl siding on at least part of it.
That’s a good thing because vinyl siding not only looks good, but it’s durable, it helps insulate your home and it’s relatively maintenance-free.
Unfortunately, because it’s an exterior product, your siding endures a constant onslaught of things that can affect its appearance, including airborne dirt and debris, bird droppings, spider webs that trap dirt and rust from the metal accessories around your home.
So, if there is one bit of maintenance you must do to your siding, it’s to keep it clean and looking it’s best.
The most important part of cleaning the siding on your home is choosing the right cleaning solution for the job. While your siding will not be damaged by most conventional household cleaners, using them on such a large area can get expensive.
- 1. Start with a Mild Solution: Use a mix of 70% water and 30% vinegar to get rid of the easy-to-remove dirt.
- 2. For Tougher Areas: add one-third cup of a powdered laundry detergent, two-thirds cup of a powdered household cleaner and one-quart liquid laundry bleach to four litres of water.
- 3. For the Really Difficult Spots: you can use household cleaners directly on the area to be treated. You can use household rust stain removers on rust stains on your siding.
While siding is durable, it can be scratched. Be careful not to use stiff brushes, steel wool or any other abrasive cleaning tools. A soft-bristle brush, sponge or soft cloth will all give you a good combination of cleaning power without abrasiveness.
Power washers may be used but are not recommended by some manufacturers. Be sure to test the washer on an inconspicuous area and keep pressure to a minimum.
- Make sure you keep rinsing off the cleaning solution so it doesn’t dry on the siding. If it does, it can leave noticeable streaks and residue, especially on darker siding
- Always clean from the top down to avoid having to re-clean lower areas
- You may want to protect the plants and grass around your home by using an environmentally friendly cleaning solution
So the bad news is that you will have to clean your vinyl siding sooner or later. The good news is that is probably all you’ll have to do to keep it and your home looking great for many years.