care and cleaning of vinyl siding

You probably chose your vinyl siding because it’s so easy to care for. That may be true, but putting it up and forgetting about it won’t exactly give you the results that you desire. To keep your siding looking as good as new, a yearly cleaning is in order. Don’t grumble! Think of those homeowners who are scraping, sanding, and painting, and you’ll be able to wield your scrub brush with a smile.

Scrub It and Forget It

All that you need to keep your siding clean is a brush and bucket. Just fill a bucket with warm water and add just enough dish soap to make it foamy. Dish soap is ideal for your siding because it won’t hurt your surrounding plants and grass. Also, the de-greasing agent makes short work of most grime. Start at the bottom and work your way up the wall. This may sound counterproductive, but it stops streaks. When the sudsy water rolls down the wall, it won’t streak the siding that’s already wet and soapy. Use your brush to whisk across each strip of siding in a back and forth motion. Provided your siding isn’t extremely dirty, you shouldn’t need to apply much pressure.

If you don’t like ladders, invest in a long handled car-washing brush. These are made to wash trucks and RV’s and usually have telescoping handles. If you have a multi-story house, you might be stuck with that ladder, but it’s worth it to clean by hand. Pressure washing can work for you, but you need to take care. If you use too much force, you can push water behind the siding where it can rot the wood. Make sure that you use a lower setting. Also, don’t blast straight upwards from the ground. It can loosen strips of siding. Use your brush as much as you can.

What If I Have Tough Stains?

The most common stains to appear on vinyl siding are mold and rust. If you have hard water, you’ll probably see rust around your spigot and near flower beds where water has sprayed on the siding. Fortunately, rust can be easily removed with household rust removers, such as Rust-Out or CLR. Follow the directions on the product. For stubborn stains, try a nylon mesh dishwashing pad to gently scrub. Never use steel wool, as it can worsen the problem of rust. Mold is most easily removed with bleach. Make sure to cover the grass or any nearby bushes or plants with a tarp. Dilute the bleach three-to-one with water, and use a rag to apply the bleach water to the mold. It should come off easily, but if it’s stubborn, the nylon scrubbers work well in this situation as well.

It’s true that vinyl siding is easy to take care of. As long as you spend a little time once a year giving it some TLC, it’ll stay beautiful for years to come, keeping your property value high!

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