A vinyl siding is almost maintenance free. But like all external materials, you have to clean it once in a while to ensure its longevity and durability. You’ll need to clean off bird and insect droppings, dirt, grime and dust if it has to retain its aesthetics for years.
Here is a step by step guide of best practices that should be adopted for cleaning vinyl siding.
You will be spraying water and detergent all around your house so a few precautions are required. Close all the doors and windows properly and switch off power to all external electrical fixtures and outlets. Cover your plants and flowers to protect them from chemical-laced washing solutions. Remove outdoor furniture and garden accessories from the vicinity. Make a thorough inspection of the siding and identify areas with thick grime and dust or mold and mildew for special attention while cleaning.
Keep all the tools of the trade handy. You wouldn’t want to start looking for them right in the middle of the cleaning process. These include large buckets, water supply, laundry detergent, sponge mops, broom, old towels and soft bristled brush. A hose is of course needed, but power wash only in case of stubborn dirt, grime and mold.
Mix a bucket of water with 1/4 cup of detergent and have a cleaning head with a long handle. Fixing a towel to a broom with duct tape should work. Start from the top of the house and work around in sections of about 5 ft at a time. If you are using a power hose, it will eliminate the need for scrubbing away the dirt with the broom.
After you have rinsed all the sections with soap water, hose all around thoroughly with fresh water. Be very careful about this step. Missing spots will result in soap stains on the vinyl panels after it dries out.
A word of caution if you are using a power hose – do not turn it on very close to the vinyl siding. Instead, spray water forcefully from a distance. Water that accumulates between the panels will become a breeding ground for hard to remove mold and mildew.
Repeat the process in sections of 5 ft from the top until you are done.
Cleaning of Mold and Mildew
This requires special mention. Mold and mildew are hard to remove so if you have noticed a few stains treat them immediately. First take the cleaning solution used previously and add a quart of bleach for every gallon of solution. Spray liberally from the bottom to the top and allow the solution to sit for 10 minutes. Scrub the siding with a long handled brush to dislodge any mold that is visible.
Wash thoroughly with water from the top to the bottom and your vinyl siding should be sparklingly clean by now.
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