Fall is a great time to deep clean around the exterior of your home. This can include pressure washing the driveway, walkways and porches, washing the exterior windows, cleaning out the gutters, and finally cleaning your home’s exterior siding.
While there are several different siding materials on the market today this article is going to focus on vinyl and composite siding.
Daily accumulations of pollen, spider webs, bird and insect droppings, and road dirt, over time will build up causing your vinyl siding to become streaked, spotted and dingy. And, if your home is surrounded by trees, vinyl siding can quickly become a mold and mildew magnet. This type of siding is also at risk of discoloration from commonly used herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers. Even some products used for routine home maintenance including caulking materials, concrete sealants and paint, can mark and stain the siding.
Mold and mildew can easily be removed using a mixture of 70 percent white vinegar and 30 percent water. Small areas of mold and mildew can be hand cleaned, while larger areas may be better served by a portable sprayer.
General dirt, grime and bird droppings will need a stronger solution. Try mixing 1/3 cup powdered laundry detergent, 2/3 cup powdered canned household cleaner, a quart of bleach and a gallon of water. Apply with a portable sprayer and finish with a fresh water rinse.
For homeowners searching for an environmentally friendly cleaner, there are several good ones on the market. If you’re concerned about your landscaping, cover the areas with polyethylene tarps or plastic sheeting. Or use a solution of equal amounts of water to oxygen bleach; this will clean your siding without damaging any grass, plants, flowers or shrubs.
A pressure washer can be used but the pressure must be very low in order to keep the siding from being pitted or chipped. Often pressure washing vinyl siding is best left to the professionals.
Made from wood that is compressed and melded together with resins, composite siding is then treated with a chemical insect repellent and is available either pre-primed and ready to paint, or already finished in a wide variety of styles. As with vinyl, composite siding is very durable, but everyday dirt and grime can quickly build up keeping your composite siding from looking its best.
When cleaning composite siding always start from the top and work down. This is the most effective method, and since composite siding has a grain, it’s an easy way of ensuring you aren’t missing any spots. Cleaning with the grain is encouraged since it works to keep the panels from being scratched or damaged. It is also important to use either a low-pressure garden hose, low-pressure portable sprayer, or a soft bristle brush to avoid smearing dirt into the grain grooves.
Select a cleaning product that is designed for wood. You don’t want to introduce any abrasive powder-based cleaning products. It is important that the cleaning solution is not allowed to dry on the siding. That’s one reason professionals suggest working on one small section at a time. Scrub down an area, then rinse with fresh water. Again, pressure washing is not advised unless you have prior experience with this type of equipment.
While cleaning your siding did you notice you have a section of loose gutter? Or perhaps your window and door frames could use some attention. For all those exterior home maintenance jobs Closing Contractor can help. Please call us today at 864-326-2640 to schedule an appointment. Rather do it online? Then simply click here!