Vinyl siding offers a durable and affordable option for home exteriors. While this type of siding can last long, exposure to the elements can affect its appearance. Dirt and grime can build up on vinyl siding, which can make it look more worn. Mildew and mold can also grow on it due to exposure to moisture. Rainy conditions can make your vinyl siding muddy and provide an ideal environment for mildew and mold growth. Windy conditions can blow dirt and other debris onto your siding, where it can accumulate without regular cleaning.
The appearance of your vinyl siding can directly affect your home’s curb appeal, so you should try to keep it looking its best. When it’s time to clean your vinyl siding, there are a few different ways to do so depending on how dirty it is or what kind of buildup it has. It’s important to use supplies and equipment that won’t do any damage to your siding. To help you keep your home exterior looking as good as new, we offer the following guide to cleaning vinyl siding. Keep this information in mind when your siding is looking dirty, moldy or worn.
What to Use to Clean Vinyl Siding
The products you use on your vinyl siding should be gentle while also being strong enough to remove grime, mold and other debris. You should avoid using any kind of harsh cleaning solutions, such as undiluted chlorine bleach or organic solvents. You should also avoid using cleaning tools that could scrape or damage your siding, such as steel wool or brushes with rough bristles.
Knowing how to make a vinyl siding wash is helpful when you plan to wash your home exterior. If you don’t want to use commercial products, you can gather a few household items to use instead. White vinegar, dish soap, laundry bleach and laundry detergent are examples of cleaning products that can be used to clean your vinyl siding. Just make sure you safely combine ingredients to make a cleaning solution. You can mix 70 percent water with 30 percent white vinegar to create an all-purpose cleaner, for example.
Can you use Dawn to clean vinyl siding? As long as you dilute this dishwashing detergent in warm water, you can use it to clean your siding. Dawn and similar dishwashing soaps are able to eliminate greasy stains, dirt and other debris without causing damage to your siding. You can also use commercial cleaners that are made for cleaning home exteriors.
Knowing how to clean vinyl siding with vinegar can help ensure that your exterior remains in good condition. You just need to mix vinegar with water, then apply it to your siding. You can then wipe away dirt and other debris with gentle cleaning tools, such as a microfiber cloth or soft-bristled brush. When you’re done wiping, rinse the vinegar and water solution off your siding.
How Do You Clean Mold Off Vinyl Siding
Mold can easily grow on vinyl siding when it’s been humid or rainy out, especially on areas of your siding that don’t get as much sunlight. Mold growth might not be as much of a health hazard when it’s on the outside of your home, but it can negatively affect your home’s appearance. Patches of mold growth are unsightly and can ruin your home’s curb appeal. Having mld growing on your vinyl siding can also make it harder to sell your home if you’re planning to do that in the near future.
Tackling mold growth on vinyl siding sooner rather than later is important, so that it doesn’t spread. You can remove mold from your siding using a cleaning solution made of white vinegar and water. Just mix 30 percent vinegar with 70 percent water, and you’ll have a solution that can get rid of lighter amounts of mold on your siding. You might need to use a stronger cleaning solution if you have heavier or darker mold growth on your siding. In this case, you can use a mixture containing laundry detergent, powdered household cleaner, laundry bleach and water. Just mix one-third cup detergent with two-thirds cup cleaner, four cups bleach and 16 cups of water. After applying your cleaning solution, use a broom, soft-bristled brush or soft cloth to eliminate mold growth.
If you’re thinking of using a commercial cleaner to remove mold, just make sure you check the label carefully. Avoid using commercial cleaning solutions that contain harsh ingredients that could damage your siding.
How to Clean Vinyl Siding with a Pressure Washer
Pressure washers or power washers provide a way for homeowners to clean off several layers of grime and dirt from siding. You might think about doing this if your home exterior hasn’t been cleaned in a long time or if high pollen counts or strong storms have made one or more sides of your home dirty. Knowing how to clean vinyl siding with a power washer first involves finding out if it’s safe. Power washers release high amounts of cleaning solution and water onto siding, which could lead to damage in some cases. Your vinyl siding might end up cracking or showing other signs of damage after power washing if you’re not careful.
Before you use a pressure washer on vinyl siding, you should always check with the manufacturer. Vinyl siding manufacturers should be able to let you know if power washing is a safe way to clean your home exterior. If you can safely use a pressure washer, you should make sure you follow the instructions on any equipment you rent or buy in order to do clean your siding. Depending on your manufacturer, you might only be able to use limited amounts of pressure. You should also ensure that you’re using safe cleaning solutions with pressure washing equipment and thoroughly rinse your siding to prevent residue from building up on it. When pressure washing your siding, spray it at eye level instead of upward to prevent water from getting behind your siding.
Keep in mind that power washing is not a routine way to clean vinyl siding. You might only need to pressure wash your siding once a year or less often. When you use other methods to keep your vinyl siding clean on a regular basis, you might not even need to pressure wash it at all.
How to Clean Vinyl Siding Without a Pressure Washer
When you want to clean your vinyl siding without using a pressure washer, just use a cleaning solution and a broom, soft-bristled brush or soft cloth. You’ll also want to keep a bucket and your garden hose handy. Your cleaning solution can go in the bucket, so that it’s easy to carry around the exterior of your house. The hose can be used for rinsing off the cleaning solution. Apply your cleaning solution to one section of your siding, then wipe it down. When you’re done wiping away grime, dirt or other debris, rinse that section with your garden hose. You can then move onto the next section to clean it.
To clean higher areas of your siding, consider using a broom with a longer handle. You can use a brush, cloth or broom with a shorter handle for the lower sections of your vinyl siding. You can start at the top of your exterior and work your way across before moving down to the next row of siding to help prevent streaking from occurring as you clean. You should also rinse each section as thoroughly as possible, so that you won’t have residue on your siding.
You should clean your siding as often as needed to keep it in good condition. Depending on local conditions and the surrounding environment, such as wind, pollen counts and storms, you might need to clean frequently or just a couple of times per year.
Whether you use a pressure washer or wash manually with a brush, broom or cloth, you can look forward to having vinyl siding that looks clean and new again. Just make sure to avoid using abrasive or harsh tools and cleaning solutions, so you won’t need to have your siding repaired. Keep in mind that vinyl siding does need to be replaced eventually, even with routine cleaning. If you need vinyl siding services for your home, Energy Kingston Exteriors can help. Please contact us for more information on our vinyl installation services.