Vinyl Home Siding Maintenance | Maintaining Your Vinyl House Siding
Vinyl is one of the most popular siding choices in the US, and the reasons are simple. It's economical, looks good, and maintenance is easy. All you have to do to keep your vinyl siding looking clean and bright and 'like new' is to wash it and give it a brief once-over at least once a year. Vinyl siding is often promoted as maintenance-free, but if you want to extend the life of your investment, there are a few things to put on your to-do list.
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Maintaining Vinyl House Siding
Wash it! You should hose it off once a year, but you'll make life easier for yourself if you take the time to clean it every once in a while. That way you won't have to scrub hard to remove a year's worth of built-up, caked-on dirt.
Treat it well! Vinyl is resilient, but that's no reason to be careless. Don't lean ladders, bicycles, or yard tools up against it, or it might scratch or break.
Keep heat sources away from it! It's plastic, and it can melt. Keep grills, smokers, patio torches, and other hot items a good distance from your siding.
Cleaning Vinyl Siding
It's a simple process, with the right tools. If you've kept your siding relatively clean and it doesn't require any elbow grease, a spray hose can remove most of the grime. If it's a little grungier than that, you might need a solvent and a soft-bristled brush, like a car-washing brush. Ordinary dish soap or laundry detergent will suffice you can add 1/3 cup of laundry detergent and 2/3 cup powdered household detergent, like Spic and Span, with a gallon of water. If there is mildew, you can mix white vinegar with water and wash it, or make a mild solution with 1 quart bleach, 3/4 gallons of water, and a little bit of detergent.
Remember, always start washing at the bottom of the siding and work your way up, and then rinse from the top down. This will keep dirty water from streaking and staining your siding.
If you really feel it's necessary, you can use a power washer. You can rent one at your local home improvement store. With a power washer, you want to be very careful. Never point it up always aim it at eye level or downward. If you spray upward, you may get water behind the panels. When moisture is trapped behind the vinyl panels, your troubles get very real, very quickly.
Some simple steps to wash your vinyl siding:
Make sure your windows are closed! You don't want to spray water into your living room.
Angle the spray away from doors and windows.
Cut the power to any outside lights that may get wet.
If you have shrubbery or flowers below, and you're using bleach or other cleaners, protect them with plastic.
Work from the bottom up when washing, and the top down when rinsing.
Don't take a break after washing but before rinsing! You don't want your cleaning solution to dry while on the siding.