Vinyl siding is amazing. It has truly lead to a revolution in how today’s homes look and are maintained. The U.S. Census Bureau says that vinyl siding has been the most popular exterior cladding since 1995 and that shows no signs of changing in 2018. It lasts much longer than wood or metal and requires almost no maintenance.
However, just because it’s immensely popular does not mean most people know how to maintain it. Vinyl siding is not totally resistant to accumulating dirt, pollen, bird droppings and spider webs so it should be cleaned occasionally to maintain its finish and keep it in excellent condition.
Luckily, cleaning vinyl siding is not very difficult. You can use products you probably already have in your home to do the job well.
What cleaner should I use?
One great cleaner can be made by combining 70% water and 30% white vinegar. This is a natural and low-cost option that most people can make within their home.
Another cleaner that can be used is comprised of 1 cup oxygen bleach mixed with 1 gallon of water. This will effectively clean your siding without damage to your landscaping.
Also, Simple Green makes an environmentally-friendly solution for cleaning vinyl siding as well.
What kind of tool should I use?
I would encourage you to use a soft cloth or a long-handled soft-bristle brush, as specified by the vinyl siding institute. Many people assume a pressure washer is a good option, but we do not recommend it.
Why not a pressure washer?
I’m not saying you can’t effectively use a pressure washer to clean siding, I’m just saying there are many ways to screw it up. Pressure washers can push water up under the siding getting the membrane and wood beneath wet. If they are set too high, they can also tear the siding right off the wall itself.
If you insist on a pressure washer, contact your vinyl siding manufacturer for recommended pressure and procedures to ensure you do not unnecessarily damage your siding.
What things should I avoid?
Do not use any vinyl siding cleaners that contain undiluted chlorine bleach, liquid grease remover, furniture polish, nail polish remover or any organic solvents. These products may compromise the integrity of the vinyl siding’s surface.
Also, avoid using abrasive tools such as steel wool or a stiff-bristle broom. These can cause damage to the siding which will shorten the life of the siding.
Maintaining siding is very easy and if you follow these simple steps, you can be sure you will enjoy many more decades of “like new”, fresh siding protecting your home.