Vinyl siding has gained popularity as a top choice for siding material in the United States. It offers durability with a clean and versatile look. As a bonus, it will not rot or flake like other siding materials. However, it can take on a dull and dirty look over time. Fortunately, cleaning vinyl siding is an easy task to do yourself. Here is how to rejuvenate the beauty of your vinyl siding.
In preparation for cleaning, there are a few things to do before you begin:
- Remove outdoor furniture, wind chimes, toys or other items that may become damaged
- Close all windows and doors.
- Turn off power to any outside electrical units such as outdoor lighting, electrical outlets etc.
- Cover plants such as shrubs or flowers to prevent damage to them.
- Inspect siding for signs of mold or mildew. If you’re unsure if it’s mold, place a drop of bleach on it. If it turns white, it’s mold; if it stays dark, it’s dirt.
Tools To Get The Job Done:
- Laundry detergent
- Deck brush or push broom
- Old towels
- Sponge mop
- Large buckets , five gallon or larger
- Pressure washer, optional
- Ladder and Additional Person
*This is important as a ladder can become slippery and pose serious injury risk
- It will be easiest to work around your house in 4-6 foot sections.
- Fill a large bucket with 4 gallons of water and mix in ¼ cup of laundry detergent.
- Gather your cleaning tools, either a brush or mop depending on the level of dirt you are looking to remove. Areas with higher exposure to the elements may take a bit more effort to scrub. Either way, you will want something with a long handle.
- Start by using the hose to spray away any loose dirt and debris. If you have a pressure washer available, that can be used in place of the hose and will likely decrease (or completely eliminate) the amount of scrubbing needed. Be careful not to force water behind the vinyl panels through the seams. That could cause mold and mildew problems that are much more laborious and costly to resolve.
- Starting at the top, dip the chosen cleaning tool into the soapy water and begin scrubbing the dirt and debris from the siding. Continue working your way down to the bottom of your section.
- It is important to start at the top, as the dirt will drain downwards. If you were to start at the bottom, then you would have to re-clean the bottom later to remove the dirt that drips down from the top.
- Use the hose to rinse away the soapy water. Be sure to remove all the soap before it dries or it will leave a mark on the siding.
- Continue on, repeating steps 4-7 for each section.
- If you are concerned about putting chemicals into the ground, there are several eco-friendly detergents available to choose from as well.
- Bleach can be used to remove mildew build-up present on many houses. Mix a mild solution of 1 part bleach with 5 parts water and remove by scrubbing away with a scrub brush.