installing vinyl siding

May 12, 2014

Spring cleaning tips: It’s easy to keep vinyl siding looking new

Just as your car gets dirty, so does your home’s siding. The good news is that if your home has vinyl siding, it’s almost as easy to clean as your car.

Imagine, with nothing more than a hose and water, mild soap and a long-handled soft bristle brush, you can keep your home looking its best.

Vinyl siding is the exterior cladding that demands the least amount of time and resources to maintain. And for time-starved homeowners, that’s one less thing to worry about.

Compare that to other exteriors:

•Brick requires re-pointing of mortar.

•Fiber cement siding requires periodic painting and caulking.

•Wood siding requires frequent painting and staining.

•Stucco requires painting and sealing.

Cleanings steps

First, mix the cleaning solution in a large bucket. Four gallons of water and ¼ cup of dish soap should do the trick.

Start at the top, and work your way down to prevent streaks; hose off a section to remove any loose debris, then wet your brush in the cleaning solution and scrub the siding.

Be sure to rinse away the soapy water before it dries, or it will leave marks on the siding.

Small spots of mold and mildew can be cleaned with common cleaners such as Fantastik or Windex.

Have stains? Try a solution of 30 percent vinegar and 70 percent water.

Be sure to spot check any general or stain-specific cleaner before using it on a large section of siding. After removing the stain, rinse thoroughly with water. Do not use cleaners containing organic solvents, undiluted chlorine bleach, liquid grease remover, nail polish remover or furniture polish or cleaners. They can affect the surface of the siding.

If using a pressure washer, be sure to keep the stream at eye level and pointed straight at the siding, not at an angle. That way, you won’t drive water in behind the siding, which could cause mold to develop. Also, use caution when using a pressure washer around openings like windows, doors and plumbing connections.

Take note that some manufacturers don’t want pressure washers used on their products at all. Others allow them, but have limitations on the amount of pressure and the cleaners that can be used.

Staff writer (2014 April 6) Spring cleaning tips: It’s easy to keep vinyl siding looking new. Retrieved on April 17, 2014 from telegram.com

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