Its long-lasting durability is just one reason why vinyl siding is such a popular choice among homeowners. The sturdy exterior handles harsh weather with ease, and it is resistant to direct sunlight, which makes it an efficient and cost-effective material. Although this power material is known to last for decades, it still needs a bit of maintenance along the way. While vinyl panels will hold up to most issues quite well, they do have to be cleaned from time to time. Cleaning vinyl siding will keep panels looking their best and increase their lifespan.
Fortunately, cleaning vinyl siding is a fairly simple process. Almost anyone can do it effectively and easily, without any specialized equipment – other than a ladder and a brush.
Collect Your Cleaning Supplies
You can not begin the cleaning job without having all the necessary supplies. Luckily, the list of items you will need to clean vinyl siding is fairly small. It is easy to get what you need from a local home improvement store, or even some general stores.
1. Cleaning Brush
The main tool that you will want for the job is a long-handled, soft-bristled brush—this is what you will do all the washing with. It will look similar to a push broom, and will make it easier to reach large sections of siding effectively. If you have family or friends helping out, make sure to get several of these brushes to speed up the job.
2. The Cleaner
When it comes to choosing a cleaner, there are quite a few available options. If you do not want to mix up your own cleaner, you can go with a bio-degradable vinyl cleaner, which you should be able to buy at most home improvement stores.
However, if you do not mind getting your hands dirty and mixing up a cleaner yourself, you can make a DIY solution for less money.
- Light Duty Cleaner: To create a light-duty cleaner, mix together seven parts water to three parts white vinegar. That is all you need to remove light mold, mildew, and discoloration. This mixture should work well on your home, and you will not have to worry about doing damage to anything nearby. Best of all, it is a natural solution and does not pose a risk to anyone. The only downside is that you’ll have to deal with the vinegar smell as you wipe down the house.
- Heavy Duty Cleaner: For heavy discoloration or mold, you’ll have to rely on household cleaners to get the job done. First, add a gallon of water to a large bucket. Then, toss in a third cup of powder laundry detergent, two-thirds of a cup of household cleaner, and one quart of liquid laundry bleach. This solution will smell strong, but it will do a thorough and effective job at cleaning heavier stains on your vinyl siding.
3. A Ladder
Unless you live in a single-level home, you probably will not be able to clean all the siding off of the ground. Use a ladder if sections of your home will still be out of reach with even a five- or six-foot handled brush.
If you only need to get an extra six feet or so off the ground, it makes sense to go with a step ladder, because it will be more convenient to work from. If you need to reach even higher than six feet, you will likely want to invest in an extension ladder instead, to make sure you can reach all of the siding on your home.
For safety measures, make sure the ladder is durable and can hold your weight—and anyone else’s weight who will be using it—without a problem.
How to Clean Vinyl Siding
Dip the brush in the cleaning solution and scrub the upper portion of the siding first, working your way down to the ground as you go. Use a heavy back-and-forth motion to scrub away any dirt and grime. After you scrub one section of your home, rinse it off with a hose sprayer or a garden sprayer. Continue around the outside of the home until all the sections are scrubbed completely.
It might take a few days to complete the job, but cleaning your vinyl siding will prevent mildew and mold from developing, You only have to clean vinyl siding a few times per year to keep it in good shape. This will extend the life of the covering overall, and it will also save you money in the long run.