Tips for Cleaning Siding

The most recent complaints received in the village office pertain to soiled/stained siding on houses. Please take a walk around your property and check your siding to ensure
that it isn’t covered with a build-up of greenish gray mildew and mold. Typically this occurs on the north-facing side and can be easily cleaned off with the proper supplies and equipment.

Cleaning Vinyl Siding
Cleaning vinyl siding is one of the easiest types of pressure washing projects, but certain steps should be taken to ensure the work lasts for an extended period of time. One of the misconceptions about pressure washing houses covered with vinyl siding is that a simple cleansing is all that’s required. When the main reason for cleaning the house is to remove mildew, a mild solution of 1 quart of bleach, ¾ of a gallon of water and a small amount of detergent should be used. Scrub the areas with a soft-bristled, long-handled brush. If scrubbing with a brush is going to be too much work, you can wash your siding with a power washer, which can be rented at a local home improvement store or other equipment rental business. Most homes can be pressure washed with a 2200 psi or higher washer.

To keep vinyl siding looking new for a longer period of time, a wax mix should be added to the cleaning process which will help the vinyl resist the growth of mildew as well as reduce the amount of dirt that sticks to the siding. Adding the wax into the cleaning process will save you money and help your home win the battle against dirt, algae and especially mildew. It will also protect the vinyl siding from the elements of nature. Think of it as if you were applying wax to your car to protect the finish. You wouldn’t want to skip that step for too long or the finish will start to look discolored and everything that touches it sticks. The same thing happens to your home.

Cleaning Aluminum Siding
You should maintain your aluminum siding by annually hosing it off and by cleaning any surface stains, such as grass stains, with a non-abrasive cleaner. A good hose or pressure washer can make your aluminum siding look like new if you tend to it annually. Mix together 1/3 cup of laundry detergent with six gallons of water and you’ve got yourself a cleaning solution that will wash away most dirt and grime. Use a soft-bristled brush, clean the siding well, and then hose it off. When using a pressure washer, though, make sure you’re using low pressure, or the aluminum will dent.

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