To scrub or not to scrub…

Vinyl siding is a durable material that has the ability to withstand harsh climates and lasts for many years. But taking proper care of this can be a chore, especially if you’re not aware of the correct way to clean it.

Vinyl siding will, over time, gets dirty and need to be cleaned to maintain it’s original luster and color vibrancy. If you have the proper equipment, you can attempt to clean it yourself.  However, it is recommended you employ professional home exterior cleaners or contractors to ensure that it is done correctly. If you do not make sure the washing is done properly, you could end up with damages that can cost into the thousands of dollars to repair. There is a powdery coating on vinyl siding that is a type of oxidation. Trying to remove this coating can damage and discolor the siding.  Do not try to scrub or remove this coating because the end result could do more harm than good.

You also will want to make sure that you wash from the bottom up. If you clean from the top down, chemicals and detergents can dry on the house and leave streaks. If you’re washing the vinyl siding by hand, you’ll need to be careful when you are working on the upper levels of the house from a ladder. Besides the obvious safety risks from working on a ladder, you also need to make sure that the ladder is not resting against a vulnerable section of the siding or the aluminum siding areas. Resting a ladder on these parts can leave unsightly and damaging bends and indents on the siding.

When using a power washer, it is recommended that you use one that has the ability to put out at least 4 gallons of water per minute at less than 1000 PSI. Some consumer-grade power washers only put our 2 gallons of water per minute, so make sure you read the fine print and purchase the correct kind. Using a power washer that doesn’t put out at least 4 gallons per minute can result in double the time spent on cleaning your home’s exterior. Also, using a power washer with a pressure greater than 1000 PSI can cause damage to the siding. Do not spray the power washer underneath or in between the siding. Water and chemicals that get into these areas can cause mildew and result in damage that is very expensive to remedy. Make sure any detergents and chemicals used were specifically designed to clean vinyl siding. Otherwise, you may not end up with the results you were expecting.

Household chemicals such as bleach and ammonia are dangerous and should never be mixed together. Make sure you rinse the chemicals off of the vinyl siding after a power wash with a low-pressure rinse. Again, start from the bottom of the house and work your way up to avoid streaking, taking care to rinse evenly.

Cleaning your vinyl siding properly will ensure that your house will look great for many years to come.

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