Tired of the old, dirty siding? Want to keep your new siding looking bright and vibrant? While dirt and even algae or mold can build up on the outside of your home over time, you can clean your siding relatively easily. From what to use to how to get the best results, this simple step-by-step guide will help you clean your siding in no time.
How To Clean the Siding on Your Home
Understanding Different Siding Materials
Before diving into the cleaning process, you need to identify the type of siding on your house. While vinyl is the most popular, other options include aluminum, fiber cement, and wood, among others. This process will work for most types of siding but is primarily for vinyl house siding.
Gather Cleaning Supplies
Next, you need to gather a few supplies before starting the cleaning process. Most importantly, you will need either a garden hose with a spray nozzle or a pressure washer.
Also, have a bucket and either a soft-bristle brush or sponge handy in case you need to scrub away stubborn dirt or stains. You may also need a ladder to reach the upper portions of your home.
You will also need some type of soap or cleaner. There are a number of siding cleaners on the market, but you can also use any regular liquid dish soap or laundry detergent. Avoid powdered soaps or harsh chemical cleaners, as they can scratch or damage your siding.
Most commercial vinyl siding cleaners come in a bottle that attaches to your hose or pressure washer. If you are using laundry or dish soap, you will need a separate attachment to mix in the soap while spraying.
Also, make sure to take proper safety precautions before you start cleaning your siding. Follow manufacturer instructions and warnings on cleaning products. You should always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from debris and cleaning solutions.
If you need to use a ladder, make sure it is properly stable and have someone hold it in place when you are on it. While pressure washing, keep the spray nozzle several feet away from the siding to prevent damage.
Rinsing the Siding
Start by thoroughly rinsing the vinyl siding with the garden hose or pressure washer. If you are using a garden hose, use the highest pressure setting. However, use the low-pressure setting on the power washer.
Then rinse the siding thoroughly. Start at the top and work your way down to prevent streaks. While you want to remove loose dirt and debris, you do not need to get the siding completely clean.
You can also take this time to spray down your gutters, downspouts, and the soffit and fascia along the roof edge as well.
Spray the Siding With Soap
Next, you need to spray the siding with soap. If you are using a commercial product, connect the container to the hose and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you are using dish or laundry soap, fill the sprayer attachment with the soap and attach it to the hose.
Then spray down the siding with the soap, starting at the top and working across and down. The siding should be covered, but not saturated with soap. Lastly, spray a little soapy water into a bucket to make scrubbing the siding easier.
Scrub the Siding
Using a soft-bristled brush or a sponge, scrub the siding to remove any remaining dirt, algae, or mold. For stubborn stains or dirt, dip the brush or sponge in the bucket for added cleaning power.
Again, start at the top and work across and down until your entire siding is clean. For wood siding or vinyl or fiber cement siding that has a wood-grain texture, scrub in the direction of the grain. This will help prevent scratches and damage.
For tough stains, consider using a vinyl siding cleaning solution specifically designed for tougher grime. Alternatively, mix water and white vinegar in equal parts and apply it to the stained areas. Allow the solution to sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with the brush or sponge.
Rinse Away the Soap
Once you have scrubbed the vinyl siding, thoroughly rinse it with clean water. Rinse away the soap and check that all areas are clean and free of grime. If necessary, repeat the cleaning process in specific spots.
Dry Your Siding (Optional)
For a more polished finish, wipe the siding with a clean, dry cloth. This will prevent water spots and help keep your siding looking vibrant for longer.
This is especially true if you have hard water. The minerals in the water can dry on the surface of the siding and leave white, chalky spots.
Alternatively, you can use a leaf blower to push water off the siding. Work from the top down to prevent blowing water into the siding seams.
Why You Need To Clean House Siding
The main reason to clean your siding is to keep your house looking clean and vibrant. But there are a few added benefits of taking the time to clean the siding on your house.
Extends the Lifespan
Cleaning your house siding regularly helps extend its lifespan. By removing dirt, debris, and harmful substances, you minimize the risk of long-term damage and deterioration. This maintenance measure can save you from the need for costly repairs or premature replacement of your siding.
Improves Energy Efficiency
Certain types of siding, such as vinyl, can accumulate dirt and grime that block ventilation and insulation. By cleaning your siding, you ensure proper airflow and insulation, which can help improve your home’s energy efficiency. This, in turn, may lead to lower energy bills and a more comfortable living environment.
Cleaning your siding provides an opportunity to inspect it closely. By doing so, you can identify any signs of damage, such as cracks, loose panels, or areas in need of repair. Catching these issues early allows you to address them promptly, preventing further damage and associated expenses.