Bottoms Up! Clean Your Vinyl Siding From The Ground Up
Construction & Contractors
Vinyl siding offers ease of maintenance and resists stains, making it a popular choice for many homeowners. But easy maintenance isn't the same thing as maintenance free. Like any other siding, vinyl siding can develop unsightly spots, such as grass stains near the foundation or a rusty trail from that leaky pipe. Knowing how to clean your siding from the ground up makes your life easier and preserves the beauty of your home.
To keep your vinyl siding looking good, you will need to wash it once or twice a year. A general wash removes dust, pollen and surface soils that collect during the year.
You can purchase special vinyl siding cleaner from you local contractor or the hardware store, but if you prefer to use your own cleaners, there are several options.
- Mix one-half cup of powdered laundry detergent and two-thirds cup of trisodium phosphate per gallon on warm water to make an all-purpose cleaner for your vinyl siding, suggests RealEstate.com. Tri-sodium phosphate is a cleaner and degreaser that can be bought in your local hardware store.
- Mix one quart of white vinegar to seven quarts of water for general cleaning. White vinegar works as a degreaser and rinses clean. Apple cider or balsamic vinegar may leave a residue on your siding.
- Mix one-half cup of borax in a gallon of warm water.
- The Vinyl Siding Institute recommends all-purpose household cleaners, mixed to the appropriate strength, for routine cleaning of vinyl siding.
- Bob Villa recommends using a mixture of one cup oxygen bleach to a gallon of warm water to wash siding near plants, as this solution will not harm your lawn or plants.
- Long-handled soft brush
- Five-gallon bucket
- Garden hose
- Dust your siding with a broom to remove spider's webs, bits of grass and leaves and other surface dirt.
- Dip the long handled brush in the cleaning solution and scrub the walls with the solution, working from the bottom of the wall and working upward to the eaves. This helps prevent streaks from dirty water running down a dry wall.
- Spray down the wall with the garden hose to rinse away the dirt and soap. Hold the nozzle level with the house and avoid spraying on an upward angle, as this may force water under the siding. Work from the top downward. Work in sections and always rinse the wall before it dries to prevent soap and dirt from drying onto the siding.
Even the most careful homeowner faces some mishaps. Whether it is dirt and grime from yard work or little Johnny's impromptu mural behind his sandbox, you will likely need to spot clean areas of your siding on occasion.
- Identify the stain. That splatter of automotive grease poses a different challenge than the unsightly rust stains around the outside faucet.
- Select the right cleaner for the job. While your all-purpose cleaner may do the job, consider these options of tough stains.
- Mold, Mildew and Grass - Bleach, borax or vinegar all work to remove mold and mildew and prevent it from regrowing. Likewise, they are effective in removing those stubborn grass stains around the foundation of your home. Follow the proportions listed above.
- Grease - While white vinegar is an effective degreaser, you can also opt for all-purpose household degreasers.
- Rust - Look for a household cleaner that contains a rust remover. You can also mix one tablespoon of oxalic acid crystals with one cup of warm water to make a solution for removing rust stains on vinyl siding. If you choose to use oxalic acid, wear gloves and goggles, as it is caustic.You can find oxalic acid in hardware or automotive stores.
- Apply the cleaner with a soft brush.
- Scrub to remove the stain. For difficult areas, try an old electric toothbrush to scrub the stains from the creases in the siding.
- Rinse the area thoroughly.
- Repeat the procedure until the entire rust stain is removed.
If you have difficulty removing the stains on your vinyl siding, talk to your contractor about other options. He may be able to replace the section for you, or supply you with matching siding if you are up to replacing small sections on your own.
27 May 2015