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Home Maintenance  /  May 31, 2016

Maintaining Your Vinyl Siding

While vinyl siding is durable and very carefree, a little attention will keep it looking like new. With just a few household tools and some basic cleaning products, maintaining your vinyl siding can be part of your annual spring/summer cleaning duties. Handyman Connection of Boise has some suggestions to help make your job easier.

Why you should clean your vinyl siding

While it is important to keep your vinyl siding clean, the type of cleaning solution and method needed to clean your siding depends on a variety of circumstances. If your home is by heavy traffic, in shaded areas or below trees, your siding may need special attention. Moreover, the type of climate you live in can have an impact on the appearance of your siding. For example, if your live in a humid climate, there is a greater chance for mold or mildew to develop on your home’s vinyl siding. You might also observe a chalky-white substance on the surface of your siding. This is the normal process of oxidation, as the sun’s rays combined with oxygen break down the siding over time, producing the substance. However, a periodic cleaning helps to slow the process down, while removing grime, mold and mildew from surfaces.

Before you clean your siding

Planning a good day to clean your siding is important. An overcast or cool day is best, or even as soon as day breaks or as the sun is setting. Cleaning in the direct sunlight can leave spotting and staining on your siding.

Before starting, you may wish to cover any plants, decorative objects, patio furniture or anything metal such as fixtures and etched glass so your cleaning solution won’t damage them. Make sure all your windows and doors are shut. Then, using a garden hose, lightly spray your home sideways or downwards to rinse away dirt, dust and debris, avoiding the underside and seams of the panels where water can seep in and damage your walls.

Simple household cleaning solutions you can use

There are several types of cleaning solutions for the job. One solution that may help remove the chalky substance is five cups of white vinegar to one gallon of hot water. This can be sprayed on the surface. A more powerful solution consists of one quart of regular bleach, 2/3 cup powdered household cleaner, 1/3 cup liquid laundry detergent and a gallon of water, which can be mixed in a bucket and applied with a sponge. Avoid mixing vinegar with bleach.

Tips for successful cleaning

Using protective covering such as safety goggles and long rubber gloves, apply the solution in five to 10-foot sections so you can rinse it before it dries. Working from the bottom panel up to avoid streaking, clean the area with a soft-bristle brush and immediately rinse; however, if using the bleach solution, let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing. Building supply stores sell soft bristle brushes made to attach to poles that extend to 15 feet or more. This tool works well and allows you to reach hard places. It’s important to avoid using stiff brushes or abrasive cleaners because they can permanently damage your siding.

A word of caution

Cleaning your home’s vinyl siding is important; however, if you have to use a ladder to get to second or third levels, or if you have particularly difficult stains that you cannot remove, our craftsmen here at Handyman Connection of Boise are ready and willing to tackle the job for you. With years of experience and knowledge, we can help you with all your home improvement projects including maintaining your home’s siding. Give us a call at (208) 504-1235 or fill out a form to schedule a free estimate.

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