Like anything that is exposed to the elements, vinyl siding tends to get dirty over time. Dust and dirt collects in the wood grain and can discolor the siding. Bugs and bird waste results in ugly stains. The beauty of vinyl siding is that it can be restored to its original look by simply cleaning it.
The Vinyl Siding Installation Manual recommends the following cleaning practices:
- Use an ordinary, long-handled car washing brush. This brush has soft bristles, and the handle fastens onto the end of the hose. It allows the siding to be washed just like a car. Avoid using stiff bristle brushes or abrasive cleaners, which may change the gloss of the cleaned area and cause the siding to look splotchy.
- To remove soot and grime found in industrial areas, wipe down the siding with a solution made up of the following:
- 1/3 (0.08 liter) cup powder detergent (e.g., Fab®, Tide®, or equivalent powder detergent)
- 2/3 cup (0.16 liter) powder household cleaner (e.g., Soilax®, Spic & Span®, or equivalent)
- 1 gallon (3.8 liters) water
- If mildew is a problem, use the solution previously mentioned, but add 1 quart (0.95 liter) liquid laundry bleach. Mold and mildew can also be removed with a solution made up of 30% vinegar and 70% water.
- When washing down the entire house, start at the bottom and work up to the top in order to prevent streaking.
Follow the precautionary labeling instructions on the cleaning agent container. Protect shrubs from direct contact with cleaning agents.
Vinyl siding can also be cleaned using a pressure washer. Be sure to use a nozzle with a wide spray pattern. Nozzles with narrow spray patterns tend to clean the siding unevenly and leave your siding looking streaky. Be careful around windows and doors or other protrusions. Pressure washers can loosen or remove caulking and could cause leaks.
Be careful when working off of a ladder. Try to maintain three points of contact at all times.
Periodic cleaning keeps your siding looking new and allows you to get the most out of your investment.