With spring quickly approaching, it is a great time to start your spring cleaning list. From painting shutters and staining your deck to washing windows, the tasks to clean and update your home this season can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, you may not be familiar with the proper techniques to clean your vinyl siding. Considering it is an important part of your home's curb appeal and value, the exterior siding deserves a gentle and effective cleaning. Using this guide, you can begin your spring cleaning list using these natural tips to wash your vinyl siding.
Not So Technical Techniques
Using a pressure washer is the most effective way to clean your vinyl siding since it covers a large area in a short period. Of course, there are many different makes and models so finding the best one can be challenging. To get started, focus on the PSI, or Pounds per Square Inch, or water pressure.
For regular cleaning at home, 1,300 to 1,600 is best. This is sufficient pressure for removing surface residue, dirt, and debris on decks, driveways, and your vinyl siding. Higher levels of pressure may loosen and force water under your vinyl, leading to damage and potential mold growth. To protect the siding from excessive force, stand a few feet away from the siding and hold your nozzle at an angle when spraying.
Be sure to remove debris from your gutters and use caution when spraying the area. Excessive force may loosen gutter seams and increase the risk of leaks in the future. The vinyl areas under your roof, or soffit and fascia, contain small ventilation holes that are appealing homes for dirt and moisture. High levels of water pressure will force water into these holes, leading to leaks, water damage, and mold.
Although not very technical, these simple techniques are key to spring cleaning your vinyl siding.
Visit your local home improvement store and you will find hundreds of cleaners for your siding. While effective and convenient, they contain chemicals that may be too toxic for surrounding landscaping and the environment.
Creating one of these cleaning solutions for your vinyl is a safer option:
Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, is a common ingredient that you probably have on hand. This gentle powder creates a strong carbonation when it encounters moisture on a surface. The bubbling and fizzing quickly dissolves dirt and debris from your vinyl siding.
In an outdoor pump sprayer, combine the following ingredients:
- 3 gallons of water
- 3 cups of baking soda
Pump your sprayer handle and douse one section of vinyl at a time. Allow the solution to soak for 10 minutes before washing with your pressure sprayer.
Mold, mildew, and algae affect homes all across the world. While dangerous to your health, it severely damages your home's exterior if left untreated. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to remove.
Chlorinated bleach is an effective and fast way to kill mold, mildew, and algae, but it also negatively affects the environment and surrounding landscaping. In addition, it irritates your skin and eyes while causing breathing problems. To remove the harmful, unattractive mold, mildew, or algae, consider borax.
This powdery substance offers a strength that is comparable to bleach, but lacks the harmful chlorine. To use borax on your vinyl siding, complete the following steps:
- Combine 3 gallon of water and 2 cups of borax in an outdoor sprayer and mix.
- Douse the solution on patches of mold, mildew, or algae.
- Allow 30 minutes to soak and kill the growth before rinsing with your pressure washer.
- Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub off thick patches.
Using harsh chemicals and toxic cleaners while spring cleaning your vinyl siding is not necessary. Using these simple techniques and natural cleaning solutions, your home's exterior will be ready for the season in a safe manner.