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Cleaning Vinyl Siding – What Not to do! Pros & Cons

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Discover proper techniques used to clean vinyl siding from a licensed siding contractor. Simple to follow instruction on how to clean vinyl siding the right way- limiting damage!

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									Cleaning Vinyl Siding – What Not to do! Pros &
                     Cons




Cleaning Vinyl Siding Made Easy
Vinyl siding is one of the easiest ways to go if you want an exterior that is easy to clean.
Cleaning vinyl siding often includes little more than a pressure washer or a soapy
bucket of water and elbow grease. Choosing which cleaning method is really up to the
individual homeowner, though most agree that the soapy water and elbow grease
method is the best way to go. Either way, cleaning vinyl siding is a breeze.

Which method is best for my home?

When choosing the method of how to clean your vinyl siding, you really need only look
at two options. One is pressure washing the vinyl, and the other is by hand. The vinyl
siding really determines which one you should go with. If the vinyl is well done, and the
corners, creases and seams of the vinyl are done properly, you can likely clean using a
pressure washer. If you have many creases and poorly done corners, you need to do it
by hand. The reason for this is because a pressure washer will usually be powerful
enough to get into the creases of the siding and wet the wooden parts underneath, if
your homes exterior walls doesn’t have a protective vapor barrier between the siding
and the walls sheathing. This can lead to mold and other serious problems. You have

Article written by – Michael Martin http://www.mbmcarpentry.com C 2010
to be careful either way you are cleaning vinyl siding, because even a water hose can
shoot water behind the siding if you are careless.

How do I clean my vinyl siding with a pressure washer?
The key to cleaning vinyl siding with a pressure washer is to use the right solution. The
commercial vinyl siding cleaners are great, but household dishwashing liquid mixed
with water is just as good. Regardless, you want to make certain you are not using
bleach. Bleach is loaded with toxins that will kill your plants, shrubs and trees quickly
when the water seeps into the ground, and also can eat away at the protective coating
layers of your vinyl siding. Oxygen bleach is better if you must use bleach on bad stains
or mildew.
Begin by spraying the vinyl siding in sections of 2 to 4 feet at a downward motion,
never, I repeat never spray upwards at your siding, you’ll risk water seeping in through
behind the siding. Do not move on to another section of vinyl siding until you rinse the
current one. This will leave ugly patches if the solution dries before rinsing. You will
clean your siding from bottom to top, taking careful precautions to spray at 45 degree
downward angle. Also, you want to avoid direct spray from the pressure washer, direct
spray can seep into the cracks and crevices easily. Shoot away from the edges of
windows and doors to avoid seepage as well.

How do I clean my vinyl siding by hand?

This is considered the safest way to clean vinyl siding because it is the least intrusive on
the crevices and seams. You can set your water hose to the low setting so you are not
using a direct spray on the vinyl. While this is good, it does mean that you will be
cleaning vinyl siding the old fashioned way – by hand. No worries though – vinyl
siding is super easy to get clean. Get that soap filled bucket (the same as used with the
pressure washer above) and a nice extend-arm soft brush and get busy!
Cleaning by hand is similar in most ways to pressure washing. You will wet the section,
work from bottom to top, and then rinse at a 45 degree angle. You can use a ladder and
traditional soft brush, but an extend-arm is much easier when cleaning vinyl
siding. Take special care around windows, doors and seams and you will be just fine.
Regardless of your method of cleaning vinyl siding, you will find that it is easy as can
be. No other form of housing material comes close, and that is one of the many
reasons that vinyl siding is so popular.


Article written by – Michael Martin http://www.mbmcarpentry.com C 2010
Article written by – Michael Martin http://www.mbmcarpentry.com C 2010

								
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