Vinyl siding is one of the most popular options in modern homes. Vinyl siding is durable and long-lasting, but it still requires occasional cleaning and maintenance. This guide will cover the key points homeowners should know about vinyl siding maintenance.
Washing and Powerwashing
When it comes to routine maintenance, mild cleaning is all that's needed to keep vinyl siding looking like new. Wash vinyl siding with water and soap or mild detergent. Scrubbing with a soft cloth or soft-bristle brush will restore areas with visible dirt or mild staining.
If parts of your siding are caked with heavy dirt or severely stained, power washing may be required. When power washing vinyl siding, avoid angling the spray upward so that water isn't forced behind the siding. Keep the sprayer level and read your power washer instructions before use to determine the appropriate PSI setting.
The Effects of Heat
Particularly hot climates present challenges for vinyl siding. Siding in direct sunlight may be subject to heat and UV radiation damage. Siding damage from sunlight first appears as mild discoloration in the material. Over time, you may notice an effect called "chalking", where a fine layer of dust appears on vinyl siding. In severe cases of heat damage, vinyl siding may start to crack or melt.
Failing to address siding heat damage will impact your home's energy efficiency. Cracked or melted siding panels can create gaps where moisture or pests can enter your home. Call a siding repair professional if you notice visible signs of heat damage to assess the condition of your siding and options to prevent these issues.
Mold and Mildew Prevention
Houses in damp climates are more susceptible to siding mold infestations. This problem develops when mold spores land on siding and are nourished by condensation in the air. Mold appears as fuzzy or moist patches on the siding and is usually green or brown in color. Mold on siding can spread into the frame of your home and cause significant structural damage.
Managing plant growth near your siding is one of the best strategies to prevent mold and mildew. Remove any vines or moss from your siding as soon as possible, and keep nearby trees and shrubs trimmed back. If mold is already present on your siding, try adding diluted vinegar or household cleaners like window cleaner to your normal cleaning routine. Siding care experts have specialized tools and equipment to restore siding with severe mold growth.
Vinyl siding has low maintenance requirements, and you can avoid most siding issues with mild cleaning. Talk to a siding expert if your siding needs heavy-duty cleaning or shows signs of mold or heat damage.