Vinyl has become the most popular type of siding due to its low cost and high durability. It is relatively easy to manufacture and comes in many sizes, colors, and textures. Because vinyl will typically last 20 years or longer, it must be cleaned regularly to prevent discoloration and staining. Vinyl is susceptible to dirt, grime, green algae, insect remains, mold, mildew, and many other contaminants.
How to Clean Vinyl Siding With a Pressure Washer
While cleaning vinyl siding with a pressure washer is much easier than scrubbing your entire home by hand, the risk of damage rises significantly. In contrast to a lot of videos out on the web, you should never use high-pressure or focused spray patterns when cleaning vinyl siding.
Using a low-pressure setting, you want to stand eight to ten feet away from the siding of the home. Avoid spraying upwards, as that can push water underneath the siding and dampen the underlying wood. Start by applying a cleaning solution that acts as a general-purpose cleaner and treats the home for algae, mold, and mildew. Some areas may require additional attention. Be sure to lightly scrub those areas with a soft bristle brush. Lastly, rinse the siding with fresh water.
It cannot be stressed enough; pressure washing vinyl can be risky. If you are inexperienced or have any doubts, your best bet is to hire a professional. A professional company will eliminate the risk of damaging your vinyl siding and save you the hassle of doing it yourself.
How to Clean Vinyl Siding Without a Pressure Washer
Pressure washers are complex and powerful machines. For the inexperienced, scrubbing vinyl by hand is a safe way to maintain it while preventing damage. Always use a soft-bristle brush preferably with a long handle for those hard-to-reach areas. Using a hard bristle brush will not only scratch the vinyl surface but also smooth out any texture on the panels.
For light stains caused mostly by mold or mildew, mix 70% vinegar and 30% water. For tougher stains, there are many commercially available products. Be wary of cleaners with organic solvents or undiluted bleach. Lightly scrub the siding starting from the bottom of the home and working your way up to prevent streaking. Be sure to rinse away dirt and grime as it comes loose. Keep in mind, while scrubbing your siding is safe and can improve its look, it’s not nearly as reliable or thorough as using a pressure washer.
Cleaning Vinyl Siding FAQs
Does vinegar kill mold?
White vinegar is a mild acid. It will not kill 100% of mold spores but can be effective for light stains on your siding.
How to clean vinyl siding high up?
There are several solutions to cleaning hard-to-reach areas on your vinyl siding, such as wand extensions and soft bristle brushes with long handles, but it’s best to hire a professional in these cases. An experienced technician will be able to safely and completely clean all areas of your vinyl siding.
How to prevent algae growth on vinyl siding?
Algae is mostly found in areas with a cool, moist climate with a lack of direct sunlight. The best way to prevent algae growth is to have the siding cleaned once per year.