Siding is one of the most visible parts of your home’s design. It creates an impression, being one of the first things visitors see. Clearly, having clean siding is ideal, but what’s the best way of going about it? What is the best method for cleaning siding? Stick around, for we certainly have some suggestions.
The Troubles of Cleaning Siding
Siding poses a few unique challenges when it comes to keeping it clean. It is exposed to the elements all day every day, 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. It can really take a beating from rain, snow, solar UV radiation, airborne dust and debris, pollen, bird droppings, and mold or mildew spores. With so much going on, it is easy to see why siding gets dirty so quickly. White vinyl siding is particularly prone to showing signs of wear.
The sheer amount of grime buildup is not the only reason cleaning siding is difficult. Depending on the size of your home, the siding may extend three stories high. This makes cleaning by hand difficult and even dangerous. While pressure washers are excellent at cleaning surfaces that elevated, pressure washing siding is a sure way to damage it.
Pressure washing siding is a bad idea for two reasons. The force behind a pressure wash actually forces water up underneath the panels. This can cause vinyl planks to pry away from the building, loosening them or even blowing them off. If the water doesn’t dislodge the siding, it will hide between the siding and the wall, becoming an ideal breeding ground for mold.
How to Correctly Clean Siding
If this is the case, if all these problems exist, is successfully cleaning siding even possible? Yes, and the answer is soft washing. Soft washing is a technique that uses lower pressure settings than a traditional power washer but still manages to remove dirt and grime that builds up on home exteriors. It’s true that the process requires some finesse, but the results are well worth it.
Soft Washing Siding at Home
Soft washing is powerful enough to clean your home without copious amounts of elbow grease or time while still being gentle enough to preserve vinyl siding. That being said, always mind the siding manufacturer’s instructions during cleaning and test pressure settings and cleaning solutions on an inconspicuous place before doing the rest of the house.
The right cleaning solution will avoid chemicals that are highly corrosive since they can erode your siding. Steer clear of undiluted bleach or untraditional cleaners like furniture-polishes or degreasers. Always start with lower pressure settings and work your way as necessary. Working quickly so the solution doesn’t dry, apply the cleaning solution in overlapping, even strokes, starting from the bottom of the wall. This painting-like approach can make sure you don’t get streaks or miss spots when cleaning siding.
You may find that you need a bit more than just the soft washing system to cut through tricky grease or grime. The machine does pack a punch, but you may also want to use a rotating brush attachment to your soft washing wand to scrub at the vinyl.
When the soap solution has had a little time to break down grime and stains, it’s time to rinse. It is vital to hold the pressure washer level so no pressurized water blows up underneath the siding. To that end, you may need to use an extension wand to reach hard-to-reach places above ground level. You’ll also need to give the wall plenty of space to make sure you don’t overpower the vinyl. If you find you need more power while cleaning siding, you can get closer.
Always rinse from the top of the wall moving downward so the soap solution can run down without undoing your hard work. During the soft washing process, make sure you wear protective gear, especially eyewear. You should also protect the parts of your property that are not being cleaned, covering shrubs, trees, furniture, and doors with tarp.
Professional Soft Washing Services
Because cleaning siding by soft wash is such a nuanced task, the best way to do it without damage is by letting the professionals take care of it. With years of experience, a professional team can easily cut through dirt, grime, mold, and mildew to give your home a sparkling clean. Regularly cleaning your siding is a great way to prevent deep buildup, inhibit microbial growth, catch damage early on, and preserve the color of your siding.