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What’s the Right Way to Clean Siding?

Many home owners love vinyl siding because it’s relatively low maintenance. You don’t have to deal with peeling paint or chipping plaster, and it’s nearly impervious to all weather elements. That said, even this low maintenance material will need to be cleaned once in a while. Vinyl siding will gather dirt and grime over time, and in humid climates and also be prone to mold or mildew growth.

So just what is the best way to clean the vinyl siding on your home? Read on for the three most common methods.

With a hose and spray nozzle

By far, the least labor intensive way to clean vinyl siding is with a typical garden hose and spray nozzle. The pressure provided by your garden hose is typically enough to remove grime and dirt, even without soap or detergent. Just make sure your spray nozzle is set wide enough spray that you aren’t concentrating the pressure in a very narrow stream (which could damage your siding). Likewise, keep your hose moving in a steady motion to prevent possible damage and generate more cleaning action.

By hand

If your home has caked on dirt, or you have mold and mildew growing on your siding, you may need something more than a garden hose to leave your siding sparkling. One option is to scrub your siding by hand with a solution. You can make such a solution at home by combining 1/3 cup of powdered laundry detergent per gallon of water. If you also have mold and mildew to tackle, consider adding a mold and mildew cleaner to the mixture in prescribed ratios.

Once your solution is ready, dip a soft bristled cleaning brush into the solution and scrub down your vinyl siding. Best results are generally achieved by starting at the bottom and working your way up — then rinsing siding with a garden hose from the top down. The downside to this approach is that it is definitely more labor intensive, but will help get rid of more grit and grime.

With a pressure washer

Compared to the above methods, using a pressure washer is the best of both worlds. You get the ease of cleaning with a hose, but with the power of using a cleaning solution. Many hardware and home stores provide the option to rent a pressure washer. That said, not all pressure washers are created equal, and some can by trickier to manage than others. Also, pay attention to the solution that you use, as some will require you to cover any plants with plastic before you begin. Also be careful about using too much pressure, as you can damage your siding this way.

Finding an Experienced Siding Specialist

A final option is to hire an expert to clean your vinyl siding for you. While this may cost a bit more, you can assure that the job will be done perfectly without needing to rent cumbersome equipment or spend your Saturday scrubbing down your house. If you decide to go this route, make sure you hire an experienced vinyl siding specialist for the job. Hiring someone with the best equipment and the ability to use it well will guarantee that your home will be sparkling clean when the job is done.