Tips for cleaning vinyl or aluminum siding
Siding can be a nice addition to the exterior of your home, creating an appealing look that requires very little maintenance. However, it is important to know how to take care of your siding so it can remain long-lasting and aesthetically appealing for many years to come. Cleaning siding is actually a very simple process, and can be easily accomplished without the need of a professional to get the job done.
Vinyl and aluminum siding
Cleaning vinyl siding only needs to be done occasionally, especially when areas of dirt or mildew become visible. Regular household dishwashing soap, a garden hose, and a soft brush with a long handle are all the materials you really need to clean vinyl siding. A power washer can be used but only use a medium spray, and aim the spray down rather than up to prevent water from gathering or seeping behind the siding.
Soapy water can be applied either manually (such as with a sponge) or by using a hand-up hose sprayer, which can make it easy to apply the froth to the siding. However, you don't want to coat very large areas to ensure the soap doesn't dry before you have a chance to rinse. Simply use the long-handled brush to scrub away the dirt using side-to-side washing motions. You can remove spots of mold and mildew using household window or surface cleaners or with a vinegar and water solution. Be sure to immediately rinse the area you cleaned before moving to another.
Aluminum and cedar siding
Cleaning aluminum siding is done in almost exactly the same manner, except you can use liquid or powder laundry detergent mixed with water, and aluminum can withstand a power washer better than vinyl.
Cedar siding maintenance is a little more involved, due to wood's ability to rot and wear down over time. Keeping moisture at bay is extremely important, as moisture creates the perfect environment for wood rot, mildew, and mold. Using a pressure washer will be effective to quickly rid your siding of dirt, but be sure to use the lowest setting so the cedar doesn't become damaged. You can also use a vinegar and water mix, which will repel mold and mildew, with a soft-bristled brush to ensure precise and gentle scrubbing.