Is your vinyl siding looking dingy? If so, then all it needs is a good cleaning. Unlike wood siding, where a dingy appearance means it's time for an expensive and time consuming paint job, dingy vinyl has usually just become dusty or dirty. The following tips can help you get your vinyl looking like new again.
Tip #1: Work on An Overcast Day
Or, at least work on the side of the house that is in the shade. You don't want the siding to dry before the final rinse, or it will look streaky and dull. The best time to wash the siding is when it is warm but not hot, and either on a cloudy day or in the morning shade. Afternoon shade can be problematic, since the wall may have already heated up if the sun was on it earlier.
Tip #2: Use the Right Tools
You can usually get your siding clean with nothing more than a garden hose with a spray nozzle, a deck brush or a brush on a telescoping pole, and some mild detergent. If you are dealing with mildew stains, add a tarp and some trisodium phosphate (TSP) cleaner to your arsenal. The tarp will protect any shrubs or plants from the TSP while you clean the wall above.
Tip #3: Avoid Under Spray
Vinyl siding is made so that it is waterproof along the top edge but able to vent for air circulation along the bottom edge. Due to this, you don't want to spray water up and under the siding. Instead, angle the spray so it hits the top of the siding. If you have a stable place for a ladder and someone to spot you for safety, you can even climb up above the area you are cleaning to make spraying down easier.
Tip #4: Work From the Top Down
To further avoid streaks, work from the top down. Wet down a section of siding, and then scrub it with your soapy water or the TSP solution. Rinse with clear water, and then move down to the next section. This way, only clear water splashes onto the already cleaned sections above, so you don't have to worry about streaks of dirt running over the already clean siding.
Tip #5: Keep an Eye Out for Damage
Cleaning your siding is a good time to look for trouble spots, since you will be methodically going over the entire exterior. Make note of any loose boards or trim, crack, or holes. One way to easily find the damaged areas later is to mark them with painters tape in a color that contrasts with the siding color. Then, once your siding is clean you can call a vinyl siding contractor to make any necessary repairs. Contact a business, such as W L HURST INC, for more information.