Washing Winter Off Your Siding
Vinyl siding can make your home look amazing, and, with proper care, your siding can last for decades. Cleaning your siding annually can help prolong the life of your siding and keep your home looking fantastic. Spring is the perfect time to clean your vinyl siding, so here are some tips for washing the winter off your siding.
Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is a chemical that can be found in most hardware stores. Mix ½ cup of TSP in a gallon of warm, soapy water, then use a long-handled brush to clean your vinyl siding. The TSP helps cut through grime and kill any mold or mildew growing on the siding.
Start brushing from the bottom and work your way up, scrubbing areas of about 10 feet at a time. Once you’ve brushed the siding, you can use your garden hose to gently spray any residue off the siding.
Avoid pressure washers on damaged siding
Pressure washers are useful for lots of cleaning jobs, but you have to be careful when using them on your vinyl siding. The pressure from the washer could drive water into cracks between any loose siding panels, putting moisture into places it shouldn’t be. If you have any siding that’s damaged or cracked, skip the pressure washer.
If your siding is in good condition, use your pressure washer with caution. Start with a lower pressure setting, and work up to a higher one only if necessary.
If you don’t have a pressure washer, try using a garden hose with a spray attachment. It’s not as powerful, but better than no spray at all, and it can help you reach further than a hose with no attachment.
Spray water downwards
Whichever method you use, spray water downward to avoid sending it up between pieces of siding. Use a ladder, climb up as high as necessary, and spray downward to send the dirty water to the ground.
Mind your plants
If you have plants growing alongside your house, remember that any water that comes off of your house will affect the plants. Cleaners like TSP can be harmful to your plants in large amounts, so you may want to minimize its use, or find an alternative, if you have prized plants near your home.