How to Properly Clean Vinyl Siding

After weather events that bring rain, snow, and high winds, your vinyl siding may begin to look a bit discolored or dull. Common exposure to the elements allows for the buildup of dirt and grime on vinyl siding, making your home’s overall appearance look a bit worse for wear. This is a common problem for coastal Delaware residents who experience high winds from the ocean that carry saltwater and sand particles.

Or, perhaps your vinyl siding has seen better days because it’s simply reaching the end of its lifespan. Like other fixtures on your home’s exterior, vinyl siding is subject to natural wear and tear and can break down over time. This is why preventative action is so important. Maintaining and properly cleaning your vinyl siding over time will help prevent long-term damage, discoloration, and water infiltration.

How Does Vinyl Siding Get ‘Dirty’?

Your vinyl siding is constantly exposed to the elements, including, moisture, humidity, sun, and high winds. Over time, harsh outdoor conditions slowly break down vinyl siding materials. Some common causes of “worn” vinyl siding include:

  • Environmental debris – This includes accumulated dirt, sand, leaves, and traces of animals or insects
  • Mold and/or Mildew – These are common in climates with high moisture or areas of the home often hidden from the sun’s rays. Mold or mildew stains can form on vinyl siding, and even more alarmingly, they can grow under vinyl siding following water penetration (an important reason to inspect your siding regularly).
  • Algae – While most vinyl siding is resistant to most staining, including oil, paint, or grease, algae buildup is a common cause of stains.
  • Oxidation – Following damp or wet weather, a dull, chalky film may accumulate from a process known as oxidation. This often happens on pigmented materials, such as plastic chairs.

Luckily, cleaning your vinyl siding is easy and usually doesn’t require the help of a professional. If you are elderly or do not have the physical means to clean your vinyl siding properly, however, we suggest employing a service that can do so safely.

The Safe Way to Clean Vinyl Siding

Like other home materials, vinyl siding requires care and patience when cleaning. Many homeowners mistakenly use power washers to quickly blast away stubborn layers of dirt and grime. However, power washers are better suited for tougher materials, like pavers and concrete. The force of pressurized water can break down your vinyl siding, leading to further damage, discoloration, and moisture penetration.

Instead, it’s best to clean your vinyl siding with some good, old-fashioned dish soap or laundry detergent plus warm water — or in some cases, vinegar plus warm water — and elbow grease. Household cleaning agents are much gentler, yet highly effective, on your vinyl siding. Use a soft cloth or brush with soft bristles and, to avoid streaking, start at the bottom and work your way to the top of the house. Thoroughly rinse away the solution and residue as you complete sections.

Here at Advance, Inc., we are proud to offer our community and customers reliable resources and excellent services, including vinyl siding installation and repair. If your vinyl siding has reached the end of its lifespan and needs to be replaced, don’t delay! Contact us today to speak to a representative about our available services. We are happy to help.