How to Clean Siding

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We all want our houses to look their best, but on the north side the siding has green mold, on the east side the siding has small black mold. Then there is the collection of tree pollen, pollution and other dirt that dulls the look of the house. This article will teach you how to clean your siding.

Follow these steps every year or two to keep your siding looking its best. Smile and wave when your neighbors slow down to say, “Wow, not thats what I call housecleaning!” It is amazing how many will think they are the only one to have thought of this….

Avoid damaging in the process. Be careful to avoid the soffit, the area under the eaves that allows air up under the rafters for ventilation. Don’t use a pressure washer, while this is tempting every vinyl siding gap will allow water in creating a mildew problem inside the house.

Siding Cleaning Solutions. For vinyl or aluminum siding you can use a bleach solution with water or buy a cleaner where you add bleach and water at the recommended amounts. Usually these solutions are sold as deck or siding cleaners and contain muriatic acid. If you have sensitive plants or choose not to use chemicals because this will be a family project with your teenage children helping, look for products from brands like Simple Green.

Applying the Solution. You will need both a spray container and a brush. I recommend buying the 2-3 gallon plastic spray container at the local hardware store. I bought the more expensive metal one and made the mistake of not fully drying it before storing it once (after MANY times of storing it correctly) and the inside is now rusting, sloughing the cover which clogs the nozzle. Make sure it has a long spray nozzle you want to avoid ladders at all costs – they are one of the number one risks of serious injury in the home. When buying a brush look in the autocare aisle at Target or an auto supply store. Look for one that has an extending handle, the hose plugs into one end and the brush is on the other. For a stiffer bristle brush buy a janitors broom with the 2.5 foot wide head that is used in schools.

Process. Apply the cleaning solutions to small sections at a time. Wait 30 second to a minute (or whatever is recommended by the manufacterer) and then start scrubbing. Use the lighter bristle brush first, then use a stronger bristle. Try not to scratch the surface of the siding. Finally rinse and move to the next section.


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