Vinyl siding has become widely known for most Americans over the last 70 years due to its own convenience, durability, and cost-effectiveness. Moreover, they come in a wide range of different styles which you can consider.
Mixing and matching different types, vibrant colors, or decent textures for a distinctive and outstanding style at your own house. Hence, no other cladding options like the vinyl one can deliver a beautiful aesthetic and withstand harsh weather.
However, have you ever caught sight of the dark stains, dirt that appears unexpectedly on your exterior vinyl siding. After winter or sooty rains, it will leave dirty streaks on the siding, difficult to eliminate.
Even though the vinyl siding is durable, it can show up the dingy appearance after being impacted by the elements. Subsequently, you do spend time caring for your vinyl siding and implement some essential maintenance.
This handy post will give all clues to clean your decent vinyl siding. Just follow the detailed instruction below, you can take your vinyl siding back from grimy to gorgeous and shine your house on again.
Why Is It Essential To BURN Stains Out?
Vinyl siding is well-known for its exceptional durability and low maintenance. Nevertheless, this does not imply that you will not implement any cleaning process. The elements will negatively impact vinyl siding no matter what seasons are.
Mentioned below are explanations why you should take care of the vinyl siding.
With unpredictable weather in the USA, the inevitable exterior cause can affect vinyl siding, making your wall look darker and dingy than before. It takes time to clean and sweep out the entire dirty things because your sidings deserve to be treated like interior homes.
It would be best if you tried to take care of them regularly to extend the siding’s life even further.
The harmful substances accrue on the surfaces, which provide ideal conditions for bacteria to thrive. Your health will be impacted if you live near this location. As a result, eliminating these harmful substances is critical to protecting yourself, your families, and even your pets.
Ensure Tip-Top Conditions
Algae, mold, mildew, dust have the potential to cause long-term repair problems. If these agents leave on the surface too long, they can prove harmful and significant damage to your house. If you do not discover the issue on time, you could dismantle and replace the destroyed areas.
This thing is immensely costly; moreover, it can reduce the values of your siding. Hence, burn these stains out by applying proper vinyl siding cleaners to preserve the vinyl in good condition even more.
The Vinyl Siding Types
In recent centuries, vinyl siding is prevalent in American, with many merits to bring it to stand out from other sidings. They are available in various shapes, colors, and types to complement any home style. Let’s have a look at three main types of vinyl siding.
Horizontal Vinyl Siding
It is also known as lap siding, or clapboard siding, in which a series is of thin strips run horizontally in rows. It is the most traditional siding type found in almost every residential house. They also come in three different styles, Traditional Lap (smooth lap), beaded, and Dutch Lap.
This type is suitable for seeking a clean and traditional design, with single, double, and triple-row options. The smooth strips have no additional shadow lines.
The horizontal siding offers a decorative shadow line with a rounded notch cut into each plank at the bottom edge. The beaded pattern neglects distinctive and sophisticated appearance.
The vinyl siding upgrades the traditional style to the next level. Its distinctive feature is a slight curve that runs at the plank’s top edge. Moreover, the plank will deliver smoother lines and deeper shadows.
Vertical Vinyl Siding
This type is also called “board and batten, ” which runs vertically up and down the house. The vertical vinyl siding will provide a modern and elegant aesthetic that can attract myriad people.
Shingle & Shakes Vinyl Siding
They will leave a rustic and upscale exterior for your home. Whereas the real shingle and shake might be expensive, this vinyl siding will help your house has a beautiful looking at a fraction of the cost.
The Accumulation Of Stains
After using time, you just realize that your vinyl siding less attractive, darker than it used to be, even it may also look faded. Because of the appearance of unsightly stains, they are covering the entire wall. Also, you are wondering how the dingy spots can attach to the surface of vinyl siding.
So, intending to pick an effective cleaning strategy and your living space’s safety, you have to understand the harmful impact on your vinyl siding. Below, I will give all the clues about the staining cause, which helps you recognize easily and find the best ways to tackle them.
1. Mold And Mildew
- Mold: It generally has a fuzzy or slimy texture and comes in many different colors. From dark green to black, you can easily identify when they appear. However, they can grow unseen in the early stages.
- Mildew: Actually, mold and mildew are fungi, they have some distinctive characteristics. Mildew is usually fluffy and powdery in appearance. A white, grey, or yellow patch on the vinyl siding is a sign of their existence.
Moisture and lack of light are two main reasons for mold and mildew growth. After a while, your vinyl siding is covered with a rust layer. It is a starting point that leads to fungus development later.
They will thrive quickly in warm and humid conditions, when they land on vinyl siding surface, they start to grow. Typically, they will leave musty and earthy odors, which help you identify where they are located.
You can consider using mold and mildew cleaners to keep your home clean.
Your white walls are gradually being replaced by green because the algae are slowly covering your entire siding areas, as well, and diminishing its aesthetic value as it was initially.
They are eukaryotic organisms, even though they do not have root, stem or leaves. They still contain chlorophyll and other pigments that allow them to perform photosynthesis.
You can easily see them flourish in green patches. This green growth appears because your sidings are occupied by dirt, debris, or rust layer.
Algae naturally live near-surface water. Usually, after torrential rainfall or a harsh winter, the humidity remains still high. After a few days, the sunlight is not enough to dry the surface of the vinyl siding. Under these ideal conditions, the appearance of the green spot would be visible.
Algae have stuck on your siding, they are more and more difficult to remove, don’t worry, you just need apply the right solutions and proper methods, algae will be gone.
Watch this video to know more:
3. Dirt & Other Particles
This is one of the most common things on the vinyl siding.
Everyone would not clean the house’s exterior periodically because it usually takes a long time to clean a large area. This time is long enough for tiny particles to accumulate on vinyl siding. The wind will carry dust to fly into the air and leave a thick dirty layer on your vinyl siding.
You can see these stains with your eyes, moreover, black dust will cling to your hand seamlessly once you have a light touch on the siding. So, no matter what types of vinyl siding you have, these tiny particles will inevitably accumulate on its surface.
Dust particles are always present in the environment you live in, and even you don’t like them, they will eventually settle on your vinyl siding. Generally, when the weather is dry and hot, they will cover your walls faster than cold and rainy.
4. Water Leak
It is so annoying when the red-brown rainwater runoff appears.
Grimy water has dripped down your siding, create a long brown stream on the walls that detracts from the appearance of your home. These stains become more stubborn and difficult to remove when they stay on the surface for an extended period. As a result, you must get rid of them as soon as possible.
Your sidings slowly thaw out after the long cold winter, which will reveal grimy streaks are running down the wall.
Choosing A Right Cleaning Solution
There are numerous causes to impact your wall, initially implementing the right solutions to eliminate everything from dust layer to stubborn stains effectively.
Mold, mildew, and algae are built up on the vinyl siding over a while. Water bleach is an excellent option to tackle the stubborn effectively. It would help if you kept in mind that it always dilutes the bleach with water before applying to the siding.
The proportion of water and bleach will depend on the severity of stubborn stains. Usually, I clean my siding twice per year, so 1:4 (1 gallon of bleach – 4 gallons of water) is a great solution to tackle indelible marks.
After applying the bleach mixture on the surface, leave it for about 5 minutes. It means that make sure the solutions can work effectively. Then, use the brush to scrub all the dirt before rinse the siding with plain water. So, you can repeat this process several times to eradicate permanent stains.
Do your own solution from white vinegar , which also eco-friendly for your vinyl siding. It is a great worker for both exterior and interior, eliminating tough, stubborn spots and leaving the squeaky siding.
A formula is used widely with this solution, and you should mix 30 % white vinegar and 70% water. The vinegar can erase almost any kind of stains, including light mold and mildew. When the siding looks dirt, give a large amount of white vinegar.
Let’s wait for 5 minutes for stains to soften before scrubbing them off and then rinsing the siding with water.
Soapy Water Solution
Another solution that is friendly for your vinyl siding is dish liquid. Combining dish soap and warm water is a great solution to eliminate tough stains and leave a clean surface for your house.
You have a cleaning solution right away by adding a few dish soap spoons into the warm water. Then wipe down all the dust spots, bird dropping, grease, oil, and other debris with a brush dipped in the mixture bucket.
Remember to clean small areas with dish soap and rinse the surface with water to prevent solution drying that can cause several spots in vinyl siding.
Prepare Vinyl Siding
For the last few years, your vinyl siding had been accumulating a greenish coating, which you don’t know how to eliminate. Before starting step-to-step instructions, you have to prepare the necessary tools to wipe down them efficiently.
Preparation is vital to success.
Soft-Brush Or Broom
Stains can appear in every corner, from the bottom to the top near the roof, they can found anywhere which have enough condition to thrive. So, for low-level stains, a soft brush works flawlessly, while a broom or a brush with an attached-handle will be great for high and hard-to-reach areas.
In addition brushes, you can use a soft cloth to clean the vinyl siding. Nevertheless, you should avoid utilizing hard and rough fabrics because they can scratch and damage the siding’s surface.
A cleaner preparation is required to remove the greenish coating. Water cannot cut through the obstinate layers that have adhered to the vinyl siding for an indefinite amount of time. Using a proper method will make your job easier and more efficient.
This item is almost indispensable for the cleaning process. It will be used to dilute cleaning solutions before applying them to the walls. What’s more, moving it around your house is more convenient than using other subjects.
The surface of the house’s walls is often immensely substantial and massive. Hence the brooms are also impossible to reach the highest positions. And everything becomes more accessible with the assistance of the ladder.
It is critical to wash once you are cleaning the siding. Residue or streak can stay on the surface, so using a garden hose to rinse off the residue before drying. Make sure your garden house is long enough to reach the highest position.
The items listed above are needed to eliminate dust, mold, mildew, and other stuff pieces. Besides, when working with chemicals like bleach, or several cleaners, you should also equip yourself with protected products.
They will keep you from coming into contact with cleaner solutions, which may irritate your hands’ skin.
2. Face Mark
Dust particles or chemical vapors can fly into the atmosphere, which can be intake in your body. Therefore, wear a face mask to protect your health and your lung.
You have to work outside all day, and if you wear flip-flops, you will experience leg pain or get sunburn. When you need to ascend to the higher level, the sandals could cause you to slip, which is immensely dangerous when you are standing on the ladder.
Hence, wearing a shoe will protect your leg from the impact elements.
You may notice redness and pain after dirt particles get into your eyes. Wear the goggles to protect your vision from these substances.
Wear clothes that are convenient and stretchy for the most comfortable maneuvers.
And a must-to note here, you should do these things on cloudy days because you will be working outside all day. If the weather is too harsh, the cleaning process will take longer.
Steps To Eliminate Stubborn STAINS
I have researched the optimal way to wipe down all the tough marks, dirt, and other debris are stuck on the vinyl siding. Read on to learn how can tackle them with proper methods.
The Overall Process
Say goodbye to obnoxious appearance, let’s get into the specifics of how to clean a vinyl siding.
Follow the steps below to renew your house again. Keep going, my friend!
#1: Prepare Safe & Protect House
Implement home inspections, take specific appropriate measures to protect yourself and your home safe.
- Check Your Vinyl Siding: Firstly, you should move around your house to monitor all of the walls. Are there any peeling or leaking areas so that you will pay more attention to those areas without damaging them seriously when cleaning.
- Cover The Shrubs Or Trim The Tree: Absolutely, you don’t want that the dirt which has stuck on siding will cover all shrubs or obstacle around your house. When you implement the cleaning process, let’s cover them with a thin sheet.
Moreover, the bushes or trees are growing wildly, which can impact the cleaning process. So, trim away the unnecessary leaves, branches, or stems and ensure no obstructions for cleaning.
- Close All The Windows And Doors: It is immensely horrible, after cleaning the outside, the inside of your house is total mess with a lot of dust and stinky smells. As a result, close all windows and doors to prevent dust from entering your interior home.
- Determine The Type Of Stains: Vinyl siding may be dirt resistant, but dust still adheres well to vinyl surface over time due to environmental factors. Examine the areas where there are many mildew and algae to utilize stronger solutions to get rid of them completely.
#2: Implement Basic Cleaning Process
Take the necessary tools and begin the basic steps right away
- Gather Your Equipment: Start the cleaning process with a list of tools that I remind you of above.
- Put On The Safety Items: Avoid inhaling too much dirt to protect your health because it could be the source of your allergic reaction and even worse for your lung. So remember to wear full protective clothing when cleaning.
- Work In Small Areas: You should separate the siding areas to control and track how far you have done quickly.
- Extract The Damps: Rinse any dirt from the surface with the garden hose. This action is a step that allows the stubborn to soak in the water, which will soften the residue and implement the following measures easier and smoother.
- Work In Corner And Window Zones: These are the zones with the highest concentrations of dirt, as well these areas that are difficult to clean. You must take special care of this area.
You scrub mildew, mold in the corner with the brush, and wipe down all the debris are accumulating into the edge of the window.
- Rinse The Whole Wall: After completing the preceding steps, use a garden hose to rinse the entire vinyl siding surface, ensuring that there are no residues or streaks on the wall.
#3: Comprehensive Cleaning
Water is incapable of eliminating unwanted elements. Keep on going the deep cleaning process until no stains are visible on the surface.
- Mix The Proper Cleaning Solutions: Using the bucket to hold the mixture cleaner. Depend on the severity of dirty patches, and you can utilize any of the formulas with the recommended proportions above to tackle them more efficiently.
- Apply The Solution: Using brush, broom, and spray nozzles to apply the cleaner on the vinyl siding. Give a few minutes for the solutions to penetrate deeply into the stains and fully activate their effectiveness.
- Scrub Dirt Down: Use a brush to tackle the permanent marks or locations with potential mold and mildew development like a corner or little sunlight.
- Hard-To-Reach Areas: Utilize the broom and ladder to reach certain zones. It is recommended to brush from bottom to top. It means that it can retain everything wet until the final rinse.
- Rinse The House: In contrast to the scrub step, you should wash from top to bottom, ensuring that the water thoroughly takes away all stains.
- Repeat The Process Whether Essential
- Let The Wall Dry: After you have finished the cleaning process, wash all the equipment and allow the wall to dry.
Clean Vinyl Siding With A Pressure Washer
Cleaning vinyl siding by hand can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. The following solution will assist you in solving the problem more quickly. However, it is not recommended to regularly use this method because it can destroy the vinyl siding surface. Let’s delve into the detailed steps:
It is the same as the cleaning process with hand, and you can reach the information again above.
#2: Implement Process
- Use Proper Solution: Fill the container with the appropriate proportion between water and cleaner product.
- Pressure Setting: Do not use the jets that are stronger than 1200-1500 PSI to wash the vinyl siding. Remember to install a nozzle with a 25 degree which can enhance the cleaning process.
- Apply Solutions: Hold the pressure to spray the mixture on the walls. Begin in small areas and gradually move your nozzle horizontally until all of the dirt has been removed.
- Leave Solution: After applying, you should wait some minutes, make sure the cleaner has enough time to deal with stubborn stains.
#3: Rinsing Walls
- Detach Solution From The Container: If you intend to use a pressure washer to clean the wall, ensure that all of the cleaner solutions have been taken away.
- Set Up Lower Level: To minimize unwanted pressure on the wall’s surface, set the PSI reduction from 1000 to 1200. Probably, you have released the majority of the dust, so now you just wipe down the remaining solutions.
- Deep Cleaning: You perform from top to bottom to eliminate any remaining residue on the surfaces.
- Dry: Leave the wall to dry its own.
Highly Note: To avoid damaging the walls, should combine the manual cleaning with a pressure washer to get the optimal results.
Maintain Vinyl Siding
Set Up A Cleaning Schedule
You necessitate a plan for paying more attention to the appearance of your house. This thing will slow the growth of greenish spots and mold on the wall’s surface. Furthermore, your siding will be protected and can prolong its lifespan, allowing it to last for decades.
You should first ascertain the weather conditions in your area, for the high humidity and having less sunlight, which is an ideal environment for mold growth. So you should implement the cleaning process regularly. I recommend twice per year.
Scrub The Dirty Bimonthly
Whenever you recognize signs of the emergence of mold and mildew growth, which are detracting the beauty of your home. Apply the suitable cleaning solutions immediately to get rid of them. This action will significantly help you in reducing your overall workload when cleaning up the whole vinyl siding.
Inspect The Destroying Signs
Vinyl siding may peel off because overtime under the impact of the harsh environment. To come up with practical solutions, you should monitor and detect the damaging spots promptly.
They will be addressed as soon as possible by patching or replacing new parts.
Frequently Asked Questions
I am sure you now fully comprehend how to clean and keep your vinyl walls in good condition. Below I gathered several common problems to help you get more information. Keep going!
Expectation And Reality
With these helpful tips, hopefully, you can take back the natural beauty of vinyl walls. Moreover, this handy review provides you with a more in-depth understanding of dealing with stubborn stains well.
Last but not least, let’s share this review with your friends and your families. Maybe your friends are stuck with hard-to-remove stains at their homes. Just feel free to leave any comments below to contribute your thoughts about these problems.