The outside of your house is one of the sturdiest parts of your property, designed to withstand constant sunlight and hold back the weather from your cozy interior. But siding doesn’t last forever. Most home siding is rated for one to three decades before it will need to be replaced and in that time, the best way to get good performance and appearance from your siding is to keep it clean and in good condition. Siding maintenance is an important part of any homeowner routine and should be thought about at least once a year.
Cleaning your siding doesn’t just look good, it’s also an important step in keeping your siding in good working order. Any gaps in your siding or possible decay can lead to structural damage, leaks from the rain, and insects building their homes in your siding or the wood of your house that the siding is supposed to protect. By keeping your siding clean, you clear out dirt or particles that could cause problems, discourage mold and mildew, and blast away any insects looking to settle in.
While every siding material and brand is a little different, here’s a quick guide to keeping your siding clean.
The first thing to decide is what you’re going to clean your siding with. We suggest that everyone start with a long soft-bristled siding brush to save your elbows and back from stooping and working at odd angles while you scrub a vertical surface. If your house is two-story, be sure to have a safe ladder.
Aluminum and Vinyl siding is best cleaned with TSP or Trisodium Phosphate which loosens grime without damaging the surface. But be careful, this is a fairly harsh chemical. For wood siding, use an approved outdoor cleaner or a little bleach mixed with a lot of water to discourage mildew, rot, and insects. Fill a bucket with your cleaning solution, grab the brush and you’re good to go.
One odd challenge in cleaning siding is when your cleaning solution dries in the sun before you have a chance to rinse it off, which can result in residue and a less than ideal cleaning process. To prevent this, we advise choosing a cool or overcast day which will reduce the amount of evaporation that occurs on your siding while you clean.
Many people start their siding wash in a random manner, choosing a section and simply brushing it in whatever way feels easiest. However, from experience, we can tell you that this is a good way to wind up with streaks and drips. Instead, the right way to clean siding with your long-handled brush is to start at the bottom and work your way up to the top. Don’t be shy about keeping your brush very wet with cleaner as you go. When you get to the top, then rinse from the top down to run all loosened dirt and grim all the way to the ground.
Finally, don’t try to get an entire side of your house at once working from bottom to top. Instead, choose to focus on three to ten foot wide sections to concentrate your work and make sure you give each section of siding the attention it needs. There’s no need to mark off your sections because the difference should be overwhelmingly evident between the clean and dirty sections of your siding. Be sure to rinse a section right after you finish scrubbing so the cleaning solution does not dry on your siding.
Keeping your siding clean will keep the bugs away, prevent environmental decay, lengthen the lifespan of your siding, and improve the external appearance of your home. If you need siding inspection or repair services in the Downriver Michigan area, call us at 734-548-9919 or come find us at 14586 Northline Rd #2, Southgate, MI 48195.