Your home’s siding is an essential feature of the structure. It protects exposed wood and gives your home its signature look. Siding can be made from a variety of materials, but vinyl siding is common even though it presents a particular challenge: cleaning. Vinyl siding should be cleaned regularly, but the process can’t be done haphazardly. Soft washing siding is the only way to go.
The Pros of Cleaning Siding
Cleaning your vinyl siding is an important part of home maintenance. It is certainly one of the most visible aspects of home-cleaning, removing caked-on or built-up dirt and grime. This is essential if you want to maintain your siding’s correct color. If you have a multi-story home or have design elements like molding that are difficult to clean, soft washing can easily navigate such difficulties.
Soft washing siding has the added benefit of providing you with a deep clean in a fraction of the time home washing would normally take while cutting back on the elbow grease which would be necessary with a scrub brush and bucket. Biological bothers like mold and mildew cannot withstand the pressure of a soft wash, and maintaining a clean exterior is a good way to prevent their growth in the first place.
By keeping up on cleaning your siding, you can actually extend its life. If agents like algae and mildew are allowed to grow, they can eat away at vinyl siding, minimizing its structural integrity. Preventing this process is a key reason why you should clean your siding at least twice a year.
The only downsides of soft washing siding arise when the task is performed incorrectly. In fact, the biggest problems come when soft washing is not used. Without knowing the dangers, people often try to pressure wash their homes. Pressure washing differs from soft washing in the pressure settings used and even in the kind of system employed. Unfortunately, pressure washing siding actually forces water up underneath the planks.
This is problematic in two ways: either it will rip the siding panels off or the water will lodge itself between the siding and the wood and create a nice incubation environment for mold. From there, mold can spread more deeply into your home and insulation, even circulating through the HVAC system. To avoid this chain of events, use sufficiently soft pressure settings when cleaning your siding.
How to Soft Wash Vinyl Siding
If you’ve never been in charge of soft washing siding before, be aware that the prepwork is important. Cover all plants, furniture, and windows with plastic tarping before you begin. You don’t want to rip up your rhododendrons. Also be aware that even a soft washing system packs a punch. Don’t let that intimidate you. Wear protective eyewear and clothing while you work.
You should start in an inconspicuous place while you find the right pressure settings and detergent cocktails. You’ll need to find solutions that are not too corrosive. Undiluted bleach and other harm cleaning products can eat away at vinyl siding. Starting with low pressure settings, apply the soap mixture with smooth, overlapping strokes, starting from the bottom and working your way up. This helps prevent visible streaks or missed patches.
Be sure to follow the siding manufacturer’s instructions and work quickly so the solution doesn’t dry. It is very important to hold the machine’s hose level so the pressurized water doesn’t blow up underneath the siding. You can also use a rotating or utility brush if you encounter particularly stubborn dirt. If you need higher pressure, work your way up to it incrementally.
Once the cleaning solution has had a minute to break down grime and stains, it’s time to rise. Using the soft wash machine without detergent, rinse from the top down to ensure the entire area is soap-free.
How to Clean Siding Without a Pressure Washer
While soft washing siding is the most effective way to clean the exterior of a house, those who worry about the damage can still clean siding by hand. This is labor intensive and time consuming, but some homeowners may prefer the effect. Again, use a cleaning solution that is non-corrosive applied with a brush with soft bristles. It is still important to wear protective gear, especially gloves. Be careful when climbing ladders to reach higher floors.
Professionally Soft Washing Siding
If you want to avoid pressure-induced damage while still saving time, the best way to clean your home’s exterior is to let the professionals handle it. Our team of professionals has been soft washing siding for years, and we know all the right settings and solutions to use. Let us make the process a breeze for you.