It is time to get the winter grime off your vinyl and polymer siding in Fort Collins, CO! You may be tempted to spray it down with a power washer or use a harsh spot cleaner, but that is not recommended. Your siding stands up to weather conditions, but cleaning chemicals can damage it. If you want to clean your siding thoroughly and keep it intact at the same time, follow these five tips:
- Avoid harsh handling: Using an abrasive scrubber like steel wool can scratch or dent siding. Choose soft cloths or brushes for scrubbing. Your best tool for cleaning is a long-handled soft-bristle brush that covers more area and reaches high places.
- Choose the right cleaning solutions: You do not need to spend lots of money on a cleaning solution. A mix of 70 percent water and 30 percent white vinegar works well on siding. This solution removes dirt, light mold and mildew stains as well as any product you purchase at the hardware store. If you need something stronger, mix one-third cup of laundry detergent, two-thirds cup of powdered household cleaner, and one-quarter cup of bleach. Mix this combination in one gallon of water. If you have extensive landscaping around your house, a green cleaner like Simple Green will clean your siding without killing your plants.
- Try this technique: Start at the foundation and work towards the roof. Rinse as you wash to avoid streaks and marks as siding dries. On a clear day, siding will dry quickly, which is why you never want to let the cleaning solution linger.
- Be careful with spot cleaners: If you find a spot that will not come out of your siding, avoid detergents like Windex or Lysol. Not only will they fail to measure up to tough stains like grease, grass, ink or crayon, but they will compromise the surface as well. Use a bleach and water solution and rinse it as you clean the stain. If you find rust, try a product like Super Iron Out or Instant Rust Out. Before you clean, find the stains first, so you have the right spot cleaner prepared. Never use straight bleach, grease removers or solvents like nail polish remover. Organic solvents are no better.
- Do not rely on pressure washers: Siding manufacturers do not recommend pressure washers because homeowners tend to set them too high. However, it is likely you have few options for covering the exterior of your home thoroughly—especially during the rinsing stage. Keep the stream flat and do not set to full pressure. That will dislodge siding and dent it. Use caution around plumbing connections, windows and gutters. You want to use the pressure washer only when necessary because there is a high probability that the water will get behind the siding and grow mold. This is not a hasty hose-off job; it requires some refinement.
Do you need help with your vinyl and polymer siding in Fort Collins, CO? If so, call TNT Home Improvements for repair and installation of home siding this summer.