Quite a bit of homes these days are straying from brick or wood homes to vinyl siding. While this can be a lower cost alternative, there is still some maintenance and cleaning care that needs done to ensure the vinyl siding stays in good condition. Many homes can have problems with fading, cracking or breaking, and mildew, mold and dirt issues. To help with these issues here are some tips to help you care and maintain your vinyl siding.
Cracks, breaking and holes.
This is more common sense than anything but sometimes things happen. When mowing and weed eating your lawn, or if you have a landscaper make sure to talk to them about this, make sure that there are no rocks or other hard objects around the siding or in the yard when mowing. When weed eating, the power of the weed eater can throw objects at the siding just as a lawn mower can which can cause cracks and holes in the siding and then that area needs to be replaced. It is harder to protect the siding from debris during high winds, but one thing that can be done is to try and make sure the yard is free from objects that can be lifted by the wind and thrown and siding before a storm or heavy winds are expected. Also check for broken branches in trees that can be pulled from the tree by winds and possibly hit your home. Remember is does not have to be a rock to cause damage to siding, any hard blunt object can cause some breakage.
Fading and oxidation.
Vinyl siding usually comes painted before it is installed and others can be painted after installation, either way they can have issues with fading for many reasons. One would be using the wrong type of cleaner on the siding. Some solutions can be harmful to siding even if it doesn't seem like it at first. The next that can cause fading is sunlight. You want to make sure that an area that gets long periods of sunlight has some protection. Another thing that can cause fading is oxidation. Both can lead to mold and mildew to grown. There really is not much you can do to prevent it at all from happening but you can help to keep it from damaging your siding by cleaning it at least once a year. Using the right cleaner with water can keep it from having these issues become severe as well as a coat of protectant sealer.
Mildew/mold, dirt and other substances
There are many things that can make your vinyl siding dirty besides just dirt like exhaust from vehicles, oils, acids, mold and mildew, dirt or bugs of all sorts. The best way to keep your vinyl is good condition and help it continue on its lifespan is to clean it at least once a year. You need to use something that is soft that will not scratch of damage the paint on the siding like a soft cloth or soft brush much like the ones at car washes. If you can get one of the car wash brushes that attach to your hose, that will be the best thing to do. You also want a solution that is not going to damage your siding. Most manufacturers will have instructions on what to use and how much to care for your siding. Most recommend for just dirt to use clear water on a low pressure power washer but make sure you aim it at eye level to keep from water getting behind the siding. If you are not comfortable using a power washer, the car wash brush attached to hose works too. If it needs a solution most recommend to use 1/3 cup of a detergent, 2/3 cup of a cleaner solution and 1 gallon of water. For mildew and mold you would add a little bit of diluted bleach like what you would use for washing your clothes. Again use something soft. You should pre rinse, wash and rinse just like you would washing your car. Doing this at least once a year can help keep your siding from fading and restore its look.
These tips can help keep your siding looking good and ensure lasting its lifespan. If you are comfortable with cleaning your siding just make sure to not use too high a pressure washer and not to aim it upside as well as using the right solution. You can buy vinyl siding solution but if you check with your manufacturer they will probably tell you how to make your own cleaning solution with home products that will be safe on your siding. You can also call a contractor with help on cleaning your siding.