Perhaps you are searching for the best siding option for your home and are comparing the maintenance for each. Or, you may have vinyl siding already and are unsure how to maintain it properly. If you want to make your investment last or know if vinyl is right for you, this blog about caring for your vinyl siding, provided by our siding replacement professionals at DeG Contracting in St. Louis, MO, can offer some insight!
General Information About Caring for Your Vinyl Siding
In general, vinyl siding is easy to maintain, saving you time and hassle. It is revered as a low-fuss siding option because it does not need much care to extend its life. This siding can last 30 to 40 years as long as you care for it properly, including using the right cleaner and tools on it.
1. Clean It the Right Way
Dirt, particulate matter from trees, and other flying debris can accumulate on your siding, making it look not as lustrous as it once did. Fortunately, you can clean your vinyl siding periodically with mild soap and a garden hose as one way of caring for it.
Cleaning Tools to Use
Use a soft cloth to wipe away any dirt. Use a soft-bristled brush only if you must clean in the grooves or a difficult spot. While it may take a bit more work than it would with a wire or hard-bristled brush, you’ll prevent any scratches, wounds, or discoloration during the cleaning process.
Cleaning Products to Use
An all-purpose cleaner, window cleaner, or vinegar and water solution are all safe to use on your siding. Avoid using undiluted chlorine bleach or any cleaners consisting of an organic solvent.
How to Clean It
As a general rule, you should start from the bottom and work up, rinsing your house with your garden hose as you go along.
Proper Use of a Power Washer on Vinyl
If you have areas that are difficult to clean and would like to use a power washer on them, make sure you read the manufacturer’s recommendations first. Some suggest avoiding a power washer completely, while others recommend using it on a low setting only.
When a power washer is safe, always point it directly at the siding at eye level. Never aim it upwards because you could trap water behind the siding and promote mold growth.
2. Know if Painting It Is Safe
Your siding could fade and become discolored over time, causing you to want to paint it. Not to mention, you could want to change the color without purchasing new siding.
However, painting vinyl siding is not always recommended. You should always read your manufacturer’s recommendations first because you may void your warranty if you paint it.
Plus, as the temperatures change, your siding will expand and contract, possibly causing the seams without paint to become apparent. Not all exterior paints are safe for vinyl, either.
Moreover, painting a light-colored vinyl a darker hue will change its heat absorption rate. As a result, this may contribute to buckling or warping.
3. Inspect Your Siding Regularly
Take some time each year to inspect your siding.
You will want to begin by evaluating the interior walls for cracking. Mold can easily form in those cracks. You will also want to check for any broken, loose, or warped panels because these could lead to water damage.
You should also check any areas for discoloration. While some discoloration can occur from sunlight or dirt, a panel that’s a completely different color could signify damage.
Replace damaged panels as necessary to protect your home’s structure and the rest of your siding.
4. Hire Help for Your Siding Carefully
If at any point you need to hire someone to help with caring for your vinyl siding or repairing it, make sure you do your homework first.
Your siding may cost you thousands to tens of thousands depending on the size of your home, the installer, and the type you choose. Therefore, you want to protect your investment any way you can, and one way to accomplish that is by hiring help you can trust.
Ultimately, as you are choosing, make sure you hire a company with a solid reputation that has experience with vinyl. Make sure you read online reviews to see how others felt about their experience with the company. Any help you hire should be bonded and insured.
5. Protect Your Siding When Necessary
Anytime you have work done near your house that requires the use of stain or cement, make sure you cover the portion of your siding that could be exposed. These can permanently alter your siding.
Though it is often possible to get cement off, it is not an easy task and could require a great deal of scrubbing and even the use of a special solvent. Protecting it can prevent that, though.
Some pesticides or herbicides can also cause discoloration. So, if you are using these close to your house, you will want to cover the area that could be exposed as well.
6. Keep Fire Pits, Grills, and Outdoor Ovens Adequate Distance Away
Though this is not necessarily a tip for caring for your vinyl siding, it is a way to protect it from damage. Anything that generates heat can cause your siding to heat to temperatures that can damage it permanently.
To prevent this, be sure to keep any outdoor items that generate heat at least 10 feet away from your siding.
7. Clean Mold and Mildew When You See It
If you notice any mold or mildew forming on your siding, tackle it early before it causes irreversible damage. You should assess for it whenever you are looking for damage to your siding. It could also help to give your home a quick once-over assessment when you’re outside occasionally.
You may use either an all-purpose cleaner with laundry detergent or a vinegar and water solution. Both are safe for vinyl and known to combat these problems.
At DeG Contracting, serving St. Louis, MO, and the surrounding area, we have a team of experts to install your vinyl siding when it needs to be replaced. We offer only high-quality siding to ensure your investment lasts, along with the expertise we provide during the installation, of course. However, after the installation, knowing some tips for caring for your vinyl siding is essential for making it last as long as possible.
Contact us today to receive a quote for your siding installation. We’re available by calling 636-928-7663 or filling out our contact form.