Vinyl siding is a great option for almost any home. It’s durable, versatile, and attractive. But like any other part of the house, it needs some regular maintenance to keep it looking its best. If you have vinyl siding, here’s what you need to know about helping it stay in great condition for years to come.
Throwing on a coat of paint is a good way to change the overall look of your home’s exterior, but exterior paints aren’t made for vinyl siding. The vinyl material used in the siding will regularly contract and expand with the outdoor temperature, which means a coat of paint can quickly peel or crack with that movement. Additionally, depending on the type of paint you want to use, the paint itself could cause the vinyl to break down or warp, reducing its otherwise healthy lifespan.
Don’t Use Harsh Chemicals
Vinyl siding is pretty durable, but it needs to be cleaned like any exterior part of the home. However, you do need to be very careful about the chemicals you use. Harsh chemicals like bleach and solvents can cause discoloring, warping, and disintegration. They can even affect waterproofing sealers, so your vinyl siding will provide less protection for the rest of the home.
Instead of powerful cleaners, go for a simple mixture of warm water and dish soap or white vinegar. These are gentle enough that they won’t harm sealants or cause discoloration or decomposition.
Choose Your Tools Carefully
Just as you don’t want to use cleaning products that are too harsh, you also want to make sure that your tools aren’t too abrasive. Stay away from wire brushes and steel wool since these could break down the integrity of the siding and leave unsightly scratches and scuffs.
Instead of rough tools, opt instead for a sponge or microfiber cloth. It may require more work to clean siding this way, but you’ll leave it in good condition.
Power Wash Safely
Power washing vinyl siding will remove grime buildup quickly, but you need to be careful how you do it. The most important thing to pay attention to when power washing your siding is the angle at which you hold the nozzle. It’s best to keep it straight and at eye level, parallel to the ground. This will ensure that the water drips straight down after being sprayed. If you hold the power washer nozzle upwards or at another angle, water could get behind the siding and leak into the walls of your house. If water enters the home, you could face insulation damage, mold growth, wood rot, and more.
Keep Heat Away
Heat is one of the biggest enemies of vinyl siding. As we mentioned above, vinyl contracts and expands with temperature changes, and extreme nearby heat could cause that to happen too quickly, leading to cracks and warping. Keep grills and firepits well away from your vinyl siding to avoid these issues.