Why Should You Power Wash Your Siding?
Why Should You Power Wash Your Siding?
Power washing the siding on your home provides a wide range of important benefits if done correctly. It can remove dirt, grime, grease stains, moss mold, mildew and bird dropping and enhance the attractiveness, curb appeal and value of your home. However, it's essential it is done well using the right cleansers, detergents, equipment and techniques. Some people are unsure why you should power wash your home's siding. There are several reasons why you should. The most important is because it is a fast, easy, cost-effective way to protect the investment you made in your home. Should You Pressure Wash Your Siding Vinyl siding is a relatively low maintenance material. However, it's essential to clean it occasionally to remove the dirt, mold and mold, grime, slime and debris builds up on it over time. Pressure washing the siding with the right mix of water and detergents removes the mold, mildew, moss, bird dropping and environmental chemical residue which can cause the siding to become discolored, fade and age prematurely. You should clean and pressure wash your siding thoroughly at least once a year. Is Power Washing Bad For Siding Using a power washer to clean the vinyl siding on your home involves the use of strong detergents and powerful blasts of water. Well-trained, experienced professionals can power wash your home's siding safely. That's why it is best to have the process done by an expert. Untrained, inexperienced, amateurs can damage a home's vinyl siding when they try to power wash it themselves. Why You Should Not Pressure Wash Your House Pressure washing is a great way to clean the siding on most homes. However, there are times when it's not the right option. If there are cracks, gaps or other damage to your home's siding, don't pressure wash it. Water can get under the siding and soak into the cavities in the wall and wet wiring, insulation, flooring, plaster and more. Once those areas get wet, mold and mildew can grow on the insulation, the damp plaster can begin to crumble, flooring can begin to warp and water can even leak down into the joists and foundation and do serious damage that's difficult and expensive to repair. How Do You Pressure Wash Siding The first step in pressure washing the siding on your home is to repair any damage to the siding. Next, gather the right attachments and cleansers. Close all the windows and doors, turn off the electricity flowing to outlets on your home's exterior and use plastic and tape to cover them. Attach the pressure washer, soap solution siphon tube and soaping nozzle to the garden hose and turn it on. Apply detergent from the bottom to the top and let it sit for 1 or 2 minutes. Change to a spray tip that's 25 to 40 degrees and wash off the detergent from the top down while keeping the wand a foot or more from the siding. Let dry. That's all it takes. Pressure Washing Vinyl Siding Problems Respecting the power of pressure washers can help avoid common vinyl siding problems. Pressure washers exert between 1,200 and 4,000 PSI of force. Wearing goggles and other safety gear can prevent serious injury when you clean vinyl siding. The powerful water spray can send debris flying and hurt people, pets and plants. Don't use hot water. It can melt the vinyl. The wrong cleansing agent can damage the vinyl and vegetation that is nearby. Covering vegetation with a tarp can help. Spraying with PSI that's too high can erode the vinyl. About 1,600 PSI is ideal. Vinyl rips and tears can worsen under the spray pressure. Streaks may develop if cleanser isn't removed fast enough working from the top down with broad horizontal area. Never use a ladder and avoid windows and electrical outlets. How To Clean Vinyl Siding High Up The safest and most effective way to remove dirt, mold, mildew and stains in spots high up on your vinyl siding is to use a long-handled, soft-bristle brush and a telescoping pressure washing wand that can extend your reach by between 18 and 24 feet. Choose one that is angled down from the top towards the siding. An upward angled wand may force water under the siding panels. Using a ladder to remove dirt, grime, mold and stains from high up on the vinyl siding is dangerous. Don't do it. Spray on the cleanser and let it sit for a minute. Then use a side to side scrubbing motion to clean each row and quickly rinse off the cleanser thoroughly from the top down to avoid streaking. Pressure Washer For Vinyl Siding PSI Pressure washers makes cleaning and disinfecting vinyl siding faster and easier. But using water pressure that's too strong can damage vinyl siding. To safely clean your home's vinyl siding use a power washer at a PSI range of between 1,300 and 1,600. That is strong enough to remove all the dirt, mold, moss, mildew and grime and restore your vinyl siding to its original beauty without damaging the surface. How To Clean Vinyl Siding With A Pressure Washer To clean vinyl siding with a pressure washer, first check the siding for signs of dirt and mildew and clean those areas with a sponge and some mild bleach. Next, fill the pressure washer container with a vinyl-appropriate detergent. Using a 25-degree nozzle spray tip and standing a few feet from the vinyl surface, spray the mixture on the siding's bottom layers and adjust the power stream so its strong enough to loosen the dirt without damaging the vinyl. Let the mixture stay on the vinyl for a minute or two and clean from the bottom up. Rinse from the top down with clean water moving the spray up and down and left to right to dislodge stubborn stains with the wand's nozzle facing slightly downward. A 40 to 60 degree wide tip is ideal for washing off the residue. How To Prevent Algae Growth On Vinyl Siding Algae feeds on the sugars on dirty vinyl siding and thrives, especially if the siding doesn't get lots of sunshine. To prevent algae growth, clean the siding once or twice a year with a mix of bleach, trisodium phosphate and detergent, your pressure washer and a soft-bristled, long-handled brush. This removes the sugars from dirt and plants algae feeds on. Beginning at the bottom, spray on the cleansers and scrub the entire vinyl surface. Before the suds dry, rinse the siding thoroughly from the top down to prevent streaking. The Easiest Way To Clean Vinyl Siding The easiest way to clean your home's vinyl siding is to put on your gloves, goggles and long sleeves, grab a bucket, water hose, power washer, long-handled scrub brush with soft bristles and make one of these homemade cleaner solutions. 1. Dishwashing liquid and warm water 2. White vinegar and 70% Water 3. ½ cup baking soda and ½ cup of water 4. ½ cup trisodium phosphate, ⅓ cup laundry detergent, a quart chlorine bleach and a gallon of water 5. ⅓ cup laundry detergent, ⅔ cup household cleaner, quart of bleach and a gallon of water 6. Mix 5 drops of white vinegar, lemon essential oil and dish soap in a gallon of water 7. ½ cup Borax and a gallon of warm water Spray the vinyl siding with the power washer. Often this can remove the dirt, debris and stains. If not, make any of the mixtures, scrub the vinyl siding with it and rinse it off thoroughly with clean water. Homemade Vinyl Siding Cleaner Some of the most popular homemade vinyl siding cleaners can be made by filling a bucket with warm water and adding a little bot of household cleansers like dishwashing liquid, white vinegar, baking soda, trisodium phosphate, laundry detergent, chlorine bleach, lemon essential oil or Borax and mixing it together. Best Vinyl Siding Cleaner For Pressure Washer Deciding which is the best vinyl siding cleaner to use with a pressure washer depends on factors like price, safety, convenience and effectiveness. For many people, homemade mixtures of dishwashing liquid, vinegar, baking soda and Borax is best because it is inexpensive, safe, convenient and effective. Some find commercial cleaning products to be best. Ultimately, how old and dirty the vinyl siding is and how much elbow grease and money you want to use determines the best vinyl siding cleaner for use with a pressure washer. Benefits Of Power Washing Vinyl Siding Regularly pressure washing, cleaning and disinfecting the vinyl siding on your home has several valuable benefits. It removes environmental debris, helps keep away algae and prevents discoloration, staining, oxidation, premature-aging and fading. It helps keep the color vibrant, protects the vinyl surface and the health of people who frequent the home. Pressure washing a home's vinyl siding improves its curb appeal, saves on the cost of maintenance, is an efficient and effective way to clean your home’s exterior and increases your property's value by up to 5%.