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Maintaining Your Siding

May 28, 2022

Your siding is an important aspect of your home’s exterior. It helps to protect against weather elements including the sun, rain, hail, snow, and ice. It also keeps unwanted pests from getting into your home. It also plays a major part in your curb appeal. For all these reasons, you want to keep your siding looking great year-round. This requires proper maintenance to ensure the long life of your siding. Maintaining your siding doesn’t have to be difficult. The most important aspect is making sure that you are using the right cleaning methods for your specific type of siding. When it comes to your siding, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to keep your siding looking amazing.

Inspect Your Siding

Spring can be the perfect time of year to perform necessary maintenance to your siding. Even the most basic maintenance can help save you time and money. Regular maintenance helps you to avoid layered, caked-on dirt. You’ll spend less time cleaning your siding when it is done on a regular basis. You’ll also save money by using your time to inspect your siding as well. Your siding is made to last, but it is still susceptible to wear and tear from weather damage, debris, and outdoor appliances. You should take the time to make sure that all pieces of your siding are secure. Checking for broken or missing siding pieces is important. Even one missing piece can provide unwanted pests a point of entry. Missing siding can also pose the risk of unwanted moisture getting into the interior of your home.

Cleaning Your Siding

Vinyl is one of the most popular options when it comes to siding material. Vinyl is affordable and easy to maintain. It can also mimic the look of other popular siding options. Vinyl can mimic wood, without the risk of rotting, splitting, or insect damage. When properly maintained, vinyl can last for a long time. Cleaning vinyl can be rather simple. All you’ll need is a soft cloth or a long-handled soft bristle brush. You don’t want to use any brush or tools that are overly abrasive. This can cause further damage to your siding. You’ll also need mild soap and water from a hose. It is best to start at the bottom and work your way up. If you use a cleaning solution, you’ll want to make sure that you rinse it away completely.

If you are battling significant grime buildup, or dealing with mold or mildew, there are over-the-counter cleaning solutions that you can purchase at your local store that are safe for vinyl. It is important to always use any cleaning solutions as directed to protect against further damage. It is best to clean your siding at least once a year.

Using a Power Washer

Power washers can seem like a great solution when it comes to cleaning the exterior of your home. On one hand, this is true, but on the other hand, a power washer has to be used with caution. You should first check the recommendations provided by your siding manufacturer. Some will suggest not using a power washer, some will recommend careful use, and some will simply warn about being cautious around windows, doors, plumbing, and electrical systems. If you do choose to use a power washer, it is important to do so cautiously. If you wash at an angle, you could push water behind the siding. This can cause significant damage down the road. You also want to make sure you are mindful of the level of power. If you have the power washer up too high, this could cause paint to wear or chip off, adding a whole new chore to your list.

Fiber Cement Siding

Cleaning fiber cement can be easier to clean than other siding options, but it is recommended to do it more. Fiber cement siding can benefit from a good cleaning once every six to twelve months. This helps to keep the material durable to last longer, protecting your investment. Fiber cement can be cleaned with regular dish detergent and warm water. You want to be careful not to use a brush that is too abrasive to prevent further damage. Since fiber cement is so easy to clean, it is highly recommended that you do not use a power washer to clean the exterior.

Wood Siding

Wood siding requires a different cleaning method than vinyl. It is best to clean this type of siding at least once a year. Wood siding provides a more natural look, which minimizes the appearance of dirt, allowing homeowners to potentially get away with less frequent cleaning. There are cleaners available that are specific for wood siding. Much like vinyl, it is recommended not to use a power washer to clean wood siding. Pressure washers can damage the wood by stripping the paint, warping the wood, and can cause moisture to collect that can cause mold and mildew.

Additional Tips

Wide shot of a tan home with a metal roof. The home has a two-car garage, upstairs patios, and brown windows.

 

No matter what type of siding you have, there are additional tips that can help make maintaining your siding easier. These tips include:

  • Keep grills and other outdoor accessories away. It is important to be mindful of how close your grill is to your siding. The heat coming from the grill can cause significant damage to the siding over time, in some instances even causing the siding to melt.
  • Keep vegetation away. It is important to keep vegetation away for a few reasons. One reason is that vegetation is a natural attraction for insects and other pesky pests. Vegetation can also cause mold and mildew to grow. If you do have vegetation near your siding, it is important to inspect it more frequently.
  • Keep your gutters clear. Gutters play an important role in your roof and siding. If your gutters are clogged with leaves and other debris, water from your roof can overflow, cascading down your siding. This can cause significant damage over time.
  • Point sprinklers away. Sprinklers are a vital part of keeping your landscape lush and healthy. When you rely on a sprinkler system, it is best to make sure that the sprinkler is facing away from your siding. Persistent exposure to water and moisture can cause damage to your siding over time.
Maintain Your Siding

It is important to take care of your siding to ensure its long life. Proper cleaning helps to remove dirt and debris, as well as mold and mildew. While cleaning, it is important to check your siding for any cracks, chips, or missing pieces. Completing small repairs can save you from expensive, larger repairs in the future.

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