Vinyl siding is the most popular siding option in the United States with good reason. It comes in a variety of colors and styles, is quite durable, and very low maintenance. But even this convenient and popular siding option needs some periodic maintenance.
Regular care can make a big difference in how nice vinyl siding looks, and how long it lasts.
Clean Your Siding Regularly
Cleaning your siding every six months to a year will keep it looking newer and lasting longer. The good news is, vinyl is easy to clean with a soft bristle brush and mild soap. Gently scrub the siding, then rinse the area with water from your regular garden hose. You can also use a pressure washer on your home but take extra precautions when doing so. Make sure you have read the instructions for your specific pressure washer model, and spray at a 90-degree angle, so you do not force water up between the vinyl slabs.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals
While regular cleaning is essential, some chemicals can damage the vinyl material. Solutions to avoid include undiluted bleach, liquid grease remover, and furniture cleaning agents. Abrasive scrubbers such as steel wool should also be kept away from vinyl. Both of these items can damage the surface, fading the color, and reducing the water-repelling qualities.
Spot Mold and Mildew
If you find mold, take the time to clean it now before it gets any worse. Just as with regular cleaning, do not use chemical cleaners. Choose a cleaner specifically for vinyl or make your own with a mix of 1 cup vinegar with 1 gallon of water. However, if you notice dry rot or holes when inspecting for mold, then it is time to replace your siding.
Repair Cracks and Holes Quickly
If your siding has gaps or cracks, it could let moisture into the walls and affect your home’s ability to control the temperature. When moisture penetration goes untreated, it eventually causes mold and rot, which could even damage the structural integrity of your home. Call a professional to repair the damaged siding panels now to avoid a more intensive, and expensive, project.
Avoid Painting Vinyl
Technically, your siding can be painted by a professional. However, many manufacturers will void the warranty if vinyl siding is painted. And worse, even if the siding is painted correctly, it can warp or become damaged. If you do choose to paint your vinyl siding, make sure a professional painter thoroughly cleans and primes it, then uses a vinyl-safe acrylic paint. However, if you really want to freshen up your home’s exterior with a new color, replacing your siding with new vinyl is usually a better idea.
Keep the Grill Away
Vinyl is durable to the elements, but it can’t withstand the heat from an open flame. Many homeowners will place grills up against the side of their house for convenience. But grills in use should be kept at least 10 feet away to avoid melting and warping vinyl siding. Additionally, keep your grill on a stone or brick surface. This safety measure will avoid catching fire to grass or shrubs, which could also damage your siding, or worse cause a full-blown house fire.
If you see any signs that your siding is worn - such as warping, cracking, excessive mold, or dry rot - during your cleaning this year, it may be time for a siding replacement. Contact Brothers for a free consultation with one of our siding experts, who can help you find the best option for your home.