Huge popularity is attached to the name of vinyl siding, particularly in the United States. Vinyl siding is primarily used for decorative and weatherproof cladding for a house. Its name comes from its basic ingredient, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin. Earlier, timber, aluminum and fiber cement siding were used for external cladding construction. Vinyl siding is the most wanted alternative to traditional sidings. However, maintaining vinyl siding includes annual cleaning to keep the material as good as new. There are number of cleaning solutions that you can use; some you can prepare at home, and some are available on the market.
Homemade Cleaning Solutions for Vinyl Siding
Normal dishwashing or laundry soap is good enough for cleaning a vinyl siding; it is the simplest method at your disposal. Take an adequate amount of soap and mix it with warm water to make a soapy solution (one part soap to ten parts water). Rinse the siding with clear water to remove dirt and dust that has accumulated on its surface. Thereafter, spray the soapy solution onto the vinyl siding. Once the solution has formed a coat like layer, clean the siding using a soft bristle brush, in a side-to-side motion. After you have cleaned the surface, immediately rinse the area. Do not let the solution to dry on the siding before you rinse it off.
Oxygen Bleach and Vinegar Solution
Mold, mildew and algae growth, can be prevented from the siding using a solution of one part of oxygen bleach and four parts water. Dip a soft cloth into the solution and use it to wipe the vinyl siding and remove the unwanted dirt. Wiping the siding more than once will give better results. Once you are certain that the siding has been cleaned completely, rinse it using a garden hose.
Vinegar and Water
A vinegar solution consisting of one part white vinegar with two parts warm water, is also an efficient cleaning solution for mold and mildew. Adding a tablespoon of backing soda to the mixture, helps in eliminating stubborn stains.
For stubborn stains, certain products like Quick-N-Brite and Mean Green are economical to use. Being non-toxic cleaners, they present no hazard to the environment. Several cleaners are available to clean bird droppings, spider web, grease, oil, paint, tar, soil, rust and other kinds of contaminants.
Clean the Siding with a Water Hose
Vinyl siding is supposed to be maintenance free. However, exposure to the environment gradually makes the siding to wear a dull and dirty look. One of the most common and preferred ways opted for cleaning vinyl siding is to rinse it down using a garden hose. Dirt, dust, mold, algae and the like, can be washed off from the siding, by applying a medium misting spray of water using a nozzle.
If you are planning to clean your vinyl sidings regularly, then purchasing a power washer would be a better option than renting it. Close all the windows and doors and other openings before you start power washing the vinyl siding. The solvents or solution to be used should be suitable for power washer use. Start with low pressure and spray with smooth and overlapping strokes, starting from the bottom till the top. After having sprayed the cleaning solution, rinse the vinyl siding starting from the top to the bottom. A pressure washer works under high pressure, and can damage or knock out loose windows and panes, if there are any. So, always be careful about the control of pressure in this type of washing.
Commercial Cleaning Solutions
Some stains are stubborn than just dirt, bird droppings, spider webs, etc. And for getting rid of such stains, there are certain products that you can make use of. The following table tells you about the kind of cleaner you must use for a particular type of stain. And for your easy reference, each product has been denoted by a letter.
- Fantastik - 'F'
- Murphy Oil Soap - 'M'
- Windex - 'W'
- Lestoil - 'L'
- Lysol - 'Ly'
- Brillo Pad - 'B'
- Soft Scrub - 'S'
|Bubble gum||F, M, W|
|Car grease||F, L, M, W|
|Motor oil||F, Ly, M, W|
|Rusting stain||F, M, W|
Depending upon the cleaning, the cleaner can be purchased or even prepared at home. Considering the environment and health of you and your family, non-toxic and Eco-friendly vinyl siding cleaning solutions and solvents must be chosen over others. Undiluted chlorine bleach, grease remover, nail polish or furniture polish remover and similar solvents must not be used as cleaning agents for vinyl siding.