Cleaning Home Siding 29. March 2016 Administrator Home Siding (0) Spring is in the air! Does anyone have spring cleaning fever like we do? It is time to start airing out our homes, cleaning out closets and reorganizing the garage. Not only do we need to clean out the inside of our homes after a long winter, but the outside of our homes could use a little TLC as well! Once all the snow melts away, you can see the leaves and sticks you may not have raked up, trash that blew in from the neighbors, and so on. Spring is the time to clean up your garage, yard, flower beds, garden area, and most importantly your siding. Overtime your vinyl siding or cement board siding can get pretty dingy looking. Our experts at Iowa Home Exteriors have some maintenance and cleaning tips to share with you to keep the siding on your home looking its best. No matter what type of siding you currently have you will want to clean it from time to time. Today we are going to cover how to clean and maintain 3 types of siding: Vinyl Fiber Cement (cement board) Brick Cleaning Different Types of Siding Clean Vinyl Siding There are a couple different ways you can clean off last winter’s grime from your vinyl siding. You can mix up an effective cleaning solution by mixing up these ingredients in a bucket: 1 gallon of water 1/3 cup dry laundry detergent 1 quart of bleach CAUTION: For your safety wear rubber gloves add googles while working with cleaning agents like bleach. Do not mix bleach with vinegar, ammonia or anything that may create harmful gases. You will want to use a soft cloth to scrub your siding or a soft bristle brush for those troublesome textured areas. After scrubbing off the grime, rinse off the siding with a garden hose. The second option is to use a power washer. It wasn’t our first choice because if the pressure is turned up too high or the spray pattern is too narrow, you can actually damage your vinyl siding. CAUTION: Always wear eye protection when using a power washer. If you use a power washer make sure you use a medium to low pressure setting or a wide spray pattern. A pressure washer, if used correctly, can be a very effective way to clean your home vinyl siding. Clean Fiber Cement Siding (Cement Board) This will be very similar to cleaning vinyl siding. Our first recommendation is to make a simple solution of water and mild dishwashing liquid. Use a siding brush (non-metal) or soft cloth to scrub your siding clean. Finish up by rinsing the area with a garden hose. Some people think fiber cement siding is indestructible because of the word “cement.” Fiber cement is incredibly durable but like all siding, there is a risk of chipping and cracking if improperly cleaned. With all that being said, using a power washer to clean your fiber cement siding is not the first option we recommend. If you decide to use a pressure washer stay back at least 6 feet from the siding and use low pressure (under 1500 psi.) and a wide spray pattern. A pressure washer can be helpful for those tuff trouble areas. We have included a shareable info-graphic "Cleaning Your Fiber-Cement Siding" like James Hardie Siding. You can download it and send it to any friends or neighbors that may find it useful. Clean Brick Siding When cleaning brick siding the first step is to use a stiff (not a wire) brush to remove any hard thick pieces of mud or dirt. Next, use the same solution mentioned above for vinyl siding and scrub your brick clean. Lastly, rinse it all with a garden hose. A power washer is NOT recommended on brick. Extreme pressure can chip away the brick and also crack the mortar used to hold them in place. After washing your brick siding you may have a white dusty residue that appears after drying. This residue is call “efflorescence.” It is caused by moisture drawing salt residue out of your brick. Efflorescence can be removed by using a stiff (not a wire) brush and water. Siding Repair & Replacement If your vinyl or cement board siding is damaged or if you have any questions about siding repair or replacement, our team here at Iowa Home Exteriors are here to help you! If you are in the Des Moines or Central Iowa area contact us and we can give you a free estimate on any siding replacement project.