Vinyl siding is one of the most popular siding options in the residential sector. Often lauded for its consistency and durability in comparison to alternative siding options, vinyl siding still needs its own kind of attention.
Here are some of the best ways you can maintain your vinyl siding, and ensure your home’s exterior looks clean and gorgeous for months to come.
Clean Vinyl Siding
One key vinyl siding maintenance tip is to stay diligent in your exterior home cleaning.
Vinyl isn’t going to crack or splinter in the same way that brick or wood paneling would, but it has its own assortment of cleaning necessities. These namely include dirt buildup, grime in between the panels, and moisture damage. Thorough and routine cleaning can work wonders to remedy these afflictions.
There are a few different methods to cleaning your vinyl siding, and the frequency of the process depends largely on your environment. Some homes in particularly arid areas might not see much moisture damage or grime buildup, while others in particularly rainy areas might have to be extra diligent against mold and moss.
Regardless, each of the below methods should be consistently utilized multiple times a year to ensure the strongest, best-looking vinyl siding possible.
Homemade Vinyl Siding Cleaner
Most vinyl siding can be effectively cleaned through the use of a homemade cleaner solution.
The most common method of making your own siding cleaner is by combining one cup of vinegar with 1 gallon of water. The concoction can be sprayed onto dirty areas of a home’s vinyl siding and scrubbed away using common cleaning brushes.
Homemade cleaners are cheap and effective, but their application is often time-consuming. In addition, homemade cleaners are not always effective in removing the deepest stains or discolorations on your vinyl siding. Because of this, homeowners using the homemade method will need to add a few more cleaning sessions into their yearly calendar, as getting the grime early is critical to cleaning the siding efficiently.
While you won’t be spending much money on this option, you can guarantee a significant time investment, as well as the possibility of needing further cleaners to complete the job.
These cleaning tools are some of the most effective and satisfying ways to scrub your vinyl siding.
The initial financial investment can be a bit pricey depending on where you shop; most decent pressure washers cost upwards of $100. But once acquired, there are not much better cleaning methods out there on the market. Pressure washers are thorough, easy to use and get the job done quickly with minimal manual labor. They can also handle long-standing grime and buildup better than your common brush and a homemade solution can.
One area of concern with pressure washers is the pressure itself. Vinyl siding is durable, but it’s not invulnerable, and some pressure-happy homeowners end up regretting their cleaning session once they put the power up too high. Be careful to use only the minimum necessary amount of pressure when washing your vinyl siding. Going too big will result in unwanted denting or indentations in your siding, causing a secondary problem on top of the cleaning one.
Control Your Siding’s Heat Exposure
Siding is often in need of repair due to outside forces making immediate, visible damage. Maybe a stray baseball hits the wall, or the dog pees a little too close for comfort. But long-term exposure damage is equally as important to avoid.
Homeowners must be conscious of the amount of heat their siding is exposed to. Living in hot climates has its advantages when it comes to moisture damage, but heat damage is an extremely common catalyst for siding repairs. When your vinyl siding is exposed to too much heat, it can warp, causing a weakened and less attractive exterior.
Direct sunlight is often the primary cause of warping, but reflections from neighboring or adjacent windows are often to blame as well.
Heat exposure can also result from overuse of combustion tools, like outdoor fireplaces or grills. When operating these items, be sure to do so a fair distance away from your home’s vinyl siding. Having a barbeque every now and then won’t be the root cause of your siding’s damage, but consistent exposure to direct heat will take its toll, especially in warmer seasons.
Don’t Treat Your Siding Like Cement
While many homeowners consider their home their castle, very few houses are built like fortresses.
As mentioned earlier, vinyl siding is durable, but not invulnerable. It should go without saying, but make sure to mind your home’s siding when conducting any and all construction, renovation projects, or large-scale gardening endeavors. Simple bumps and bangs might not seem like much, but dents and scrapes along your vinyl siding can be costly if not carefully monitored.
Even day to day activities can leave their mark. Simple routines, like pulling into and out of your driveway or carrying the trash bins to the curb, are common opportunities for light siding damage. Parent homeowners should be especially careful — kids aren’t exactly budget-conscious when they’re playing outside, and no one wants to be the one to tell mom the soccer ball left a mark on the siding.
Your siding is the outside of your house, and as such, it’s expected to take some bruises during its lifetime. But being totally oblivious is not a good solution either, as the repair costs might total more than you’re willing to invest if left unchecked.
Conduct Routine Inspections
The best way to avoid needing any of the work mentioned above is to conduct routine inspections of your vinyl siding.
Most homeowners can keep good tabs on their siding through a general eye test. Take a few laps around your home, and pay close attention to the coloring of your siding and the consistency of the panels. Is the side of your home a slightly different color of siding than the front? You might be facing some dirt buildup. Are any areas of the siding — particularly corners and intersections — darker in color? Water damage could be affecting your house.
To be safe, it is best to dedicate at least 20-30 minutes for these inspections. Be sure to inspect hard-to-see areas of your exterior as well; below roof ends, near gutters, under bay windows, and the overlapping portion of the paneling are all common areas that homeowners overlook.
If you’re worried something may be amuck, more thorough inspections can be conducted by licensed contractors. A professional will be able to more effectively inspect your home’s siding, and give you a proper diagnosis and workload estimate if legitimate repair is necessary.
Work With Trusted New Jersey Home Contractors
Longview Contracting, LLC has been servicing the New Jersey area with exceptional service for over 30 years. Contact us today to discuss how we can help your home.