How to prepare old vinyl siding with mold for painting?

Answered by Jeffrey ~ March 28, 2010 ~ Comments

We have very old vinyl siding on our house in Sharon, Pennsylvania. It also has some mold, mildew and dirt on it. How can we prepare the siding for painting?

Sherry S. ~ Sharon, Pennsylvania

Jeffrey Anderson

Hi Sherry, Two of the most important factors in getting a good paint job on vinyl siding are making sure the siding is clean and dry, and using the right paint. One of the nice things about vinyl siding is that you can use a pressure washer on it without being too concerned about damaging it. You can purchase vinyl siding cleaner at home improvement stores. Use some of that through a pressure washer on your siding. You may have to use a scrub brush in places where the dirt is really tough to get off. In places where the mold is abundant try using a 50/50 bleach water mixture and your scrub brush. Make sure you wear protective gloves and glasses, and hose off any plants the mixture happens to get on. Set your pressure washer on a setting that gets the dirt off, but don't set it too high. Vinyl siding is durable, but not indestructible.

After you have rinsed your siding with water, let it completely dry. Now for the paint, vinyl siding has a tendency to expand and contract with the weather. I grew up north of Pittsburgh, so I know Sharon, Pennsylvania can get some temperature extremes. The paint you use needs to have the ability to be elastic, and not crack with the expansion and contraction. When you go to the paint store, tell them what you plan to use the paint for, and they can show you what they have available. You might want to even use a paint contractor for the job. I'm sure there are paint contractors in the Sharon area who have experience painting vinyl siding.

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