One of the top selling points for vinyl siding is the ease of maintenance. But that doesn't mean there's "no maintenance" involved in extending the life of your product. Vinyl siding has come a long way since it caught on as a relatively inexpensive alternative to wood and stone. It's more durable now and holds its color better than it did years ago. That said, you have a continuing role in maintaining the performance and appearance of your siding.
Routine cleaning of vinyl siding
In winter, people tend to let their vinyl siding maintenance schedule fall by the wayside. Who wants to drag out buckets and brushes into the cold air? In truth, you can spare yourself the last-gasp maintenance that requires renting a power washer if you get out regularly and simply use laundry soap, warm water, and a soft-bristled brush to clean off winter grime.
Unless it's freezing outside, you can perform simple maintenance several times during the winter. One of the best tools for cleaning vinyl siding is a soft brush mounted on a telescoping pole. Start off the project by rinsing down the siding with a garden hose. Mix up a solution of laundry soap (1/3 cup) and powdered detergent (2/3 cup) in a gallon of warm water and brush it on from the bottom edge of the siding, up to the top with the detergent mixture.
When you're done soaping and scrubbing, prevent streaks by hosing the siding down from the top to the bottom. Remember, even a top-brand of vinyl siding can be scratched whether it's board and batten, Dutch lap or vinyl log siding. Don't lean a ladder against siding as you clean.
Removing vinyl siding stains and mold
Battle the mildew with a solution of five parts water to one-part oxygen bleach. Never use chlorine-based bleach or you'll end up with regrettable stains. If you perform cleanings throughout the year, there's no real need to get a pressure washer or call in a siding contractor to handle upkeep.
If you don't, you might have to plunk down $75 to rent a pressure washer from an equipment rental company. These washers are not made for horseplay. You can blow yourself right off a ladder or blast someone in the face. Be careful.
It's a good idea cover lighting fixtures, electrical outlets, and landscaping with drop cloths, plastic trash bags and duct tape before bringing on the power washer. Hopefully, you won't let things get this far!