Proper vinyl siding maintenance will keep the exteriors of your home looking and functioning at their best.
All homeowners understand the importance of maintaining various components of their property. Roofs, landscaping, appliances, paint, and many other parts of the home must be maintained to ensure they function and look their best.
Regular maintenance helps improve the property’s curb appeal and keep up (or improve) its overall value. The exterior materials are one of the most important elements to maintain in any house.
Regardless of the type of materials used on the exterior of your property, some maintenance is required, and vinyl siding is no different. So, today, we’re diving into everything you need to know about vinyl siding maintenance, such as when to do it, how to do it, and everything in between.
Continue reading below to learn more.
Vinyl Siding 101
One of the most popular types of siding among property owners is vinyl. Here are some attributes and characteristics that make it so well-loved:
- Extremely Affordable — Besides helping save money on energy bills, siding made from vinyl will also help save money because it has a highly affordable upfront cost. It is significantly less expensive than most other exterior materials, such as brick or wood.
- Ultra-Durable — This material is made from extremely durable plastic. It is built to resist excessive moisture and constant exposure to harsh elements. It is pest, rust, and rot-resistant and is essentially indestructible. In most cases, it should last for decades. Homes wrapped in siding typically come with a warranty, so even if the siding doesn’t live up to its claims (which is unusual), property owners can rest easy knowing they can always fall back on it if necessary.
- Lowers Energy Costs — This material is an excellent insulator that contributes to lower utility bills. Siding is like a protective, warm coat for your house, and vinyl is an ideal material.
- Very Versatile — Another great feature of this siding is its versatility. It can be manufactured to look virtually identical to other types of materials, so much so that most people cannot spot the difference. It comes in just about every shape, texture, and color. Want stone, brick, or wood siding but don’t want to deal with its drawbacks? Vinyl is your answer.
- Improves Curb Appeal and Value — Vinyl siding installation instantly boosts curb appeal to any house. Properties wrapped in this material are sure to be the best-looking ones on the block. Moreover, this siding helps increase the value of your home.
- Simple Installation Process — This material is very easy to install, especially when you compare it to the installation process of other materials. Because this siding is lightweight and comes with pre-drilled holes, it is a quick and easy process for your vinyl siding installation professionals.
- Low Maintenance — This material does not require much maintenance. In fact, it is among the lowest maintenance options for exterior materials. It requires little to no work and upkeep to look its best and requires no painting.
Everything You Need to Know About Vinyl Siding Maintenance
Now that you know about this material, it’s essential to thoroughly understand the vinyl siding maintenance process. While siding made from vinyl is low maintenance, there is some effort required, albeit simple. Maintaining your siding is easy with the right equipment and preparation. Some homeowners choose to hire help, while others opt to do it themselves. If you’re a DIY guy, here’s what you need to know:
Whether your siding-wrapped property has damage from weather, user error, or normal wear and tear, it’s important to fix any issues sooner rather than later. Postponing repairs means minor problems have time to become big problems. Just remember, the longer you wait usually means paying more in repairs.
Thankfully, spotting issues shouldn’t be a problem with routine inspections. Here’s what you should keep your eye out for:
- Look at the overall appearance of your siding. Is the vinyl discolored due to dirt buildup or constant exposure to extreme elements?
- Look for warped, broken, or loose panels. Panels should be replaced as soon as possible to protect your home from water or pest damage.
- Pay special attention to the lower portion of your home since this area is especially susceptible to damage. Things like sprinklers, rocks thrown by your lawn mower, grill usage, and other factors can expedite the damage process.
Washing Your Siding
Washing your vinyl siding will help keep your property looking its best. Here are the few steps it takes, as well as some pro tips that you need to know:
Preparing to Wash — Before you start the cleaning process, make sure to take some time prepping the area. Anything surrounding your siding is likely to also get “washed,” so clear the space of planter pots, toys, grills, and outdoor furniture. You may want to cover up any foundational plantings, as well. Make sure you shut all doors and windows completely to avoid any potential interior damage.
Gather necessary gear, such as eye protection, gloves, and anything else you may want to wear. You’ll also need the right equipment for the job. Some homeowners choose to use a cleaner and power washer. However, it is essential to understand the details of your siding’s warranty. Some warranties can become void if you use such products or machines on them.
The good news is a bucket of warm to hot water, a very soft-bristled brush or microfiber towel, and a garden hose (with no nozzle; that can void your warranty, too!). Lastly, you’ll want to quickly walk around your property and look for any damaged areas in your siding that you should avoid. Follow the aforementioned tips for the best results.
Washing Your Siding — Here’s a quick and straightforward cleaning 5-step process:
- Without directly spraying any windows or doors, use an extension pole and soft-bristled brush to wash small areas at a time. Dip your brush in your desired cleaning solution and gently scrub.
- Use a ladder to reach higher-up areas when necessary.
- Scrub tough spots or areas with potential mold growth.
- Rinse with your garden hose before the siding dries.
- Repeat steps on areas with tough spots.
Mold and Mildew — The unfortunate reality with siding is that you may find mold and mildew build up in various spots. A mixture of water (7 parts) and bleach (3 parts), or for a more natural approach, a water and white vinegar mixture (same ratios) and a bit of elbow grease should tackle any mold or mildew issues. If it’s a more significant issue you don’t want to take on, a professional can help.
Mulch Residue — If you have mulch in your foundation plantings, you’ve probably had the issue of mulch residue. Mulch residue may be the result of artillery spores in your yard. Artillery spores come from a specific fungus in your backyard, which lives in wood mulch and other organic materials. Unfortunately, the only way to completely remove artillery spores is to replace your mulch with full bark mulch and replace your siding.
However, you can lessen its appearance by washing your siding the same way you did to get rid of mold and mildew.
Pro Tips for Vinyl Siding Maintenance
- When cleaning your siding, be sure that the cleaning solution, soap, or cleanser you are using is not harmful to your siding. Keep in mind what kind of siding you have—for example, if it’s made from wood, it will likely do better with a simple cleaning solution. In contrast, something like vinyl is more durable and can stand up to something stronger.
- In all instances, you should read the details outlined in your warranty to learn how to best clean it. You may even want to conduct a small test to see how your siding stands up to your cleaning product. Find an area in a hidden area, maybe behind a bush or your air-conditioning unit, and test how the siding holds up.
- You can store your cooled-down grill next to your siding-wrapped house; however, if it’s in use or still hot from previous use, you’ll want to pull it several feet away from your property as the high temperatures can melt, warp, or otherwise damage your siding.
- If you’re facing siding discoloration, make sure you look into your warranty before breaking out the paint. You’ll want to consult with your siding manufacturer too. Paint may fix the issue, but it could void your warranty at the same time.
- Only tackle one section or area at a time. Doing the whole house all at once can feel a little daunting, and any products won’t get properly rinsed before it dries and causes more issues than good. Break your property up into sections for a much more manageable job.
- Cleaning your siding is most effective when you start at the top and work your way down.
- Do not perform this task in high heat. The cleaning solution may dry too quickly if the temperature is too high, making it difficult to effectively rinse off and clean.
- You should be able to get away with washing your siding between two and four times per year. However, washing it wherever necessary is always a good idea.
- Inspections should be done at least twice yearly. Do them before you wash your siding and after every major storm.
- If your siding is particularly dirty, spray it with warm water twice before scrubbing or using your cleaning products. Removing as much dirt and debris as possible during the pre-rinsing stage will get you a cleaner finished product.
- Never use a tough bristled brush; it can scratch your siding and leave your property looking worse than when you started.
- Consider using multiple ladders, if possible. This will save you the time and hassle of consistently moving ladders while cleaning. It could also give you safer access to various heights as you accomplish this task.
- If ever something feels out of your realm, you have questions, or you simply just would rather have someone else handle the job, always reach out to a trusted and knowledgeable professional to complete the job.
Want to Learn More About Vinyl Siding Maintenance? Mountain State Windows & Siding Is Here for You!
Do you have further questions about vinyl siding maintenance or want your existing or new-build property wrapped in this exciting material? The professionals at Mountain State Windows & Siding can help!
Whether you want to update or upgrade your current home or are building a new house and are selecting its original exterior materials, vinyl is the best siding for any property. Old siding and other types of building materials are outdated, less efficient and effective, and cost a lot more money. If you are ready to upgrade and improve the look and functionality of your property, our skilled crew can help.
Our team has worked tirelessly for our outstanding reputation and is proud to be known as a trustworthy, hassle-free, and professional home improvement company in Northern Utah. We strive to give our customers more than just quality siding and windows — we are also dedicated to giving our clients the highest customer service out there. Anyone who has worked with Mountain States can attest that we stand behind our work and products.
When it comes to remodels, from windows and professional vinyl siding installation to kitchen or bathroom renovations (our trusted team does that, too!), homeowners want a professional, highly qualified company to make their dreams come to life. We are proud to be that type of company.
We promise our clients professional, transparent service. We are always upfront about every process and accompanying costs along the way. We also know how important our customer’s budget is, so we are dedicated to staying within yours. At Mountain States, we only provide quality products and materials that will improve the function, value, and look of your property.
When you choose Mountain States Windows and Siding, you can rest assured you will receive premium, honest, and friendly service with a smile. We serve homes, businesses, and other properties all along the Wasatch Front, so if you live in Salt Lake City, Lehi, Payson, West Jordan, Park City, or a neighboring city, contact the trusted team at Mountain States Window & Siding today!