If you don’t know how to clean the vinyl siding, follow the below steps for an optimum washing result without any damage to your sidings and home.
House siding is one of the most important investments a homeowner can make. Vinyl siding is a popular choice because it is durable, easy to maintain, and has a wide variety of colors and styles from which to choose.
Moreover, vinyl siding is a great option for homeowners looking to update the look of their homes without having to paint. One common problem that homeowners face is how to clean their vinyl siding.
Pressure washing is often recommended as a great way to clean vinyl siding, but there are some things you need to know before you start. Vinyl is a soft material that can be easily scratched or gouged. When you pressure wash a vinyl siding, you must be careful not to damage it. You must use the right amount of pressure and the right type of nozzle to clean it without causing any damage.
What Is a Pressure Washer And How does It Perform For Cleaning Vinyl Siding
A pressure washer is a technological replacement for a simple garden hose for cleaning and washing purposes. The main concept of a pressure washer is to increase the pressure of water measured in PSI (per square inch) by using a high-pressure pump fueled with a gasoline engine or an electric motor.
With this high pressure of water, a pressure washer is the best tool available to blast away dirt and grime from any surface of your home, be it vinyl siding, concrete, or driveways.
The dirt, grime, or mildew constituted on the surface is difficult to clean with a simple garden hose along with soap and water mixture and it will take a lot of time. Therefore, buying the best pressure washer for your home is the best option pertaining to so many cleaning tasks.
You can check our article on the best pressure washers for vinyl siding
How to Pressure Wash Vinyl Siding
After taking all the precautionary measures it is time to hit the road. It’s good and very effective to follow the below steps for the best washing results without causing any damage to your vinyl sidings and home.
Use Pressure Washer Detergent
Most of the time water alone at high pressure performs its duties well but if you want the best results you can use soap mixed with water. However, the pressure washer detergent is ultimately best for optimum results.
Note: don’t use ordinary detergent.
Always use pressure washer detergents with a label on them saying “approved for pressure washer use” because those unapproved detergents can damage your pressure washer and its components.
Apply The Detergent Solution
Apply the soap or pressure washer detergent from the bottom of the siding and move gradually upwards to avoid streaking. Move the wand up and down at the small area and go from left to right in a systematic way. This way there are limited chances to skip a patch of siding.
This process should be done under low pressure with a smooth movement of the wand in overlapping strokes.
Use A Brush If There Are Tough Stains
Years-long dirt and grime are sometimes difficult to remove even with soap and detergent mixture. If this happens with you then use a utility or rotating brush to clean the surface like the new one. This rotatory brush can be easily attached at the end of the pressure washer wand.
Along with the solution coming out of the brush, it rotates with pressure and rubs the surface to remove tougher stains easily.
Let The Solution Work
After applying the solution leave it to do its magic for almost 3-5 minutes. But don’t let it dry completely. The solution won’t work well if it dries completely.
Divide Work Into Small Sections
If there is excessive sunlight or windy conditions and you think the soap solution or detergent might dry early, you must divide the work into small patches or small sections. So wash small siding sections a few feet at a time, this will give you enough time to rinse before letting the solution completely dry.
Rinse From The Top Down
Now start rinsing from the top of the siding and move from one end to another and gradually move downwards. That’s why no patch of siding will remain soapy or have streaks of detergent. Moreover, for a safe washing experience,
Rinsing From A Distance For Safe Cleaning
Always start rinsing from a distance of 2-3 feet from the siding to protect the vinyl siding from any potential damage with heavy pressure. Start the rinsing process by setting the pressure low. You can eventually increase the pressure afterward to get the desired cleaning results.
NOTE: If you use high pressure on the first go, you can damage your vinyl siding. The water at this sudden high pressure can reach into the walls and provide suitable ground for the growth of mildew and mold.
Start Early To Let The Vinyl Siding Dry
This is another thing to get the best results from pressure washing. Always start early on a bright and sunny morning. This will let the vinyl siding dry completely and there will be no chance of mold growing on its back.
Safety Tips Before Pressure Washing Vinyl Siding
Pressure washing vinyl siding of your home is a fun-packed experience but can be dangerous if you have not taken precautionary measures before starting the task. The pressure from the nozzle of this machine is huge and can definitely cause damage to you or your home siding. Therefore, you must know the proper way to clean vinyl siding with a pressure washer along with all its safety measures.
When washing the vinyl siding of your home, first of all, use the best pressure washer to clean the vinyl siding. This is because not all the pressure washers are capable to do this heavy task.
Secondly, most of the time vinyl siding covers a large area or surrounding of your home/walls. Therefore you have to protect all these surroundings, doors, windows, plants, etc… while washing vinyl siding. So safety is the basic and important thing to do first:
Use Safety And Protective Gears
The most important one is to make sure that you are wearing the proper clothing. This means that you will want to wear clothes that will protect your skin, such as long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and closed-toe shoes. It’s also a good idea to wear goggles and a dust mask to protect your eyes and lungs from debris created by the pressure washing.
Protect Nearby Objects
It is also important to protect any nearby objects from high-pressure water. The force of the water can knock over plants, knock objects off decks or balconies, and even damage cars. Make sure to move any object that may be in the way of the spray and be prepared to clean up any mess made.
Covering nearby plants and furniture with tarps
This is the time when you want to make sure that you cover any nearby plants or furniture with tarps. If you do not do this, then there is a good chance that they will get wet and may even get damaged in the process. Therefore tarps can be put over nearby plants and furniture to protect them from the high pressured stream of water.
Pressure washing companies understand that you want to protect your property, and they will usually bring their own tarps with them when they come out to clean your siding. However, it is always a good idea to take care of this yourself.
Watch Out For Electric Circuits
Another most important thing to remember is to avoid coming into contact with any electric circuits. Before starting, be sure to shut off the power to the house at the breaker box. You should also check for any hanging power lines or electrical equipment in the area that could be damaged by the high-pressure water.
Stay focused while using a pressure washer
Pressure washing a vinyl siding can cause injury if you’re not paying attention. Make sure to stay focused on the task at hand to avoid any potential injuries or damage to your property. It’s important to monitor the water pressure while pressure washing a vinyl-sided home.
Avoid using a Ladder
Pressure washing a house with vinyl siding can be a dangerous proposition. One easy way to reduce the risk of an accident is to avoid using a ladder. If you have a second story, consider using a telescoping wand or hiring a professional to do the job for you.
Stay Clear of Windows and Glass panes
When pressure washing a vinyl siding, always aim the nozzle away from windows to avoid getting cleaner or debris inside your home. It is important to avoid getting the water near windows and glass panes. The high pressure from the water can cause the windows to break or shatter.
Don’t Shoot Directly At The Vinyl
If you are using a power washer to clean your vinyl siding, always be sure to angle the spray away from the vinyl. Direct contact with the high-pressure water can cause the vinyl to warp or peel.
Use A Low-Pressure Washer Setting
A light-duty pressure washer is ideal for vinyl siding because it will not cause any damage. If you do not have a light-duty pressure washer, try to keep the pressure as low as possible and avoid any unnecessary direct contact with the vinyl.
Use Correct Nozzle
Another important safety measure is to make sure that you are using the correct type of nozzle for the job. A fan nozzle is the best type of nozzle to use when pressure washing vinyl siding because it disperses the water in a fan-like pattern.
A turbo nozzle is not the best type of nozzle to use when pressure washing vinyl siding because it creates a more concentrated stream of water that can damage the vinyl siding.
Use A Soft Cloth
When cleaning your vinyl siding, try using a soft cloth instead of a brush or scrubber. This will help prevent any damage or scratches to the surface.
What PSI do I need to wash the vinyl siding?
For best results, you'll want to use a pressure washer that generates 1500-2000 PSI of force. This will be enough to remove mildew and dirt on vinyl siding.
How many years will vinyl siding last?
It could be anywhere from about 25 to 50 years depending on the quality. Pressure washing vinyl siding regularly, helps to maintain its luster, however, if the pressure washer is too powerful then it can cause damage.
How do you clean vinyl siding without a pressure washer?
• First, go out with a scrub brush and soap solution made with water. • Use the soap on all parts of your siding that are moldy or slimy so that mildew loses its grip on the siding. • Give it some time. • Rinse your vinyl siding with water.