4 tips to keep new vinyl siding radiant

4 tips to keep new vinyl siding radiant

While it's true that new vinyl siding never needs repainting, the term "maintenance free" is somewhat misleading. Over time, any type of cladding is going to get dirty, and if you live in a wet climate you may get mold or lichen growth on the material that needs to be cleaned off to prevent damage. Annual cleaning helps ensure your vinyl siding colors remain bright and looking new.

If you own a power washer, you are in good shape. If not, consider renting one as it can make the job of cleaning vinyl siding infinitely easier. To counter moss or lichen growth, you may need to use a bit of bleach or similar type of cleaner to neutralize the growth.

Show your true vinyl siding colors

Power washers are great tools to bring back luster to vinyl siding colors. Depending on the tip used on the wand, a pressure washer can gently spray away accumulated detritus, or it can carve grooves in concrete. Here are four tips to help you make sure you don't damage your new vinyl siding in a misguided effort to clean it.

  1. Select the right tip. Power washers have several different tips for the wand that perform differently. Use a tip that has a 40-degree fan spray or better. The lower the degree, the sharper the water stream. A zero-degree tip, which produces a tight, straight spray pattern, can easily punch right through even the thickest vinyl cladding.
  2. Use the proper power setting. Running the power washer on high might get the job done faster, but it also might degrade the integrity of the cladding if you hold the wand too close to the walls. Either run the power washer on a low-power setting, or make sure the wand is more than a foot from your walls at all times.
  3. Spray top to bottom. Start high and spray down. Never spray upward, as you can force water underneath the vinyl siding, which can lead to all sorts of troublesome problems with rot and mildew.
  4. Keep the wand flat when spraying. You want the wand to be pointed level and straight at the walls at all times. Don't create angles with the water spray that could bite into the cladding and strip away the top layer. It may be harder to reach high places, especially in homes with gable-end rafters, but by keeping the wand flat you won't damage your home.

Power washing new vinyl siding isn't a complicated task if done properly. If it sounds like too much work, many of the pre-screened and certified contractors found through this site can tackle the task for you and let you enjoy a free weekend.

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