Vinyl. It’s probably one of the most manufactured materials in the world, surpassing millions of millions of tons per year. It has its advantages besides being used as materials to build storage packages like water boxes, food lunches, among many other examples.
When it comes to houses, you can even see it as a type of floor tile, with its own benefits and advantages. But in this article, I’m going to cover how vinyl sidings work, and how to properly maintain them and keep them clean.
Take note that how you deal with the cleaning process may depend on several factors, and you might not have to deal with some depending on where you live. With that said, knowing the common threats will help you understand your siding’s situation and how to approach the cleaning process.
First of All
The reason why people go for vinyl sidings is simple: it is a good alternative to other choices such as wood clapboard, boards, aluminum, and other materials, yet, cheaper on most occasions.
This specific type of siding is often used for weatherproofing since it provides protection, and it can be quite resistant. with that said, it depends entirely on the type of weather it’ll confront on a daily basis. It’s well known that extreme sun and heat can reduce the siding’s lifespan by half, lasting from 10 to 15 years instead of 20 to 30.
Another feature of vinyl its that it’s much versatile than other products because of its already integrated color. You won’t have to paint it either, which reduces your maintenance expenses by one.
It’s regular exposure to the weather and its many qualities might hinder your siding’s looks. This is pretty normal since things like wind, dirt, leaves, rain, and even birds and insects may dirty it and you can do nothing to avoid it. Sun and incidents related to stains can also be a problem, as well as humidity and lack of sunlight.
All these problems are fairly common, though, and there’s nothing to worry about. As long as you take the necessary steps to maintain the vinyl clean, it won’t be a problem.
Now, let’s proceed with the cleaning depending on the problem.
How to Deal with Dirt, Grime & Other Problems
For your normal fonds of dirtiness such as these, including chalk and soot, a bucket with water mixed with a vinyl siding cleaner, a soft brush or cleaning rubber mop, and a hose is more than enough.
You shouldn’t be too rough, though, and try to avoid using too much water, as well as using too much pressure, because it can increase the humidity of the siding, causing problems in the long term run.
When it comes to products, there are sprays that make things way easier to deal with, but if you can, you should also get a bottle of cleaner. It’s good to have both things because a spray makes it easier to clean specific spots in the vinyl, and a bottle makes it easier to mix with water and clean larger areas.
Try to avoid going for places that don’t require cleaning, since that way, you’ll reduce the risks of increasing the siding’s humidity. The less you clean it, the better, but it doesn’t mean you should ignore the dirtied spots.
You shouldn’t worry too much, though, since it’s easier to deal with dirt, grime and chalk, thus, you might end up cleaning it before using too much water. Most of the time, just by using the cleaner and water mix, then removing it with a hose, will be more than enough.
Dealing with Stains
Stains are often caused by incidents, and it’s absolutely normal. On most occasions, a stain won’t be removed by standard cleaning products, so you’ll have to look into other alternatives and cleaning methods to deal with them.
If possible, you might want to ask your provider which cleaner might be the best choice, or if they have a specific cleaning product to use with their sidings, you should go for it and get it yourself.
Of course, you can always check online and research for a product yourself, but before giving it a try, do a small test on a small area to see how the vinyl reacts to the product. If it doesn’t end up badly, go ahead and try it out on the other part, but, make sure to at least wait a couple of days to see if the products bring problems afterward.
The cleaning method should be the same, but some products might be unsafe, so take that into consideration. I usually just use a soft cleaning mop to rub the cleaner on the stain and slowly scratch it with the mop until it has been removed.
Removing Mold and Mildew
Although vinyl is resistant to mold and mildew, there are occasions where mold grows in the outer layer of dirt, and this is more likely to happen in warm climates and high humidity levels.
To deal with this problem, you should combine detergent with trisodium, bleach, and water. Make sure to use a ⅓ cup of detergent, ⅔ of trisodium, ¼ of 5% bleach, and ¾ of water. If you don’t follow this recipe, you might cause damage to the vinyl because of the chemicals.
If this homebrew solution is not enough to deal with the problem, you can search for a specific cleaner used to remove mold and mildew. You can search for it on the internet, or at a local store.
Most cleaning products aiming for vinyl will be more than enough, so you shouldn’t have any trouble at all. If you encounter difficulties, you can always do a little research or contact your provider to solve your doubts.