Although vinyl siding generally requires much less maintenance than other types of siding, it is still important that homeowners take the time to wash it at least once a year. The easiest way to do so is by using a pressure washer, which should allow you to easily reach all areas from the ground. By spending a few hours pressure washing your house once or twice a year, you can go a long way towards ensuring your home’s exterior remains attractive for years to come.
Pressure washing vinyl siding isn’t difficult, but it does require that you take your time and pay special attention in order to prevent damage. Still, the process should be simple as long as you follow these steps.
Inspect Your Siding
The first thing you’ll want to do is do a full inspection of your siding to make sure there are no missing, loose or cracked pieces as these will need to be repaired prior to washing. At the same time, it’s also important to identify where and how the siding overlaps. Finally, make sure that all windows are fully sealed and caulked to prevent water from leaking inside.
Prepare Your Plants
Before pressure washing, you’ll first want to thoroughly water and then cover all nearby plants. This will hopefully help to prevent the washing detergent from harming the plants. You’ll also want to make sure to trim any branches out of the way if they will interfere with your washing.
Start Off with Soap
You’ll generally need to use specialty pressure-washer soap to fully clean the siding but it’s always important to test a small area to make sure it won’t damage or discolor the siding. After pouring the soap into the reservoir, gently spray a small section of siding using the soap nozzle. This nozzle generally has a lower-pressure blast to ensure the chemicals in the soap don’t damage the vinyl.
Make sure to only ever spray at a downwards angle and watch out so you don’t spray into the overlaps. This should help prevent water from getting trapped behind the siding and potentially causing mold or other damage.
Lather, Rinse and Repeat
When using the soap, it’s important to never spray too large of an area at a time as you never want to let the soap dry. Therefore, you’ll need to regularly switch back and forth between soap and plain water. Due to the small size of the reservoir, often you can just wait until you run out of soap, and then use this as an opportunity to make the switch and start rinsing.
When you do this, you’ll also want to switch and use a general purpose nozzle (10 to 15 degrees). This will provide a more powerful spray to effectively rinse off the soap and take care of any stuck-on dirt and grime.
Clean and Dry
You’ll need to repeat this process again and again, working one small section at a time until you’ve finished the entire house. On a big house, this could end up taking you all day, whereas it may only take a few hours on a smaller property. Either way, you should go around and dry off all of the interior and exterior corners of the siding just to make sure that that excess water doesn’t seep behind.
While it does take some time, pressure washing your siding is most definitely worth it. In fact, most homeowners don’t even realize just how much dirt and grime is actually on their home until they start cleaning. So give it a try—the results are almost guaranteed to surprise you.