Spring is on the horizon in Saskatchewan! After the long cold winter, we can finally get outside and start taking care of home maintenance tasks. One maintenance task that slips many homeowners' minds is exterior siding maintenance. Your siding is essential in protecting your home from the elements, so ensuring it is in tip-top shape is important. This article will focus on vinyl siding, as it is the most common siding option for most Saskatchewan homes. When it comes to spring vinyl siding maintenance, you'll be happy to hear that it is a simple task! So how do you maintain your vinyl siding and ensure that it will stand up to the spring and summer seasons ahead? The siding experts at United Exteriors are here with some great spring maintenance tips for vinyl siding! Read on to learn more!
Vinyl Siding is a Low-Maintenance Siding Option
Vinyl siding is the most popular siding option for homes in Saskatchewan. While wood, aluminum and fibre cement siding are also great options, vinyl siding is one of the easiest to clean and maintain. With proper maintenance, vinyl siding will last up to 40 years! Now let's get into our maintenance tips for vinyl siding.
Preparing to Clean Vinyl Siding
As with most things, preparation is a key part of vinyl siding cleaning and maintenance. Before you begin cleaning your vinyl siding, there are a few steps you should take to prepare your home. You should start by covering any shrubs around your home and other landscaping. This keeps plants safe from any cleaning products. Next, clear the area of all outdoor furniture, toys and anything else that could be a tripping hazard. You should also unplug any electrical cords in the area you will be cleaning. Lastly, close all your doors and windows to protect the interior of your home from potential damage.
Inspect Your Vinyl Siding
Another important part of vinyl siding cleaning and maintenance is inspecting it for any damage. Vinyl siding is a very durable material that protects your home from insect infestation, water leaks and heat loss. While vinyl siding is durable, it's not invincible. Older vinyl siding products can become brittle over time, resulting in cracks or breaks. High winds and extremely cold temperatures can also cause damage to your vinyl siding. Before cleaning your vinyl siding, look for any of these signs that indicate your vinyl siding needs repairs or replacement:
- Cracks in the Panels: This is probably the most obvious sign that your vinyl siding is damaged. Even the smallest cracks could be a sign of a larger problem. If you notice any cracks, try and look at the surfaces beneath to see if you can see any signs of mould or rotting wood. If you spot signs of mould or rotting, you should have the area repaired before spraying water on it.
- Blisters or Warped Panels: If you spot blisters or warped vinyl siding panels, this could be a sign of water damage. Blisters and warping indicate that water has gotten inside the siding. Your siding is supposed to prevent moisture from getting into your home; this is a good indication that your siding needs repairs or replacements.
- Fungus, Mould or Mildew: Check your vinyl siding for fungus, mould or other kinds of growth, particularly around the seams. Fungus, mould and mildew grow wherever moisture is present. If there are large spots of growth on your siding, it could mean that water is penetrating your siding. Not all instances of fungus, mould and mildew are cause for concern, but they should be investigated further.
Choose the Right Cleaners and Equipment
Now that you have inspected your siding, as long as you didn't find any areas that need repairs or replacement, you are ready to start cleaning! You will want to use cleaners and equipment that will not harm your vinyl siding. Before using any cleaners on your vinyl siding, doing a test spot on a small area of your siding is always a good idea. For the most part, all you will need is a bucket of warm water mixed with a mild soap, like dishwashing liquid. Use a cleaning brush (a long-handled brush works great to get those hard-to-reach areas) or a soft cloth to scrub any dirt or debris by hand, then rinse with a garden hose. If using a pressure washer, ensure it is on a low setting to avoid damaging your siding.
If the dish soap and water solution isn't cleaning off stubborn dirt and stains, you can also make a vinyl siding cleaning solution using bleach or vinegar. To make a bleach solution to clean your vinyl siding, use a 1/2 cup of bleach to one gallon (about 4.5 litres) of water. You can use a pump sprayer to apply it to your siding and then a scrub brush to remove dirt and stains. We recommend wiping the bleach solution off with a cloth or sponge to avoid damaging your home's landscaping. To make a vinegar cleaning solution for your vinyl siding, mix 30% vinegar with 70% water. A vinegar solution is a more eco-friendly option than a bleach solution, but in some cases, bleach might be more effective. Different siding cleaners are also available, but we find dish soap and water to be very effective most of the time.
How Often Should I Clean My Vinyl Siding?
We recommend you clean your vinyl siding at least once a year, generally in the spring. Regular cleaning will prevent dirt accumulation and remove mould, mildew and stains. Properly cleaning and maintaining your vinyl siding will help ensure it lasts its expected lifespan and save you money on costly repairs and replacement.
United Exteriors is Here for all Your Vinyl Siding Needs
Vinyl siding cleaning and maintenance are essential parts of homeownership. And while it may seem like a daunting task, it will be more than worth it in the long run. If you need vinyl siding repairs or replacement in Saskatchewan, we can help! At United Exteriors, we have years of experience installing and repairing vinyl siding. Our team is trained in best installation practices and is insured and certified. If you're looking to update your home's exterior siding, contact us today!