Does the vinyl exterior of your home require proper cleaning? Vinyl siding is known for getting dirty more quickly in comparison with other types of exterior surfaces. This material is particularly susceptible to moisture, which in turn allows mold and mildew to spread across the entire outside of your home.
The only way for homeowners to keep their vinyl siding in an optimal condition is by pressure washing it annually. This cleaning process is performed with the assistance of a pressure washer, which employs incredible power to remove moss, dirt, grime, mold, algae, and mildew.
These handy tips will teach you how to pressure wash your vinyl siding with ease.
Prior to engaging in such a process, it’s paramount to get familiar with the techniques you need to employ for the safe operation of a pressure washer. These machines are known to produce tremendous water pressure, which is likely to harm the operator and damage the surface if not appropriately handled. Make sure you read the manual attentively before taking such a device in your hands for the very first time.
Moreover, in the course of the cleaning process, you aren’t supposed to touch the spray with your hands or point it in the direction of another person. Also, you’re advised against using a ladder in order not to be pushed on the ground by the incredible pressure force. When cleaning high areas, using an extension wand is considered a much safer solution.
In terms of clothing, one is recommended to wear pants, closed-toe shoes, and rugged gloves. Refrain from wearing flip-flops, shorts, and other items that leave your legs and feet exposed. Due to the potential contact with mold or mildew, you should wear a protective mask that provides proper ventilation. In order to prevent water from accidentally affecting your eyes while cleaning, make sure you purchase a pair of protective goggles.
Prepare the area
The process of pressure washing your vinyl siding shouldn’t be commenced until you prepare the surrounding area. Start by covering the plants in close proximity to the house so as to protect them from the harmful effect of the washing detergent. Continue by removing all pieces of outdoor furniture from the yard inside the house or move them at a safe distance, as they’ll be soon covered with water and dirt.
Additionally, electrical outlets and light fixtures should be unplugged and adequately covered. Waterproof tape would be more than enough to cover the outlets as long as you cut it in squares that match their size. Remember to close all windows and doors to prevent water from damaging the house interior. While pressure washing your vinyl siding, be particularly attentive around cracks and painted surfaces.
Check for mold and mildew
Prior to using a pressure washer, it’s important to inspect the house for mold and mildew. In case you detect the growth of such fungi on your home’s exterior, make sure you apply bleach treatment and scrub them by hand. Use a combination of water and bleach to spray over the most affected and discolored areas.
After waiting for a few minutes, use a sponge to remove the mold from the surface, and rinse the house exterior with clean water. Since bleach is known to cause irritation, prevent unnecessary redness and itching by wearing protective gloves.
Apply the cleaning solution
Once you finish removing the existing mold from the surface, it’s time to choose a suitable detergent solution. Remember to purchase a cleaning solution that is specially made for these machines. Make sure you click here to check out some of the most popular vinyl siding cleaners in the market, used for the removal of moss, mold, mildew, and algae. Most of these detergents are non-toxic, designed to protect the environment.
The following step would be adding the cleaning solution into the pressure washer, which has a special detergent container. You’re advised to start with low pressure so as to check the effect water has on the vinyl siding by setting the machine to 1,300 PSI. Once you get the knack of it, try increasing the pressure gradually as long as you don’t exceed 3,000 PSI.
Moreover, the wand is supposed to be aimed in a straight direction to reduce the risk of water getting underneath the siding. If your house has more than one floor, attach a wand extension to the pressure washer to reach the high areas. Make sure you work in small siding sections to prevent the cleaner from drying. Keep in mind that windy weather is going to speed up the drying process, so you might need to go over the same area multiple times.
Motion is of essential importance when pressure washing, which is why you need to move the nozzle in the right direction. Always start cleaning from the bottom of the home exterior and work your way to the top. Bear in mind that spraying in circles and an upward direction won’t result in the outcome you hope for. If some parts of the surface are too stubborn to get cleaned, you can install a rotating brush to the wand for more effective results. Once the detergent is applied, wait for a couple of minutes for the solution to do its magic before you start rinsing.
Rinse the siding
After removing the cleaner from the container inside the device, it’s time to commence the process of rinsing. As you no longer need high pressure, set the machine to a maximum of 1,200 PSI. You’re supposed to rinse from the top and work your way to the bottom to avoid leaving streaks. In order for the siding to dry properly, choose a sunny morning to start pressure washing. Visit the following link, https://www.familyhandyman.com/project/how-to-use-a-pressure-washer/, for some useful tips about using a pressure washer.
Using the right detergent and techniques is vital for successful pressure washing.
Your vinyl siding will look as good as new!