Cleaning Your Vinyl Siding in the Winter: A Surprisingly Good Idea

When people think about cleaning their home exteriors they tend to leave those thoughts for spring. But did you know cleaning your vinyl siding in the winter is actually a good idea? It may seem like a hassle to do anything outside, let alone clean your siding, but when the temperatures are tolerable, why not get a head start on some spring cleaning?

Vinyl siding has grown to be one of the most popular cladding materials used in North America, so it’s important that homeowners know how to keep it clean! Cleaning your siding in the winter gives you a leg up on spring cleaning, saving you time when you’d rather be enjoying the warm weather. If you can handle being outdoors around zero degrees, you’ll ensure your siding stays beautiful and shiny all year round.

Cleaning your vinyl siding is a fairly easy job, which makes winter cleaning a breeze. Here are 3 steps to take to ensure you’re cleaning your vinyl siding right this winter.

The Right Tools

If you’ve decided to clean your vinyl siding in the winter, you’ll need the right supplies. Fill up a bucket with three parts water and one part laundry detergent. You can also use a 70% water and 30% vinegar solution.

Either of these mixtures will help remove mold and mildew, but if you need something a little stronger, mix one-third cup powdered laundry detergent, two-thirds cup powdered household cleaner, one quart liquid laundry bleach and one gallon water.

Use a long-handled soft bristle brush to give your siding a good clean! Some people prefer to use a pressure washer, but some manufacturers advise against it or recommend using a limited amount of pressure. It’s always best to check what your manufacturer or installation contractor recommends.

Proper Technique

In order to prevent streaks and stains when you’re cleaning your siding, start at the bottom and work your way up. If you’re worried about any stone or brick near the siding, you can cover it up to prevent damage.

If you’re using a pressure washer, make sure the stream is at eye level and pointed straight at the siding or downward, rather than on an upward slant. This will ensure you don’t send water behind the siding, causing damage.

And keep in mind, you should use caution around any window or door openings if you decide to use a pressure washer.

What to Avoid

If you want your siding cleaning to go as smoothly as possible, avoid cleaners that contain organic solvents, chlorine bleach, nail polish remover or furniture polish. Any of these cleaners can cause damage to your siding.

And stick to a soft bristle brush. Any highly abrasive scrubbers can cause damage when you’re cleaning.

The End Results

With regular upkeep and a little bit of effort, you can have beautiful siding year round. Don’t wait until spring, get a head start by cleaning your siding this winter!

How to Clean Steel Siding the RIGHT Way

Steel siding is one of the best ways to outfit the exterior of your home. It’s beautiful and on-trend, durable, and requires only simple upkeep to maintain its superior craftsmanship. And since no siding can clean itself, it’s important to know how to clean steel siding the right way.

A proper cleaning every six months to a year can help with problems such as oxidation, corrosion and stains that can occur over time. If you let steel siding get dirty and allow the dirt and grime to build up, you can be left with stains that are impossible to get rid of. To ensure that doesn’t happen and your steel siding stays as spotless as can be, there are a number of fool-proof steps to clean your steel siding.

And if you’re in the market for quality steel siding, make sure to check out Gentek’s amazing selection! From Sierra Steel siding that acts as the ultimate shield for your home, to Universal siding that compliments almost all architectural styles, and SteelSide, a luxe siding that’s also extremely durable, you have plenty of products to choose from!

Here are 5 steps to cleaning your steel siding the right way!

Step 1: Turn Off Outdoor Electrical

Safety first! You’ll be using high-pressure water to clean your steel siding (yes, that means you can get your power washer out!), so before you start, make sure to switch off any of the breakers that power the outdoor lighting.

Step 2: Create Your Cleaning Mixture

The cleaning mixture you’ll use to clean your steel siding is very easy to whip up. Simply add 1/3 cup liquid laundry detergent to 6 gallons of water. Chemicals used to clean wood or vinyl siding can cause a lot of damage to steel, so make sure you don’t use those!

Step 3: Prep the Surface

Before you start cleaning your siding with the power washer, you want to loosen any grime or dirt that’s built up over time. You can use a soft wall brush with a long handle to scrub your siding horizontally, then vertically to loosen anything that has become stuck. If you notice any mold or mildew, mix a 1:3 solution of household bleach and water, and apply it with a spray bottle before power washing.

Step 4: Go to Work

It’s time to bring the power washer into play. If you haven’t used one before, try it out somewhere like your sidewalk or driveway so you can get a feel for how it works. Set your power washer on the lowest setting so it doesn’t dent your siding or ruin your paint job, and apply the cleaning solution to your exterior.

Step 5: Rise it Off

You don’t want to let soapy solution dry on your siding, because that could ruin the paint. Grab your garden hose and rinse the siding thoroughly, and let it dry naturally in the sun and wind.

There you have it, 5 steps to cleaning steel siding the right way. Use these tips to keep your home exterior shining!