Inspecting and cleaning your siding

One of things inspectors look at, in great detail, is the condition of your houses exterior covering -AKA- your siding.

Siding is your houses first layer of defense against the elements.

Siding that is dirty or damaged can lead to issues. Keeping your siding clean and in good repair is very important.

The most common types of siding are wood (clap board, wood shingles, plywood panels), stucco, aluminum, metal, stone (brick, stone veneer, concrete) and vinyl.

The most popular type of siding being installed today is vinyl. Vinyl has been the leading choice for siding over the past 25 years.

This due in large part because of the its price, variety of colors and textures, along with the relative ease of installation.

Residing your home can be expensive, so no matter what type you have, properly maintaining it will prolong its useful life.

Inspecting your siding is a pretty easy job and should be done a couple of times a year.

I inspect a couple of times a year once in the spring and again in the fall In the fall is when I clean my siding as well.

It’s part of my fall maintenance schedule, after the leaves have fallen and the gutters are cleaned out.

When inspecting siding I look for:

  • Nail pops
  • Edges or joints that have separated
  • Bulges or bucking
  • Warping (Warping can be a major issue with vinyl siding due to prolonged exposure to direct sun light)
  • Chipping or flaking paint
  • Loose or missing siding components

Fix any issues you find right away. If you find and repair these issues right away, you will save time and money over the long run.

Cleaning:

A very common issue with siding is the growth of mold and mildew. Mold and mildew growth is usually found in shady moist areas.

Use a mixture of water and white vinegar, a 70% water to 30% white vinegar solution should do it.

Use a bucket, soft bristle bush and a garden hose to wash away the dust, dirt, mold and mildew. Start at the bottom and work your way up making sure you rise thoroughly.

Do not wash your house on a really hot sunny day because you don’t want the solution to dry before you can wash it off.

Washing the outside of your house removes the dust and dirt that mold, and mildew use to hold itself to your siding.

One last thing about cleaning your siding, if you have a combination of brick and siding, cover the brick before you start cleaning. Some cleaners could damage the brick.

A quick note on power washers.

The force of the water that comes out of power washers can damage the siding.

DO NOT use a power washer unless you lower the pressure and use a wider-angle spray nozzle (White tip).

The angle of the spray nozzle also makes a huge difference. Keep the spray nozzle level no upward angle. An upward angle can force water behind the siding.

Be careful around windows, pluming, and electrical. Also, some siding manufacturers do not want you to use a power washer at all.

Mold and mildew on the side of an old wood siding home
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