As a homeowner, investing in your property is always a tightrope between cost and value. With many homeowners buckling down on budgets, deciding on which part of your home to invest in has become a careful consideration. One way to save dollars down the line and free up budgets for different projects is to properly clean and maintain existing aspects of your home. A perfect example of this is siding. Ultimately, properly cleaning and maintaining your siding can not only lengthen the lifetime of your siding, but also improve efficiency and raise exterior design as well.
How to examine Siding for Damages
Before cleaning and maintaining your existing siding, perform a comprehensive visual inspection. Keep an eye out for visible markers like warped or rotting panels, fading color and dry rot, as these could all be indications that a problem is developing that needs to be addressed. Visible dry rot, for example, is a clear indication of compromised insulation. It can come as a result of consistent weather exposure, and can ultimately cause poor insulation and protection. Dry rot can lead to structural insecurities, water leaks, and even moisture accumulation.
To the same end, warped siding can be a result of weather patterns, overexposure to heat, or even poor installation, and can lead to mold. If the color of your siding is faded, or you’re constantly repainting, it’s not being properly maintained. Old, faded color and an inability to retain new paint can indicate that the material no longer holds the same consistency that it used to. Additionally, it can cause your house to stick out like a sore thumb.
How to properly Clean Siding
Ultimately, many different types of material can be used to make siding. While each material comes with its own unique subset of benefits, it also comes with its own unique best-practice for cleaning. Vinyl, wood and fiber cement are some of the most commonly used siding materials in the nation, and each come with a slightly different cleaning method.
How to Clean Vinyl SidingVinyl is a durable, breathable, well-insulated material that works to protect a home from weather and elements. You can clean vinyl siding with a soft cloth, bristle brush and mild detergent. For a deep, comprehensive clean, utilizing a pressure washer set on low will get the job done.
How to Clean Fiber Cement Siding
It’s recommended that you wash the exterior of your fiber cement siding every 6-12 months with a garden hose or low-pressure power washer. A light bristle will also be enough to remove layers of built-up dirt and grime as well.
How to Clean Wood Siding
Much like fiber cement, it is recommended that wood siding is cleaned with a light power washer 1-2 times per year. Wood siding can also be cleaned with water, a soft rag and mild detergent as well. If the siding has been stained or painted recently, then make sure to follow the cleaning instructions recommended by the paint manufacturer.
how to maintain your siding
Once your siding has been properly cleaned and restored, it's important that a homeowner works to maintain it. There are general maintenance principles that every homeowner can follow when it comes to siding:
- Check for and repair cracks
- Check for warping, bowing and damage
- Keep gutters clean
- Move hoses and sharp objects
- Practice regular cleaning habits
The first item on the maintenance checklist is to consistently check for cracks in the siding, and repair them as they arise. Cracks can ultimately allow water and debris to enter a home, and even begin to compromise structural integrity as well. Cracks should also be addressed before power washing or thoroughly cleaning the siding, as water can enter the home otherwise. Warping, bowing or damaged siding can also be a major red flag as well, especially for structural integrity, and should be consistently looked out for.
Smaller items to check off the maintenance list such as keeping gutters clean to avoid dirty water staining the siding, moving items such as lawnmowers and hoses away from the wall, or keeping vegetation away from your siding to avoid mold, can all be beneficial as well.
Invest in Siding Replacement
Nationally, the average vinyl siding replacement comes with a 77% ROI, which is a phenomenal initial recoup for a homeowner. This return helps to offset a major portion of the project costs over time, while the monthly returns in lower energy bills from improved insulation make a nice addition. Builders and Remodelers has a wide array of siding replacement options, including James Hardie FIber Cement, LP SmartSide, Vinyl and Steel. We have completed thousands of siding replacement projects, and would love to help with yours. Check out what our customers had to say about our local siding installation.