If you’re a homeowner, you know how important it’s to keep the exterior of your house looking clean and presentable. Over time, dirt, grime, and other unsightly substances can build up on your vinyl siding, making it look dull and dingy. One effective way to restore the look of your siding is by pressure washing it.
Pressure washing your vinyl siding can quickly remove built-up grime and restore your home’s curb appeal. In this guide, we’ll go over the steps you need to take to pressure wash your vinyl siding safely and effectively. Whether you’re a seasoned DIYer or a novice, with the right tools and techniques, you can achieve professional-looking results and make your home look new again.
Prepare To Pressure Wash Your Vinyl Siding
Taking the time to do this will ensure you don’t damage any of your siding or any surrounding objects. In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the steps you should take to get your home ready for pressure washing.
Wear The Right Safety Gear
The first step in preparing to pressure wash your vinyl siding is ensuring you have all the necessary safety gear. Safety gear includes glasses, gloves, and hearing protection if operating a gas-powered washer. It’s also important to wear closed-toe shoes and clothing that covers your arms and legs.
Remove Or Cover Nearby Objects
Before pressure washing, it’s a good idea to remove any objects near the area you’ll be cleaning, such as outdoor furniture or grills. If you can’t move them out of the way, ensure they’re covered with a tarp or plastic sheeting, so they don’t get damaged by water or debris from the pressure washer.
Cover All Exposed Electrical Components
Ensure all exposed electrical components, such as outlets and switches, are covered before starting the job to protect them from water damage and ensure your safety during the process.
The Equipment You’ll Need
Before you start pressure washing your vinyl siding, ensure you have the right equipment on hand. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Pressure washer
- Garden hose
- Vinyl siding cleaning solution
- Soft brush or sponge for spot-cleaning areas of stubborn dirt or grime
- Spray bottle
Remove Surface Dirt
Before you begin pressure washing, you should use a brush or broom to remove any loose dirt and debris from the surface of the vinyl siding. Removing this dirt ensures the cleaning solution you apply next will be able to penetrate deeply into the material and break up stubborn dirt and grime. It’s during this process that you clean any mold and mildew, for which you’ll need to use bleach.
Mix one cup of bleach and 10 cups of water and put it in the spray bottle. Spritz the mixture on all areas with mold and mildew from top to bottom. Use a long brush or ladder to reach high areas of your siding, scrub away, then rinse with a hose. Rinsing will make deep cleaning with the pressure washer more effective.
Fill The Pressure Washer Reservoir With A Cleaning Solution
Once all loose dirt is off, fill the pressure washer reservoir with a cleaning solution specifically designed for vinyl siding and the pressure washer. Vinyl cleaning solutions will be gentle and unlikely to damage your siding.
Make sure the concentration is correct according to the manufacturer. Most pressure washing machines come with a reservoir for detergents or cleaning solutions, so find yours and fill it up to the recommended level. There should be an indicator. The injector will mix the cleaning solution with water and give you a soapy and foamy solution.
Applying The Soapy Solution
Set your pressure washer between 1,300-1,500 PSI for the cleaning solution to be effective without causing any damage. Once everything is set up properly, spray the soapy solution onto your siding at a 45-degree angle from bottom to top.
This angle ensures any dirt or grime on the surface comes off while preventing water or soap from seeping behind panels and potentially causing damage. Start at one corner of your house, then work in sections. Make sure you cover all surfaces evenly for a thoroughly clean siding. Add the cleaning solution as needed but try not to over soap as rinsing can be challenging.
Rinse The Vinyl Siding
After allowing the cleaning solution to sit for a few minutes, begin rinsing off the vinyl siding with a wide-angle nozzle at a 45-degree angle. Hold it 12 inches away from the surface at all times. Ensure that you’re moving in one direction only and use slow sweeping motions when necessary to avoid missing any spots that need attention.
Make sure all sections are well rinsed off. If dirt remains once you have gone over them with your nozzle, the section needs additional attention before moving on to another area of your house’s siding.
Pay Attention To Hard To Reach Areas
Use caution when dealing with areas such as windowsills and corners, as these areas require special care due to their fragility and potential for water damage if not handled properly. Keep an eye on those areas extra closely when going over them with your cleaning solution and rinse cycle nozzles so as not to cause any accidental damage from too much force.
1. Are There Any Precautions I Should Take Before Pressure Washing My Vinyl Siding?
Yes, there are several precautions you should take before pressure washing your vinyl siding. These include protecting nearby windows, doors, and landscaping from the high-pressure water, wearing safety gear such as eye protection and non-slip shoes, and testing the pressure washer on a small, inconspicuous area of the siding to ensure it doesn’t cause damage. Additionally, you should ensure that all electrical outlets and appliances are turned off and unplugged before the pressure washing process begins.
2. What PSI Do I Need To Wash Vinyl Siding?
No matter what type of power washer you use (gas or electric), make sure that the PSI (pounds per square inch) does not exceed 1,500 PSI in order not to cause any damage to your vinyl siding. If you are unfamiliar with operating a power washer correctly, it’s best practice or consult an expert before power washing your home’s exterior.
3. How Often Should I Pressure Wash Vinyl Siding?
Generally speaking, you should pressure wash vinyl siding at least once yearly to keep it looking its best. This routine will help protect the paint or finish on the siding and prevent dirt, grime, mold, and other debris from building up over time. If you live in an area with particularly harsh weather conditions or if your home is in a heavily wooded area, you may need to pressure wash more often than once per year.
4. How Long Does It Take to Pressure Wash Vinyl Siding?
The amount of time it takes to pressure wash vinyl siding depends on the size of the house and any obstacles (such as trees or shrubs) that might be in the way. As a general rule of thumb, it typically takes between 1-4 hours to complete a job. Smaller homes will take less time, while larger homes may take multiple hours depending on how many obstacles must be worked around.
5. Will Pressure Washing Vinyl Siding Damage The Paint Or Finish?
Pressure washing a properly maintained vinyl siding should not damage its paint or finish in any way. However, if you are using an overly powerful washer or applying too much pressure during the cleaning process, then there is a possibility you could cause damage to the finish or paint job. If you are unsure how to safely use a pressure washer, it’s best to hire a professional who has experience with this type of task.
6. Should I Use Hot Or Cold Water For Pressure Washing Vinyl Siding?
Generally speaking, cold water is preferable when pressure washing delicate surfaces like vinyl siding because it provides more control and less potential for damage than hot water.
7. Are There Any Aftercare Steps I Should Take After Pressure Washing Vinyl Siding?
Yes. First, inspect the area for any damage that may have occurred during the pressure washing process. Repair any damaged areas with appropriate materials such as caulk or sealant if necessary. Next, inspect the area for any signs of water damage, such as staining or discoloration. Finally, apply a protective coating to protect your vinyl siding from future damage.
8. Can Pressure Washing Vinyl Siding Increase The Risk Of Water Damage?
Pressure washing can certainly increase the risk of water damage if done incorrectly. Before pressure washing your vinyl siding, it’s important to inspect it for any weak spots or cracks that could become worse under high-pressure water jets. Avoid these areas when pressure washing and check for leaks afterward.
Pressure washing is an effective way to keep your vinyl siding looking new without replacing it completely. However, it’s important to understand how best to approach this task so that you don’t end up causing more harm than good in the end. If you feel like there’s too much involved or are afraid you could damage your home, hire the pros and SAdvantage Pro Services. Our professionals have not just experience but the right equipment to get it done quickly and efficiently. Contact us today.