Top 5 things not to do when cleaning vinyl siding:
- Never use high pressure to clean your vinyl siding if you notice oxidation. To check for oxidation, simply rub your finger on the siding and if the chalky residue sticks to your finger, you have oxidation. Healthy vinyl siding has no problem being washed by a 3000 psi gas machine. The best way to do this is with the 25 degree tip and place yourself 2.5 feet from the surface you are cleaning. What you need to watch out for when pressure washing the vinyl is not to use too much water. This is your gpm rating. The reason for this is it will flood the weep holes in the siding introducing moisture behind the siding on to you structure. The 25 degree tip will eliminate that. So contrary to what was taught in the past. It’s the gpm that inflicts damage to you siding and not PSI.
- Never put a cleaning solution on your vinyl siding without prewetting the siding first. Dry application will cause corrosion and lead to oxidation if the detergent is to corrosive. Also the detergent will leave behind a film when applied to a dry surface and leave water spots. Always prewet then use a detergent and cleaning solution mix. It is best if your cleaning solutions have mold and algae spore killing properties. ALWAYS make sure that whatever you are mixing is safe and compatible. Consult your dealer you purchased from or the manufacturer. Lots of time it will be found on the label or MSDS.
- Never get too close to the siding. Even though it’s safe to pressure wash siding, you don’t want to put the tip on the surface. It can then damage the surface or launch shrapnel back at you at a dangerous force and speed. No dirt should ever require more than 3000 psi to clean.
- Never pressure wash without wearing safety glass and hard toe shoes. I recommend wearing long pants and gloves as well, but at a minimum, safety glasses and hard toe shoes. NO FLIP FLOPS OR CROCS!
- Always cover all your electrical sockets and fixtures with plastic taped to your siding. Never spray them directly either. With that said, never spray your door or window jams directly as well.
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Precision Exterior Solutions