How to maintain your home’s siding

maintain your home's siding

There are many preventative measures a homeowner can take to maintain curb appeal and functionality of their home.  All types of siding (vinyl, metal, fiber-cement, and wood) can benefit from some regular TLC. The most durable and easiest siding to maintain is Vinyl.

Basic home exterior cleaning “how-tos”

Cleaning your home’s siding is simple and removes unwanted dirt and mildew that can weaken your home’s siding.  Soft cloths or soft bristled brushes (preferably with an extendable handle) are best for cleaning your home’s siding. Pressure washers can be used at low levels of pressure. Be sure to angle the water straight at the siding (a 90° angle) so that water does not build up under the siding that may cause mildew to grow, and also be sure to avoid windows.  If it is your first time using a pressure washer, read directions and warnings before handling the equipment. Basic home cleaners like Fantastik, Lysol, or Windex can be used to remove unwanted dirt.  If you notice unwanted mold or mildew on your home’s siding, a little bit of bleach diluted with water on an old cloth can help remove the mold or mildew.  Always remember that it is important to read the bleach containers label for directions and warnings before using.

Wood siding requires a little more maintenance than just an annual cleaning like vinyl and other sidings need.  Here are a few steps to take when maintaining your home’s wood siding:

  1. Check the siding panels for rotting wood like shown in the side picture. If you find rotting panels, replace the panels before continuing.
  2. Use a paint scraper available at most local hardware stores to remove any excess paint that is chipping or peeling before painting.  Painting over chipping or peeling paint will cause any newly added paint to quickly chip or peel.Rotting siding
  3. When choosing new paint, look for a quality exterior paint to extend the life of your home’s paint job.  A tip for matching your home’s current color paint is to bring a piece of paint that was chipping off of the siding to the store for the paint specialist to match.
  4. Now that you have prepped the siding, it is now time to paint! Make sure you check the weather before starting your painting project so that the new wet paint isn’t ruined by rain or by debris from strong winds.

Fiber-cement siding might also require some prep and paint maintenance but not as frequently as wood. Vinyl siding helps a homeowner to avoid the added work of scraping, replacing, and painting a home’s siding. However, not every homeowner is ready to switch to a lower maintenance option.  When the time is right, consider upgrading your home’s siding to vinyl to increase your home’s value and curb appeal and give your home’s siding a little cleaning TLC to keep your home looking its best!

Happy maintaining!