How To Remove Mold From Vinyl Siding
Q: My house is 25 years old. Its covered with vinyl siding. Every summer, mold and mildew develop on the north side of my house. Every few years I remove it. Is there some coating I can apply to the siding to stop the mold and mildew from reappearing? Its aggravating. What about some sort of paint? Im open to any and all ideas. Robert C., Sylvania, Ohio
A: I have the same exact issue at my own home, although its siding is fiber cement. You may have black mold and mildew or green algae growing on the north side of your home if you live north of the equator. The north exposure provides the perfect conditions for this organic growth.
Heres the bad news: Theres no magic paint or coating Im aware of that will keep your siding free of mildew, mold and algae. These three living organisms are just about everywhere. They just need two things to grow: water and food. The northern exposure of houses provides ample amounts of water.
Because direct sunlight doesn’t wash north-facing walls, water there is often slower to evaporate. Morning dew can and does form on all the surfaces of the house when the surface temperature drops below the dew point of the air.
Dust and other pollutants can also be food for some of these organisms. Realize that food is everywhere, even though its invisible. Old oil-based paints were made from alkyd oil resins. These oils are scrumptious food for mildew and mold.
Get Rid Of Moldy Siding Once And For All
Using these tips and tricks, you can help prevent mold from forming on your siding and keep your home looking great.
If you find that your homes current cladding just isnt up to par, you can trust Feldco to replace it with the Midwests best vinyl siding. With our siding, your home will look better, be more energy efficient and also fight better against mold thanks to our superior backing system.
Start your new siding project today with a free quote online and join the over 400,000 homeowners whove counted on us for their home improvement projects.
Option 2 Homemade Vinyl Siding Cleaner
Water And Vinegar Solution + Some Elbow Grease. 30% white vinegar mixed with 70% water, makes a great all-purpose vinyl siding cleaner that will remove light mold and mildew stains. If your mold is not budging a stronger cleaning solution might be needed. For a stronger homemade siding cleaner, mix together the following recipe:
- 1 gallon of water
- 1/3 cup powdered laundry detergent
- 2/3 cup powdered household cleaner
- 1 quart of liquid laundry bleach
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Types Of Mold Found On Exterior Of Home
There are different types of mold that can be found on theexterior of the home. Some of these molds that survive outdoors may also thriveindoors. While some types of molds are allergenic, others are pathogenic andyou get certain species that are toxic.
One of the most toxic types of mold found indoors and outdoors is called Aspergillus. This mold commonly leads to health problems such as aggravating asthma symptoms and respiratory problems.
So while this mold is extremely unhealthy and bad, the best thing to do would be to eliminate it as soon as possible if you come across it either indoors or outdoors.
Can You Mix Bleach And Vinegar To Kill Mold
Bleach can kill off mold, but it is not as effective as vinegar. Thats because vinegar seeps into porous materials that mold grows on, such as wood. The answer is yes a combination of bleach and vinegar is a powerful chemical that is guaranteed to kill, if not remove, the mold growth in a specified area.
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Get That Mold Off Your Vinyl Siding
Learning how to prevent mold on vinyl siding and taking action before mold forms is essential because lets face it- no one wants damage to their beautiful exterior.
Its time to evaluate your own home. Take the proper mold prevention measures and protect your home because not only is mold unsightly, but left untreated it can become a hazard to your health. With proper attention and treatment, you can effectively keep your siding clean and attractive.
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Is It Ok To Power Wash Vinyl Siding
There are mixed reviews but most vinyl siding manufacturers don’t recommend it as too much pressure can damage the material, and water is more likely to penetrate behind the siding which could lead to serious damp issues.
If you want to clean vinyl siding with a pressure washer, ensure it’s on the lowest option possible and use it at eye level rather than on a slant which could propel water behind the siding leading to damp and rot issues later down the line.
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How Do You Clean Vinyl Siding Without Scrubbing
Clean Cedar Siding With Pressure Washing
While getting the job done right is important, you probably want to also make quick work of the process. Unfortunately, if you dont have control of the pressure on yours, youll need to leave your pressure washer in the garage. If you can adjust your pressure to below 1,000 psi, you can use your washer, but contact your manufacturer first to make sure you have the right settings. With a low-pressure setting, you dont have to worry about water getting in between the seams and cracks. You also dont have to worry about creating permanent ruts in your siding.
Use your oxygen bleach mixture in the storage tank on the washer and apply the solution moving from bottom to top. Let it sit for around 15 minutes and go over it again, gently knocking down stains and dead mold. Remember dont use chlorine bleach it will damage the wood fibers and shorten the life of your siding.
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Clean Fiber Cement Siding With A Garden Hose
In some cases, all thats required to remove dirt and grime from your fiber cement siding is water and a cloth, brush or sponge. You can start by using a soft brush to knock down the dirt and then rinse the surface with a garden hose. Go back over affected areas with your cloth, brush or sponge and rinse again.
If you have a lot of dirt and grime on your siding, youll need to switch out your cloth and continually rinse out your sponge or brush so it is free of debris.
For removing oil and grease and other contaminants that require more than water alone, choose a mild detergent, such as dishwashing soap that does not contain bleach, and works it into affected areas with a garden hose attachment. If the stream of soap and water doesnt completely remove the oil or grease, use a soft cloth to scrub the area until clean then do a final rinse with water from the garden hose to remove the soap and any remaining debris.
How To Clean Vinyl Siding Without Killing Plants
If you are concerned that cleaning your vinyl siding with chemicals is going to kill your landscaping, there are ways to prevent plant loss. One is to cover your plants with plastic to ensure no chemicals come into contact with them. However, make sure the runoff doesnt seep into the ground and affect the roots of the plants.
If you cant effectively cover your landscaping and/or cant prevent the cleaning solution from getting into the soil around the plants, use a vinegar solution. Vinegar is fairly inexpensive and is an environmentally safe and extremely effective in cleaning your vinyl siding. Be sure to use the highly acidic white vinegar and mix it with water at a ratio of 70 percent water to 30 percent vinegar.
Simply pour the mixture into the reservoir of your power washer and make sure your pressure is high enough to clean the siding, but wont damage it.
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How To Clean Vinyl Siding
The solution to clean vinyl siding with is very simple. You’ll need:
- Dish soap/dawn
- A bucket of warm water
- Soft-bristled brush/sponge
- A garden hose
Apply the solution to the siding with a soft-bristled, clean brush and starting from the bottom up, scrubbing the entire length of each section. Hicks says ‘For best results, use a cloth or soft bristled brush and start from the bottom so your cleaning solution doesnt leave streaks or drip off the side of the house. ‘ When you reach the end of each lap, hose it down before it dries naturally as this will help stop it streaking.
- Vinyl siding is a durable form of plastic, learn how to clean and polish plastic in other areas of your home with our guide.
Clean Wood Siding With Household Cleaner And Scrubbing By Hand
If you have a pressure washer that does not have a low setting, youll need to use a household cleaner and scrub the grime off by hand. Start by choosing a cleaner, which is usually a mild detergent mixed in with water in a five gallon bucket. If youre battling mold and mildew, its recommended to use a solution of 75 percent water and 25 percent white vinegar. The vinegar is effective in killing mold and mildew, and it is also helpful in removing stains. Furthermore, vinegar is not toxic, and when mixed with water it will not harm the plants around your house. This is another reason people with landscaping that comes into contact with the solution will use vinegar instead of bleach or detergents.
Use a sponge or cloth to spread the solution over the siding. In areas where the grime is particularly heavy and/or difficult to remove, use a soft bristled brush. Go over the areas as needed until the grime has been removed and rinse with water.
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How Do You Stop Algae From Growing On Vinyl Siding
The long-term solution to algae and mildew growth on your vinyl siding includes identifying and repairing the root cause.
How To Prevent Mold On Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding is undeniably growing in popularity, and with good reason too. Its attractive and durable- plus it holds up better than wood siding. Vinyl siding is made to withstand cracks, chips and fading. But that doesnt mean you cant get mold on vinyl siding.
As sturdy as vinyl siding is, its not resistant to pesty mold and mildew. In order to keep your beautiful vinyl siding in tip-top shape, there is a bit of upkeep involved.
Luckily its easy to prevent mold on vinyl siding with just a few simple preventative measures.
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Pressure Washer Vs Garden Hose
When it comes to fighting stubborn mold and mildew stains, a gentle cleaner falls short. Its time you brought the big guns out and removed those hideous blotches from your beautiful home.
That said, you might feel tempted to use a construction-grade house and siding pressure washer cleaner for your roof. Truth be told, a gentle sweeping with a microfiber cloth or a good rinse with your garden hose is more than enough.
We recommend pressure washing your roof every two or three years. You can use a pressure washer on garage floors, driveways, concrete and tile patios, entrance stairs, wood decks, fences, exterior trims, brick walls, and vinyl siding more often.
Other than cars and automotive parts, miscellaneous gears for home use such as lawnmowers, dirt bikes, etc. can be pressure washed.
What Is The Best Exterior House Cleaner
- BEST OVERALL: MOLD ARMOR Cleaner.
- RUNNER-UP: 30 SECONDS Hose End Sprayer Outdoor Cleaner.
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Krud Kutter HS01 Green Pressure Washer Siding Cleaner.
- BEST FOR MILDEW: Wet & Forget Moss Mold Mildew & Algae Stain Remover.
- ALSO CONSIDER: Jomax Outdoor Mildew Remover House Siding Cleaner.
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How To Prevent Mold Growth On Vinyl Siding
Lack of sunlight, moisture, dirt and grime are common causes that lead to the growth of mold and mildew. So it makes sense that after eliminating these issues, mold will eventually find your siding less appealing.
However, its not always that simple. It can be quite a challenge to keep your house from getting wet or dirty and also removing trees and shade structures isnt always desirable. However, there are other ways to keep mold and mildew from appearing.
Cleaning siding with a disinfectant or detergent is one way of preventing the buildup of mold. There are products that are specifically made to tackle the growth of fungi on vinyl siding.
One of the best remedies for mold is using a solution of vinegar and water to safely eradicate mold on your siding.
You may also use a pressure washer, however, not all sidingmanufacturers will recommend pressure washing. So if you do decide to use apressure washer, you may void the warranty. So check with the company firstbefore deciding to do so.
Even if you do decide to use a pressure washer, ensure thatits not set at maximum pressure. Its also a good idea to prepare the sidingfirst before using the pressure washer by scrubbing and disinfecting it.
You may also choose to scrub the siding. A stiff bristle brush or natural fiber scrub brush is recommended. You should avoid metal fiber brushes as they could damage your siding and dont push too hard against the flexible vinyl as you could break it.
Use A Water And White Vinegar Solution
White vinegar is the secret staple to many household-cleaning tricks. Add in some white vinegar as a pseudo detergent and youve got yourself clean clothes. Leave a bowl of white vinegar out in a room and youve rid yourself of that hard to shake mothball smell. Why does white vinegar act as all-purpose cleaner? White vinegars acidity cuts through grime and dissolves residue buildups with ease, making it an excellent tool for cleaning siding.
According to the Vinyl Siding Institute, by using a solution of 30% vinegar and 70% water, you can restore vinyl siding back to its mold-free state. The vinegar, diluted by water, cuts through the grime and residue, but is safer than using bleach. Vinegar is also a more biodegradable and environmentally friendly option.
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Is Bleach Ok To Clean Vinyl Siding
You can also use bleach to kill mold and mildew on your vinyl siding, but make sure you water it down to the right concentration. One quart of household bleach to one gallon of water is ideal but you should weaken it even more if possible.
Ordinary Dirt And Grime Cleaning Tips
If your siding is not stained, rinsing with a garden hose and spray nozzle may be all you need. Start at the bottom and work your way to the top, then rinse starting at the top and working to the bottom.
Hopefully, this will be enough to dislodge the dirt and grime. If not, proceed to use detergent and a power washer if you have one.
This is also one of the best ways to clean a metal roof. Use care with the ladder.
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Homemade Vinyl Mold Removers
Although vinyl siding is intended to be a low-maintenance exterior house cleaner, its not maintenance-free. It gets static and grimy and grows mold on any other surface that is exposed to moisture. However, it is simple and easy to keep your vinyl siding clean and shiny.
There are quite a few good cleaning solutions to use and will resolve some of the most common problems you will ever encounter with siding.
Store-bought cleaning solutions are not always environmentally friendly and can cause harm to plants if they fall on them. Its important to use plastic where possible to cover plants and keep them from getting damaged.
Some of the best ways to clean your vinyl siding are to usenatural ingredients such as vinegar and baking soda. A solution of vinegar andbaking soda is ideal for cleaning the siding on the outside of your home, andyou may even use it to clean your interior vinyl floors.
You can then take this homemade cleaning solution and add itto the pressure washer for an even more potent effect. You can also apply itonto stubborn stains and allow it to sit for a minute or two before rinsing itoff.
Another simple recipe is adding three-quarter cups oftrisodium phosphate, a third of a cup of powdered laundry detergent and 1gallon of water. Hot water works best, especially when using a bucket and abrush however, cold water works too.
How To Clean Vinyl Siding The Right Way
Vinyl siding is a fantastic choice for any home. Its cost-effective, looks great, and is easy to maintain. However, youll occasionally need to clean the siding if you want to give it that like-new look. When cleaning, make sure you follow the appropriate steps and never do anything that could harm the finish.
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