If you haven't cleaned your vinyl siding for a few years, it may be dirty and covered with mold in some spots. Even if the mold has been there a long time, you can usually clean the siding so it looks like new. The good thing about vinyl is that mold usually doesn't damage it like mold can do with wood-based products. However, mold makes your home look dirty, so you'll want to remove it, and the sooner you do it, the easier it is to get off. Here's how to do it.
Choose Your Method
The easiest way to get mold off your siding is to use a pressure washer. You can rent one or hire a contractor to clean the siding for you. If you use a pressure washer yourself, be sure to use the low setting because it is easy to damage the siding with the pressure from a power washer. Also, you'll need to apply the water stream so it hits the panels directly rather than at an angle. The cleaning solution does most of the work rather than the water pressure, so the purpose of using the power washer is to deliver the cleaning chemicals and then to rinse them clean.
If you don't want to hire a contractor to power wash your siding and you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself, then you can try cleaning the siding with a hose and brush. Apply the cleaning solution with the brush, let it sit the recommended time, and then hose the siding clean. This method is easier to do if you have a single story home.
Buy The Right Cleaner
You can buy chemicals formulated for killing mold and algae from a home improvement store. Be sure to buy a product made for vinyl siding. When you have the right cleaning product, the chemicals will kill the mold and make it easy to wash away. You can try making your own cleaner at home made from vinegar and water or bleach and water, but you want to use products that are diluted. Straight bleach will damage the siding. Plus, it will be dangerous for you to use. No matter which cleaner you buy or make, try it out on a lower panel first just to make sure it works properly and doesn't harm the vinyl.
Clean From The Bottom Up
Even if the mold is confined to part of the siding, you may have to clean the entire wall. That's because you'll remove dirt and grime as you clean and the siding won't be uniform if just part of it has been cleaned. When you apply the chemical solution, start at the bottom and clean the siding one row at a time and work your way up. If you start at the top, streaks might be left behind you have to go back and remove. Once all the siding has been cleaned, the final rinse should be from the top down. Be sure to rinse thoroughly so there won't be any haze left behind from the cleaning solution.
Cleaning mold off siding can be a lot of work. You might be able to save yourself some work or save on hiring a cleaning contractor as often if you allow more sunlight to hit the siding. This may be out of your control, but if the problem is bushes or trees that block sunlight, aggressive trimming may allow more sun to hit the siding and slow down on the growth of mold. For more information, contact a business such as Lifetime Exteriors.