It’s mid December and winter hasn’t quite hit us here in the Midwest. We’ve had a lot of rain, but no snow so far. Don’t let old man winter fool you…he’s on his way! So now is the time to catch up on your preventative home maintenance, before the wintery weather arrives.
With a little bit of preventative maintenance, your home’s siding could be trouble-free for 50 years or more. And that means you won’t have to replace siding as often. Dirt and mildew can shortens the life of your siding. By cleaning your siding and removing that dirt and mildew, you not only protect your home investment, but add to the curb appeal and value of your home.
Inspecting Siding for Damage BEFORE You Start Cleaning
You will want to repair any defects before cleaning. The sooner you make repairs, the better you protect your house from moisture infiltration that can lead to dry rot and mold forming inside your walls. Siding is vulnerable to water infiltration where it butts against windows, doors, and corner moldings. Look for caulk that has cracked due to age or has pulled away from adjacent surfaces, leaving gaps. If you have wood siding on your home, check for chipped or peeling paint, and cracked boards and trim. If you have stucco, look for cracks and chips. For brick exteriors, look for crumbling mortar joints.
Cleaning All Types of Siding
All types of siding benefit from an annual cleaning to remove grit, grime, and mildew. Cleaning an average-sized house may take you and a friend every bit of a weekend. Here’s how to do it:
1. Start with a bucket of warm, soapy water. Mix 1/2 cup trisodium phosphate (TSP, available at grocery stores, hardware stores, and home improvement centers) with 1 gallon of water.
2. Divide your siding into 10-foot sections. Scrub each section using a soft-bristled brush attached to a long handle. Work from bottom to top to avoid streaking, and rinse often. (For two-story homes, you’ll be using a ladder, so keep safety foremost.)
Stubborn, black spotty stains are probably mildew. Dab the area with a little diluted bleach — if the black disappears, it’s mildew. Clean the area with a solution of one part bleach to four parts water. Wear eye protection and protect plants from splashes. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
Or call the professionals at American Perma-Coat Painting!
If you don’t have the time, or would just prefer a professional to inspect and clean your siding, American Perma-Coat Painting can help. A professional team can look for damage, make repairs and, use a power washer to clean the dirt and mildew. We have the expertise to prevent water penetration at joints, seams around windows and doors, and electrical fixtures.