What Kind of Maintenance is Required for Wood Siding, Vinyl Siding and Steel Siding?

Owning a home is one of the biggest investments in the lifetime of most people. Whether your home is designed with wood, vinyl or steel siding, proper care and maintenance of the siding helps keep it in good condition, extends its life and heads off the replacement costs. This article outlines the kind of maintenance required for wood, vinyl and steel siding.

A. Wood Siding Maintenance

Most people prefer wood siding due to its availability, appearance and ease of installation. However, it'€™s tedious to maintain compared to the other siding. Apart from the basic cleaning of mildew and dirt, there are other maintenance measures such as painting the wood, reapplying water repellent to the stained wood siding and more.

1. Cleaning

I. Make a solution of water and wood siding cleaner such as chlorine or oxygen bleach in the ratio of 3:1.

II. Look for a long-handled scrub brush and dip it in the bucket so as to thoroughly saturate it with the solution.

III. Apply the solution to the siding and then leave it for about 30 minutes before you can rinse the wood siding with a garden hose fitted with a spray nozzle. Rinse the siding from top to bottom.

If you are using chlorine bleach, be cautious as it can bleach the color of your siding. It'€™s also toxic, especially to the wildlife and plants. Oxygen bleach is safer in highly vegetated and animal inhabited areas. You should also avoid using a pressure washer on the wood siding as it can cause water to get behind your siding and create mold problems.

2. Remove Stains from Wood Siding

If the wood siding is stained, you will have to reapply water repellent. Look for water repellents that fades more quickly compared to paint. They allow the wood siding to dry completely. A perfect example is oxygen bleach. The better the quality, the longer you will wait between applications.

You can deep clean the stains on wood siding with a bleach solution, just in the same way you would, when cleaning the siding. Otherwise, you can apply water repellent on wood siding by;

I. Pour the repellent into a paint tray.

II. Dip a paint brush into the water repellent

III. Apply it to the stained siding in long and even strokes. Ensure that you apply water repellent on all the cracks and crevices.

3. Restore the Color of Wood Siding

If wood siding is discolored, you can apply a wood cleaner or brightener. They work perfectly on the natural wood siding. You can easily get the brighteners and cleaners in hardware stores or home improvement centers. Just ensure that you follow the manufactures instructions.

4. Painting

Paint protects wood siding. They are available in variety and comes with unlimited colors. Ensure that you repaint the wood siding as soon as the paint finish starts to deteriorate or after every five years. You can decide to do the DIY paint job or hire a qualified professional, highly recommended.

B. Vinyl Siding Maintenance

Although vinyl siding does not wear or rot as in the case of wood siding, it can puncture or crack. Pull the vinyl siding off the house, just to confirm whether they are in good condition. Ensure that you keep the vinyl siding in good condition by doing the following;

1. Cleaning

Clean vinyl siding for at least twice per year. You need a sponge, a hose, a bucket, mild detergent and a stiff bristle brush.

I. Scrub the surface using the stiff bristle brush and soapy water.

II. Use the sponge to clean further.

III. Once you are done, rinse the siding with clear water. You can use the long-handled car wash brush to clean the hard to reach areas or a high-pressure hose to clean the grimes that have built up due to exhaust and air pollution.

2. Panting

Vinyl siding color won'€™t wear because the color permeates vinyl material and is not a surface coating. However, the surfaces can start to etch as the siding deteriorates. You will, therefore, have to apply paint. You can get various vinyl siding paints from home improvement centers and hardware stores. Repaint the siding periodically as the paintings will also fade away with time.

3. Trim the Surrounding Trees and Shrubbery

You should regularly trim all the trees and shrubbery that surrounds your house so that they don'€™t mar the vinyl siding.

C. Steel Siding Maintenance

Steel siding is regarded to be one of the best home remodeling products because of its attractiveness, durability and for being virtually maintenance free. However, it does require maintenance through proper cleaning. The aggressive power washer is the most valuable tool for cleaning steel siding. Moreover, if scratches start to appear on the metal siding, you should paint it before rust can develop.

The Cleaning Process

I. Make a solution of liquid laundry detergent (1/3 cup) and water (6 gallons) to use with the pressure washer.

II. Switch off any breakers that are providing service to the exterior electrical, including lights and the outdoor outlets.

III. Use a long handled tool soft brush, such as telescoping handled brush or a deck brush and a bucket of clear water to loosen the dirt and grime on the steel siding. Stroke horizontally and then vertically.

iv. Molds can easily build up in the areas where moisture is trapped. Make a 1:3 solution of your regular household bleach and water, then apply the solution on steel siding using a spray bottle.

v. To apply the cleaning solution in the proper way, set it to its lowest setting. Clean the siding in sections. Once done, rinse the washed areas with clear water. You should never let the soapy solution dry on the siding.

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