Your home is your largest investment and should be treated with care. Over time, nature takes its toll on your home and you will find mold, algae, mud, spider webs, and faded color spots all over your home’s siding. At some point, most homeowners say enough is enough and want their home’s siding to look new again. Remember back when you first moved in and had the beautiful, clean, and strong siding? It’s time to get it back to that!
Preparation Stage – Cleaning
Before you do anything at all, you have to ensure the siding is as clean as possible. This is one of the most important stages because if you have any buildups left on the siding, it will be noticeable when you paint or stain in the following stages.
A lot of factors come into play here, but it’s best to power wash the dirt, mold, mud, and any spider webs that may be on the siding. Power washing your siding is one of the best ways to spruce up your home and can be done at almost any time, but it is best to do it on a hot summer day. Here are some things to keep in mind with power washing:
- Power washers can be dangerous – if you do not trust yourself with it, contact a professional to do it for you because at a close enough range with enough pressure, you can cause serious damage to your body.Check out a previous post for a more detailed explanation on why you should choose a professional to power wash your home.
- Use a decent pressure – If the psi is too high, you can tear the panels right off the side. If the psi is too low, you won’t get the results you’re looking for. Most companies recommend a psi of about 1800 psi.
- Use the right tip – There are colored nozzles on the power washer that are labeled according to their angles. Using a wider angle reduces the pressure by spreading it over a wider area, whereas narrower nozzles at 1800 psi can put out some serious pressure!
- Do not clean under panels – If cleaning under the panels, use a regular house hose or the lowest psi setting on the power washer. Spraying up and under the panels can cause water damage to your home and encourage mold buildups behind the siding. On top of this, high pressure can tear the panels straight off of your home.
- Paint chips may come off – If you’re planning on repainting the siding, this is not a big deal. If the paint is not already loose and it comes off, you could be damaging the siding from too much pressure.
Hot water power washers are significantly more effective than the standard power washer you’ll rent at Home Depot. The best of the best are owned by power washing companies. Power washing your home can be done by you, but for best results you should contact your local company. This often brings up the question of prices. Renting a power washer is around $75/day. A power washing company will charge around $500 depending on the job and company.Whether you do it yourself or hire a company, this should be done within the day (only about 2 hours for a company).
Once the home is appropriately cleaned and there are no more buildups, it’s time to get to painting. Painting your home is always a chore because it’s time-consuming and tedious. I recommend asking friends and family to help out for significantly larger houses if you don’t want to do it yourself. There is one core factor to consider when painting a home: when will it begin flaking?
Paint can flake in less than 10 years if the home is a bit older and has been repainted in the last few years. Use a chemical product to remove the paint. Most people recommend a product called Envirolon. Apply this water-based clear coating onto your home before you paint by following the instructions on the can. Keep in mind these products take days to work and dry out, so if you’re in need of a quick paint job, you’ll have to contact a painting company to take a look and see what they can do.
The primary cause of damage to home’s siding is water. Water can get under the siding (as with power washing) and cause swelling, cracking, and dripping. Most importantly, water is an attraction for bacteria. Mold is a common concern when talking about sealing siding from the potential water damage. Don’t let mold buildup on your home.
A water-resistive barrier (WRB) should already be installed underneath your siding. These water barriers are mandatory when building homes, but older homes may not have them. WRBs, also called housewraps, are meant to protect against running rainwater in the event the water gets behind the siding. If you don’t have a WRB on your home, contact a siding professional to see what options you have for your home. Products like Nansulate should be applied to protect your home from future damage by sealing and protecting the siding.
To restore your vinyl siding to like-new condition, you should:
- Power wash the dirt, mold, mildew, and other grimy buildups off
- Remove current paint
- Apply new layer of paint
- Apply siding protectant product
- Keep an eye on your siding and keep it clean by regularly power washing it
Author Bio: Ryan Gavin is an associate of Carlton Cleans, a power washing company. Ryan writes on a variety of topics relating to home exteriors, maintenance, and power washing.