As summer is winding down, homeowners around the Twin Cities are reluctantly taking up some pre-fall exterior maintenance. (We know, it’s kind of a buzz kill, but some things just have to be taken before the weather turns cold.) Your to-do list should include your siding and making sure it’s ready to survive another Minnesota winter.
What does yours require? The maintenance needs differ with the siding material.
Whatever you do should be done according to the type of siding that you have. Your siding may have come with some information from the manufacturer or the installer. Or their website might have some helpful ideas. For example, James Hardie recommends avoiding the use of a pressure washer on their fiber cement siding, but it CAN be used on other siding products by someone who’ s experienced in using that equipment. (For specifics on cleaning Hardie siding, click here.)
Generally the following tips will work for whatever type of siding you have.
Wash It with a Low Pressure Garden Hose
Just about any siding can be washed off with a low-pressure garden hose. Skip using a pressure washer unless you’re trained, as this can ruin the siding on the home. You do not want to do more damage than necessary, and a pressure washer can do that. It can strip the finish – in fact, that’s what most painting contractors do to prep siding for a new paint job. For the most part, the water pressure generated by an ordinary garden hose nozzle should be sufficient.
Scrub It Down with Soap
Mild soap and water used together with a good scrubbing brush can provide the best possible way to clean siding. Just make sure not to use harsh chemicals, because they can break down the finish. While we don’t want to recommend any brand in particular, some dish or laundry soaps and general purpose concentrated household cleaners work well. (Look for natural brands. If you want some detailed specifics for vinyl siding, Bob Vila of “This Old House” fame has some great recommendations.)
Repair Any Damage
While you’re cleaning your siding, give it a good inspection. Arrange for repair of any siding damage that you find. Getting this done before winter is extremely important. Anything that is not taken care of sooner rather than later can cause a bigger problem later on. You don’t want to end up with emergency repair work in sub-zero weather. Damaged or missing siding can mean higher utility bills, drafts in your home, water damage, and worse.
Keeping your siding in the best possible shape will not only protect your home but prolong the life of your siding. If we can be of assistance with siding repairs or replacement this season, please contact us. We are a licensed Minnesota building contractor and we specialize in exterior services such as siding repair and replacement. We serve the greater Twin Cities metro area.