How Often Do You Need To Clean Your Exterior Siding?

Take a close look at your exterior siding and you may find discoloration, stuck-on dirt, and even some green, somewhat fuzzy stuff growing there. As the outside surface of your home, it's exposed to various organic materials, storms, and changing seasons that may cause debris to cake onto the home. Fortunately, siding is durable and, when properly maintained, can last a long time and offer a beautiful aesthetic to the house's exterior.

The key here is keeping the siding clean, even though that may sound like a lot of work. As noted by Willamette Power Roofing and Roof Cleaning, doing so could extend its life while also helping to reduce the growth of mold, bacteria, and mildew from causing discoloration; it may even help keep those harmful elements from making your family sick. Proper maintenance could even add value to your home. But if you leave this material on the surface, you'll find it builds up over time, making it much more difficult to remove later. The question is, though: How often should you clean your exterior siding?

Once per year is a good rule of thumb

There's no hard-and-fast rule about how often you need to clean your siding, but it's recommended by Five Star Painting to do so at least one time a year. Pressure washing your home's exterior that often helps to ensure a routine level of cleanliness, helping to remove whatever has caked onto the surface throughout the seasons. They recommended annual cleaning for most types of siding, including the most common option of vinyl as well as composite and metal products. However, if you have wood siding, only wash it when there's mildew or mold growth evident as doing it too frequently could damage it.

As for what time of the year to tackle this task, that's up to you and your schedule. However, it's ideal to clean it after the pollen season ends, which is often around early summer or late spring. That way you remove all of the grime from the exterior of your home just in time for the warm months. It also allows you to wash away the winter and spring buildup that tends to occur in many areas.

How to clean your exterior siding

Pressure washing is the preferred method for many people and a common service you can invest in. However, you need to be careful if you're power washing yourself. Certainteed, a manufacturer of siding products, warns that vinyl and polymer siding can suffer damage from pressure washing, resulting in discoloration of the surface or allowing moisture to seep into newly-developed surface damage. Instead, clean the siding using a hose and soapy water for the best results. You can use laundry or dish detergent during the process, with a preference for mild products without a lot of chemicals that can damage your landscaping, and a brush to help with the scrubbing. For mildew and mold, look for a siding-specific cleaning agent designed for organic material like this.

Staining on the siding is not uncommon, especially if you have not cleaned it often. If there are stubborn areas, consider hiring a professional siding contractor or cleaning company to perform the task. That way, you reduce the risk of damage and get your siding looking its best again.