When caring for your vinyl siding what you DON’T do is just as important as what you DO do. Here are five things that you should avoid if you want to keep your vinyl happy and healthy:
1. Avoid Painting
Painting your vinyl siding will end up damaging the aesthetics of the house and your satisfaction with it more than anything else. Since vinyl siding expands and contracts as the outside temperature fluctuates, the seams caused by panel overlap will change positions during different seasons causing imperfections and cracking on the exterior. Painting vinyl siding during a warm summer day could look perfectly fine until the weather cools in autumn and the seams contract to reveal surfaces that were not originally painted. Not only that but painting your vinyl the wrong color could result in damage to the vinyl itself. Painting light colored vinyl siding with darker colors allows for greater heat absorption and can result in buckling, warping and curling.
Premium quality vinyl siding should never unevenly fade or discolor but if it does, make sure to check your warranty and discuss with a professional installer before making any decision. If you’re really unhappy with the color of your vinyl, discuss your options with your professional installer.
2. Stay Away from Harsh Chemicals
Vinyl siding is exposed to the exterior element all year round and from time to time, your vinyl siding will require some cleaning. Dirt, cobwebs, grass stains or any other unsightly residue can build up over time and leave your home’s exterior cladding looking tired and untidy. When cleaning your vinyl siding, it is important that you not use any cleaners containing organic solvents, undiluted chlorine bleach, liquid grease remover, nail polish remover, or furniture polish or cleaners. These products can potentially damage the surface of the siding.
When using any cleaning solution on vinyl siding, it is a good idea to test it out on a small, inconspicuous part of the home exterior to make sure any damage or negative reaction does not occur on a larger more visible section of the home.
3. Don’t Use Abrasive Cleaning Tools
Items like steel wool, wire brushes and paint scarper can leave permanent scratches, discoloration and even puncture wounds in your vinyl siding and should be avoided when trying to clean a home’s exterior. Although it may take a little more patience and elbow grease, it is recommended that a soft cloth or nylon bristle brush be used to scrub away stains without negatively impacting the siding.
4. If you must Power Wash, Keep it Level
If your home’s exterior is so completely dirty that you need a little extra muscle, using a power washer can go a long way in getting the job done much quicker. When using a power washer, it is extremely important to keep the stream of water straight at eye level to ensure the water does not get behind the siding. Spraying at an angle can force a lot of water behind the siding and result in moisture problems that may not be immediately noticeable. If too much moisture builds up behind the siding, mold problems could occur and threaten the integrity of the home and the health of those living in it.
Because of the delicate nature of cleaning your vinyl with a power washer, it is recommended that you hire a professional cleaner to do it instead.
5. Keep Your BBQ at a Distance
When firing up the BBQ grill, make sure it is kept at least 10 feet away from your home’s exterior. Although PVC will not ignite until it reaches about 730°F (387°C), BBQ’s can reach temperatures up to 600°F (315°C) and can cause severe damage to your home’s exterior, including warping and melting.