All types of siding are vulnerable to water infiltration, especially where it butts against windows, doors and corner moldings. You'll want to check for caulk that has cracked due to age or has pulled away from the surface, leaving a gap. If you have wood siding, check for chipped or peeling paint, as well as cracked wood and trim. For stucco, look for cracks and chips, and for brick, look for crumbling mortar joints.
2. Use Warm, Soapy Water.
The best way to clean your siding is by hand with a bucket of warm, soapy water. Use a soft-bristled brush attached to a long handle. You'll want to work from bottom to top in order to avoid streaking. Be sure to rinse often as well so the soap doesn't dry onto the siding. It's advised to divide the work into 10-foot sections; don't try to do your whole house all at once.
3. Removing Mildew.
Stubborn, black spotty stains are probably mildew. If warm, soapy water doesn't do the trick, dab the area with a little diluted bleach. If the spots come off, you're dealing with mildew. Clean the entire area with a solution of one part bleach to four parts water. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the area with clean water.
Whether you have a power washer or choose to rent one, use it with caution. If you don't have experience with power washing, you could cause damage to your siding. Power washers can strip paint, gouge softwoods, loosen caulk and eat through mortar. In addition, the pressure can force water under horizontal lap joints, resulting in moisture accumulating behind the siding. If you don't have the experience or just don't have the time, consider having it professionally cleaned. A professional has the expertise to prevent water penetration at joints, seams around windows and doors, and electrical fixtures.
If you find that your siding is in disarray, consider having it replaced. At Above & Beyond Roofing, we handle more than just shingles. We can also install brand new siding at the Lake of the Ozarks. Give us a call at 573-302-0354 to get a quote and schedule your home improvement project this fall!
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