How To Clean Board And Batten Siding

Routinely cleaning the exterior of your home not only makes it have better curb appeal, but it also will increase the life of the material your house is sided with. No matter what style of exterior finish you have, it all needs to be thoroughly cleaned from time to time. Every type of material has different cleaning methods. Which one is best for board and batten siding? We've researched board and batten siding thoroughly and have presented our findings to you in this post.

Properly cleaning your board and batten siding is as simple as following these steps in order:

  • Inspect
  • Drive any loose nails back into the wood
  • Replace damaged wood
  • Wet the siding
  • Soak the siding with a cleaning agent
  • Rinse
  • Paint (if needed)
  • Treat the material

We are now aware of the steps we need to take to clean our board and batten siding. Read below to see our comprehensive guide to each step. You might also be asking yourself if board and batten siding is expensive. Or if this type of siding is still in style? To see what our research has discovered, keep reading ahead.

A small cottage with a vernacular architecture incorporated with board and batten sidings, How To Clean Board And Batten Siding

Cleaning Your Board and Batten Siding: A Step-By-Step Guide

Earlier in this post, we listed the steps you need to clean your board and batten siding. Below are those steps in thorough detail. Keep in mind that these steps pertain to board and batten siding that utilizes real wood. Other materials are readily used for this style, which we list later in this post.


Before you begin to clean the board and batten siding, you'll want to give the exterior of your home a thorough inspection. Walk around the building, carefully examining each board and batten. You're looking for places where paint has chipped or faded, as well as spots that have loose pieces of siding. Remedying these problems before cleaning the siding is critical.

Old rotten wood peeling away paint due to weather

Drive any loose nails back into the wood

Using a hammer, drive back into place any loose nails that you see. If there are any that are missing, replace them with new nails. The boards need to fit snugly next to each other for this siding to protect the interior of your home from the elements. The battens also need to be firmly attached so that these boards will not loosen and move.

Replace damaged wood

All organic material will rot over time, and wood is no exception to this fact of nature. During your inspection, you may find several boards that have rotted or molded. It's important to have these particular boards removed and immediately replaced before you go any further with the cleaning process.

When you've finished this step, be sure to shut all of the doors and windows inside your home so that when you complete the following steps, you won't make it rain inside your house.

An up close photo of an old rotten wood peeling away due to harsh weather

Wet the siding

For the next three steps, you will require some tools and accessories. We've listed them here:

  • Liquid Detergent
  • Water
  • Soft bristle, long-handled brush
  • Large Bucket 
  • Hose
  • Pressure Washer (Optional)

Using the hose, spray water on every part of the exterior siding. Feel free to spend extra time soaking any exceptionally soiled spots, giving the dirt more time to absorb the water. You'll find that you can remove a great deal of the dirt and grime this way before applying any detergent or solution to the board and batten siding. A long hosed pressure washer will make this step go quicker and will be much more effective.

To see these cleaning accessories on Amazon, click here.

Soak the siding with a cleaning agent

Following the water-to-detergent ratio that the detergent manufacturer recommends, make a solution of these two things inside your bucket. Using your long-handled brush, apply this solution to the siding. Scrub the surfaces that need it the most several times, being careful not to miss any spots.

To view this brand of board and batten siding cleaner on Amazon, click here.


Never let any of the cleaning solutions dry on the board and batten siding. Using your pressure washer or garden hose, thoroughly rinse the board and batten siding until all of the soap residue has been washed away from it. 

Your siding is now clean and already prepped for the next two steps. Before you proceed any further, however, you'll want to give your board and batten siding a day to dry. After one sunny day, this shouldn't be a problem.

A man using a power sprayer to clean the exterior sidings of his house

Paint (if needed)

You'll want to paint any boards that you replaced, as well as any areas where you had to remove any chipped paint. If you did this in large areas, you might consider painting the entire exterior of your home. But if you need to paint in just a few isolated places, then you probably won't need to worry about taking on an entirely new project at this time.

A painter painting the fascia board of his house

Treat the material

Properly treating your board and batten siding with a sealer will allow it to survive on the exterior of your home even longer. It's recommended to treat the wood every several years or after you paint it.

To see this wood sealer on Amazon, click here.

Is It OK To Power Wash Wood Siding?

Power washing is a quicker method for cleaning your wooden siding. This is fine for board and batten siding, so long as you take a few precautions. Be sure all the boards are tightly in place and that there are no loose nails. 

Standing at least five paces from the siding, apply the water from the power washer. Spray evenly, and don't hold the stream of water in one place too long. Doing so may cause some of the water to find it's way in between your boards due to the stream making them separate. 

A man using a power sprayer to clean the sidings of his house

What Material Is Used For Board And Batten Siding?

Traditionally, wood has been used as the material for board and batten siding. Over the years, other materials have begun being used. Some offer the style of board and batten but with a lower material cost. Others last longer than wood and require less maintenance. The following materials are commonly used in board and batten style:


Vinyl is the least expensive and most commonly used material for exterior home siding. It's lightweight, easy to install, and costs much less than any of its counterparts.

This siding material is also easier to clean, needing only a hose or power washer, with a little detergent.

While vinyl has the above pros, most will agree that the appearance pales compared to the actual wooden siding.

Fiber cement

This material is less expensive than wood or steel and can be molded to take on the appearance of just about any other siding type. It is also easier to clean than wood and is more weather-resistant.


Steel siding is the most expensive material. It lasts the longest and is easier to clean than any other siding, save for vinyl. It's material costs and extensive labor makes it less popular than real wood, although steel has become more and more used in the last decade.

How Long Does Board And Batten Siding Last?

The life of board and batten siding will depend on two things; how you maintain it and what elements it is exposed to.

Regularly maintaining and cleaning your wooden board and batten siding makes it last up to thirty years. An annual inspection and repairs go a long way, as does painting and sealing when they are needed. Remember that wood is an organic material and will rot quickly if left exposed to the elements. Painting and sealing extend the life of the boards, minimizing replacement.

While you are regularly maintaining your wooden board and batten siding, you are still at the mercy of nature. If you live in a climate with lots of moisture, you'll need to be extra careful when and how much maintenance and treatments you perform. Severe changes in temperature and humidity will lessen the life of any wooden siding, so pay close attention to the condition of each piece of the board when you inspect your siding each year.

Is Board And Batten Still In Style?

Board and batten siding is a trendy style and has been for eras. Its uniform look is loved by builders and designers everywhere and is one of the most requested siding styles today.

Is Board And Batten More Expensive Than Regular Siding?

Traditional wooden board and batten siding is more costly than other styles of siding. Wood is more expensive than vinyl, and then you have many more labor hours that need to be invested in the installation.

Despite the extra cost of having this style of siding on a home, many homeowners have it installed on their houses because of the aesthetic appeal.

In Conclusion

In this post, we learned step-by-step how to clean your board and batten siding thoroughly. This exterior siding comes in a variety of materials, including vinyl, steel, and traditional wood. Each material has its own unique sets of strengths and weaknesses.

We also learned that board and batten siding is one of the most popular exterior siding styles, and it can be seen used on homes built in many different eras. 

Even though board and batten siding is popular, it is more expensive to install. This is mostly because it is very labor-intensive, which drives up the cost.

If you've found this post to be helpful, we've listed others below that you might find to be informative:

Is Pine Good For Exterior Siding?

How Much Does Log Siding Cost (Inc. Faux Log Siding)

Wood Siding Bulging Out: What To Do

What Is The Best Stain For Log Siding?

How Long Does Log Siding Last?

How To Remove Mildew From Wood Siding [7 Steps]

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