If you are one to keep up on routine home maintenance, then you've definitely taken the time to clean your siding a time or two. But if you've recently planted some shrubbery or flowers near your house, you might be concerned that your routine cleaning methods might harm or kill your landscaping. Thankfully, there are ways you can safely clean vinyl siding without killing off your plants.
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Being able to successfully clean your vinyl siding without harming your plants is as easy as learning a few tips, as well as a few things to avoid. You can clean your vinyl siding and keep your plants healthy if you:
- Carefully use a power sprayer with water only -no chemicals
- Power spray with approved, plant-safe detergents
- Avoid bleach or ammonia
- Always read the label
Now that you know that there are several ways in which you can still clean your vinyl siding without harming your plants, you probably have some additional questions and concerns. We've researched vinyl siding cleaners from a variety of professional sources. In this post, we'll present our research findings so that you'll have a more well-rounded idea of how to clean your vinyl siding safely. If you've ever wondered if you can make your own vinyl siding cleaner, or if there are ways to make your vinyl siding look like new again, read ahead.
How to Clean Vinyl Siding and Keep Your Plants Alive
As we pointed out above, you can keep your vinyl siding looking clean and new, all the while keeping your new plants alive and well. We've broken down our tips below:
Power spray with water only
If your siding isn't too soiled, you can always just use plain water through your power sprayer. The sharp stream of water from the sprayer will remove most of the dust and pollen. This method works best if you live in an area that doesn't promote moss and mildew buildup.
Power spray with approved, plant-safe detergents
Of course, there are several plant-safe detergents on the market today. Just be sure to carefully read the label before you apply it.
Avoid any cleaners with bleach or ammonia
Bleach and ammonia are common chemicals found in a multitude of interior and exterior household cleaners. These will both cause damage to your plants. Be sure to avoid any cleaners with either ammonia or bleach.
Read your labels
Always, always read your labels. Just because it has the word "green" or "eco-friendly" in the name doesn't mean that it won't harm your plants.
Is It Okay To Power Wash Vinyl Siding?
Power washing is a much faster way to wash any exterior surface. You will be able to safely use a power sprayer or power washer on vinyl siding, so long as you take certain precautions. Be sure to stand at least five feet from your siding not to put too much pressure on the vinyl. You also want to make certain that you spray evenly and don't allow the powerful stream of water to sit in one spot for more than a few seconds.
Getting too close or spraying one spot too long can make the vinyl siding separate, creating another chore for you. These missteps can also make water seep past your vinyl siding and cause molding and mildewing underneath. All in all, it's recommended to use a power washer when cleaning your vinyl siding. Just be sure to take the necessary steps to avoid damaging your home.
How Do You Make Your Own Vinyl Siding Cleaner?
There are numerous homemade vinyl siding recipes online, each one boasting of its effectiveness. Before you commit to any one of them, it's important to know which ones are safe to use around your shrubbery and flowers.
Most of the homemade vinyl cleaners we've found contain ammonia, bleach, or bathtub cleaner. Diluting any one of these agents with ten parts water will certainly clean your siding. But mixing all of these together can create noxious and potentially deadly fumes, so be careful what you are mixing when it comes to chemicals. As a general rule, any one of the above agents can be safely mixed with water. Just don't combine recipes.
Using any homemade cleaner with the above chemicals will make your siding sparkle, but they will also harm or kill your nearby plants. If you want to clean your vinyl siding without doing any harm, a combination of household dish soap and water will work perfectly. Using this method, you'll still be able to apply it with a power sprayer.
How Do You Make Vinyl Siding Look New Again?
Routine maintenance will keep your home's vinyl siding looking new and fresh for years to come. Once or twice a year, you'll want to do a thorough inspection of the entirety of your home's exterior. Look for any pieces of vinyl that may be loose or have become removed from their j-channel. After doing any reattachments that are needed, clear away any organic growth from the siding. Vines and ivy are notorious for damaging siding over time, so be sure they are properly removed and disposed of.
Finally, you'll want to use a power washer and a plant-safe detergent to clean the siding itself. As we pointed out earlier in this post, power washing is fine on vinyl siding, so long as you stand at least five feet away from it and avoid holding the water stream onto one spot for more than a few seconds.
In this post, we learned that there are ways to safely and effectively clean vinyl siding without harming your plants. While some detergents on the market will definitely kill plants and flowers, there are many more that have been deemed safe for whatever you've planted. Carefully read the label before you use any cleaning agent. There are also ways to make your own vinyl siding cleaner at home that will be safe for any plants that it comes into contact with.
Routinely cleaning and repairing vinyl siding is the best way to make it appear new. Thorough cleaning with a power sprayer is recommended once or twice per year, depending upon how badly your siding gets soiled.
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