Things to Consider When Buying a Vinyl Siding Cleaner
Vinyl siding came into prominence for use in American homes during the 50s and 60s. It had to claw its way to the top since most homes back then used aluminum as house sidings. How times have changed! Over 1 in 4 American houses today are arrayed with vinyl, and in some areas like New England and the Mid-Atlantic, over 75% of homes use vinyl siding.
Since you’re here, you have probably made a choice to clad your abode with vinyl. Given its advantages, that’s a great decision! Still, as in any type of home siding, vinyl sidings need to be maintained and cleaned to make your house look sparkling new. Before introducing you to the best choices as far vinyl siding cleaners go, let’s quickly examine the benefits of vinyl sidings over the other alternatives.
Why Choose Vinyl Siding: The Main Benefits of Vinyl Siding for Wall Exterior
Brick, aluminum, and fiber cement once ruled as the main wall exterior for homes, but since 2012, vinyl sidings have become the undisputed champion. It combines aesthetics, ease of maintenance, and durability all into one material. Here are other benefits of using vinyl siding as the primary material for wall exteriors:
- Cost-effective. Vinyl sidings cost significantly less than brick and wood sidings over a similar area. Brick could cost you $15,000 to $20,000 over an area of 1,500 square feet and wood at about $10,000. If you choose vinyl, it should cost $8,750 tops and even less if you install them yourself.
- Color options and Color-Retention Properties. Did you know that vinyl sidings are available in over 300 color choices? For people who want unique and specific shades, “lack of choice” is not in the vocabulary. How many times do you need to repaint or replace a vinyl siding? The answer is, you don’t, at least for many years. The colors are super-ingrained into the material that it practically doesn’t fade!
- Maintenance-free. Brick is one of the toughest sidings to maintain. Its maintenance routine requires patching, along with brushing and applying sealants. Wood is prone to termites and decay, not to mention the frequent brushings using soap and warm water. Vinyl, on the other hand, virtually touches and go. No insects, no rotting, and most of all, a yearly cleaning is all it needs to maintain its look.
- Incredibly durable. Though we strongly suggest that vinyl sidings should only be used by homes in areas with moderate climates, it isn’t all that bad for extreme weather. Some brands claim to withstand hurricane winds of up to 156 mph to 240 mph. Now, we doubt if they actually tested them in these conditions, but vinyl sidings are tougher than it looks.
- Versatility. A vinyl siding is still a plastic product, but it has come a long way. Some manufacturers are already able to mimic cedar, logs, and woodgrain textures. It also comes with a beaded and classic architectural look, so there won’t be a shortage of options as far as styles go.
5 Best Vinyl Siding Cleaners
Vinyl sidings do not need a whole manual to maintain, so choosing the most effective cleaner is not exactly rocket science. Here are five best that the market has to offer:
1 – Wet & Forget Stain Remover
The brand name doesn’t sound like it’s well-thought-of, but believe it or not, nothing could be more apt! The Wet & Forget stain remover gets rid of mold, mildew, and algae simply by mixing the formula with water until you get three gallons of cleaner. The next process is a piece of cake. Apply it to the surface and leave it there. That’s it! It doesn’t need power washing or scrubbing at all, hence the name.
As far as the ingredients go, this stain remover is 100% biodegradable, non-corrosive, bleach-free, and phosphate-free.
2. Mold Armor E-Z House Wash
Power washing is a proven method to turn back the years on a house’s clock, but just as a gun is loaded with proper ammunition, you should use the appropriate cleaner if you’re leaning towards that option. Enter Mold Armor E-Z house wash.
The manufacturer guarantees that their product removes mold and mildew in 10 minutes, but even if it takes twice as long, that’s a good deal! It may reek of bleach, but it is otherwise safe even if it comes in contact with plants.
3 – Simple Green Pro-HD (Heavy-Duty) All-in-One Cleaner
Versatility is the name of the game with the Simple Green Pro-HD as it can be used across surfaces, including industrial equipment and vehicles. It only means one thing: cleaning off dirt is a walk in the park, but the ingredients are safe enough for use in otherwise sensitive materials. That’s a combination you’d want to consider!
4 – Scotts Outdoor Cleaner with OxiClean
This product’s selling point is how quickly it goes from 0-100 as far as cleaning is concerned. It is fast-acting, and you can make up to 25 gallons of the stuff in one purchase, so you can use it to clean other materials besides vinyl sidings. It doesn’t contain any chlorine bleach and does away with mold, mildew, and whatnot, with only a light scrub.
5 – Spray & Forget Roof Cleaner Concentrate
We have heard “forget” before on this list, so you should know what to expect. Dilute the product, apply it, and forget about it. That’s how easy it is! Spray & Forget does not have caustic chemicals in its formula– no lye, bleach, or phosphates. It can only make up to 10 gallons but considering it’s only a once-a-year thing, that’s not too bad at all.
How to Choose the Best Vinyl Siding Cleaner For You
Vinyl siding cleaners are not created equal, and everyone’s needs are different. However, use these general features as guides in choosing the right cleaner:
- Environmentally-friendly. There should be no harmful ingredients that are potentially harmful to plants, pets, and humans. Some people don’t like the strong smell of bleach, so choose something easy on the nose.
- Multi-purpose. Most of the cleaners listed above can be used for other purposes, and it’s supposed to be that way. A product that does only one thing is essentially itself up for failure nowadays.
- It can be applied in a number of ways. Vinyl siding cleaners, or any outdoor/indoor cleaner for that matter, come in different forms. It could be classified as a soap, a detergent, a peroxide-based cleaner, or any of these. The important thing is that your cleaner of choice can be applied several ways, perhaps manually, using an ordinary hose, or a power washer. This allows you to be flexible in handling the degree of stains or grimes on your vinyl sidings.
- Cost. If you can get something that doesn’t hurt your wallet, you should go for it. The same can be said about your choice of vinyl siding cleaners.
- Packaging. This one is pretty self-explanatory, but an important one, nonetheless. If the area to clean is a smaller one, don’t buy the larger packages with the thought of saving some for future use. It is safer that way, and it’s generally better to use the product when it’s “fresh.”
The Verdict: Choosing the Best Vinyl Siding Cleaners
With the soaring popularity of vinyl sidings, you’ll need to choose a cleaner that works best for it. There’s no shortage of products on the market, but you should choose one that’s environment-friendly, multi-purpose, can be applied in different ways, and fits right into your budget. Happy cleaning!