How to Properly Clean Steel Siding

How to Properly Clean Steel Siding

Steel siding is one of the most exciting exterior home remodeling products to emerge recently.  It’s durable, it’s beautiful, and it’s virtually maintenance-free.  But it does require a good cleaning once in awhile, because as far as we know, a self-cleaning siding product has yet to hit the market.

With the muddy spring we’re having, chances are that your siding is going to need a good cleaning as a part of your outdoor spring cleaning and home maintenance.  If your home is sided with a product such as steel residential siding from United States Seamless, you’ll want to clean it properly.  Steel has different cleaning requirements than wood or vinyl; here are the specifics:

  • While a power washer might be a little too aggressive for wood or vinyl unless you’re a professional, it’s the best tool for cleaning steel siding.
  • Chemicals you might use on wood or vinyl siding can cause damage to steel.  Put those away and simply make up a solution of 1/3 cup liquid laundry detergent and 6 gallons of water to use with the pressure washer.
  • Water and electricity don’t mix.  Make sure you turn off any breakers providing service to any exterior electrical – that includes lights and outdoor outlets.
  • Take a long-handled tool such as a deck brush or a telescoping handled brush and a bucket of plain water to first loosen any grime and dirt.  The brush should be soft bristled.   First stroke horizontally, then vertically to loosen anything that has been caked on.
  • Mold and mildew can build up in any areas where moisture might be trapped.  If that’s the case, apply a 1:3 solution of regular household bleach and water with a spray bottle before power washing.
  • Set your power washer on the lowest setting to apply the cleaning solution.  If you’ve never used one before, it’s a good idea to practice on a hard-to-damage spot such as your driveway or sidewalk before turning it on your house, because even set on low it packs quite a wallop.
  • Working in sections, rinse a washed area down with plain water from your garden hose.  Don’t let the soapy solution dry on the siding.
  • Put everything away – you’re done!  It might not be self-cleaning, but at least your siding is self-drying.

 

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