Q - how to clean vinyl siding?


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Old 08-27-18, 10:26 PM
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Q - how to clean vinyl siding?

I have a 2 story house in Florida. The second floor section has vinyl siding, the first floor has stucco wall. I need to clean the vinyl siding.
1. Can I use a pressure washer to clean the siding without climbing on a ladder?
2. If I can, does horse power matter to reach the top (about 20-25 ft high)?
3. What cleaning chemical would you recommend?

Thank you.
 
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Old 08-27-18, 10:31 PM
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They make pressure washer extension poles/wands which telescope to those lengths but they are expensive.

I use a 7hp Extech/Honda pressure washer. I use the low side injection system to apply bleach straight to the siding. The low level injector draws the bleach out of the gallon bottle and dispenses it directly out of the nozzle.... mixed with water... at low pressure. This is just enough to reach that high. Then I switch back over to a standard high pressure nozzle to rinse the siding off.
 
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Old 08-28-18, 03:10 AM
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It's never a good idea to wash up high standing on the ground. You always want to spray straight on or downward! Spraying upward forces water behind the siding and then you are relying in the house wrap to keep the water out. I've used those telescoping wands before and they are very hard to control. I'd use a ladder.

Some say you shouldn't use bleach on vinyl siding but I always have and never had any issues. Bleach is very effective for cleaning off mildew. You do want to cut the bleach with water and not let it dry on the siding. They also sell commercially prepared siding cleaners.
 
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Old 08-28-18, 08:20 PM
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It is either I pay someone to go on a ladder or I pressure-wash from ground. There is a layer of wood shingles underneath the vinyl siding. (Vinyl siding was added later) It should hold one time water intrusion from upward spray. Let me know if this approach looks reasonable. Thank you.

I just started checking pressure washer rentals. They go by pressure and GPM, not HP. How does 7 HP related to pressure/GMP? I suppose electrical pressure washer wouldn't be able to reach the height, right? Thank you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up2vAkY6SM0
This youtube video says just "soap" but no specifics of the soap. Just bleach?
 

Last edited by paker; 08-28-18 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 08-29-18, 02:03 AM
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Having tackled the same project for the past 10 years on my 2 story house I have resolved how to clean vinyl siding.

First and most disappointing, a pressure washer simply will not do the job, similar to washing a car at the car wash you will get some dirt off but the real grime remains.

I've tried, solutions siphoned into the washer (too weak), I tried a soap lance (would not spray high enough), even a wand attachment (weak and cumbersome). Eventually sold them all!!

The only item that actually works is this brush:

https://www.doityourself.com/forum/a...1&d=1535533102

Every 3-4 years I break out the ladder, the extension pole, the brush, and two high volume spray bottles.

Rinse the siding, hand spray an area then scrub and rinse.

The wrap around brisels on the brush allow it to work at any angel on any surface,

Tried the Crud Cutter cleaners, useless, Simple Green works fantastic and is mild on workers and plants.

Have some real bad spots, automotive tire cleaner takes it right off.

Next spring is siding cleaning for me again!
 
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Old 08-29-18, 09:29 PM
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Many years ago I had a house with vinyl siding. I would do a once-over with the pressure washer (2 horsepower electric, about 2 gpm at 700 to 1200 psi) and then use a 50% dilution of Simple Green mixed in a bucket. Brush it on with a stiff bristle car washing brush and work it in well. Rinse with the pressure washer and it would look brand new. Do no more than about 8 to 10 horizontal feet at a time being sure to not let the wall dry before thoroughly rinsing. Pressure washing without the brush or the cleaner is a waste of time.
 
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Old 08-29-18, 10:48 PM
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Thank you for the notes. Now I get it. For thorough cleaning I would need to get on a ladder and use brush+cleaning chemicals. Pressure washing from the ground level gives mediocre cleaning.

I cannot get on a ladder because of physical limitation. I am going to give pressure washing a try. If the results are 5 or 6 out of 10, I will hire a professional. Thank you for helping me reach this action plan.
 
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Old 09-21-18, 10:07 AM
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I bought the most expensive spray pump from Lowes for $30. Diluted bleach solution from this pump reached the top of the siding from 8' ladder. Water pressure from the faucet was enough to rinse bleach from the siding using pressure washer gun and wand. I never ran pressure washer engine for siding.
Thank you.
 
 

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