How to Clean Vinyl or Fiber Cement Siding – Costs – Maintaining New Siding

Wouldn’t it be great if you’re new vinyl or fiber cement siding could stay new forever? Well, with proper maintenance and regular cleaning, it sure can look that way.

The Problem

Getting dirty, that’s the problem. Okay, that’s a bit simplistic. The elements that lead to dirty siding, be it vinyl or fiber cement, are numerous. It also depends on what’s on your property or type of work you may do on your property near your home. The common notable problems are:

  • dirt and yard debris blowing or splashing onto the siding
  • pollen floating in the wind and sticking to your siding
  • bird or critter droppings
  • spider webs
  • mildew
  • and all sorts of chemicals that may result from work done near or around your house

Addressing the Problem – The Basics

Let’s assume you care enough to maintain your siding on an annual basis. Depending on where you live, twice a year would be ideal. Either way, the steps are about the same. It’s as simple as:

1. Inspect the siding – walk around the home, get a feel for what areas need special attention, make note of that. If it’s been awhile since you’re last cleaning, don’t skip this step.

2. Devise a plan of action – Here’s where Fixing the Problem(s) noted below comes in. A basic cleaning is just that and if that’s all that your siding needs, then you can skip this step. But if there are troubled spots, then take time to decide how you’ll tackle things. Also take a few moments to determine what on your property could use covering up, such as nearby flower beds or gardens and any brick or stone siding you might have in addition to your vinyl / fiber cement siding.

3. Get ‘er done – Execute the plan. The basic cleaning involves removing what you can with a brush, then sudsing everything up, followed by a thorough rinsing and a final wiping. Sometimes though, more is needed.

Fixing the Problem – Beyond the Basics

The materials for any cleaning are fairly simple. This includes

  • a brush of some sort (they make siding brushes)
  • cleaning solution
  • water (of course)
  • ladder(s)
  • cloths (plural) – one for cleaning with the solution, and one, or ten for wiping it dry
  • plastic drop cloths and tape to seal off anything you don’t want to get wet and sprayed with cleaning solution
  • optionally a pressure washer to apply water and cleaning solution. Note though that misusing a pressure washer by applying too much pressure could void warranties for your siding.

via Yawata Company

The cleaning solution is obviously the key to bringing out the color of your siding and restoring it to a like-new condition. The simplest solution is a mixture of 70% water and 30% vinegar. This works for both vinyl and fiber cement.

Continue reading “How to Clean Vinyl or Fiber Cement Siding – Costs – Maintaining New Siding”

Top 22 Questions to Ask a Siding Contractor Before You Sign the Contract

To vet or not to vet, that is the first question that you as homeowner must decide when considering a contractor for any siding work. What you want to rule out, without any debate, are scammers. — These are so called contractors who may have a good sales pitch, but are interested only in your money. HouseLogic provides five scam scenarios to be on the look out for.

via A2HomePros

There are many siding contractors seeking an honest living. Here the top 22 qualifying questions to determine if the contractor in question is the right fit for you.

Questions about the Worker

1. Where is your office located? How long has your company been in business?

These are the first type of questions to ask, or information for you to find out. It gets the ball rolling in a few directions. An established contractor likely has an office in your area. That’s a positive sign you’re not dealing with a scammer. If you aren’t thoroughly convinced by everything that follows, then take a drive to that office to be sure it exists.

Knowing how long they’ve been in business opens the door to their experience (more on that later).

These are very reasonable questions to ask, though chances are you can find out this information before having any contact with the contractor.

2. What are examples of jobs you’ve completed? Do you have referrals and reviews I can look at?

Testimonials and examples of the completed work are invaluable while hunting for quality siding contractors.

Many professional contractors will provide this without you even asking, via their website or a portfolio they carry with them as part of their sales presentation. In the event that information is not made available to you, be sure to ask this question. Examples convey experience better than words can.

Referrals provide you with an option to investigate the contractor with other homeowners. Ideally, you’ll contact three of these people to get well rounded feedback, but that’s up to you. No need to contact more than three, and one or two is better than none.

Continue reading “Top 22 Questions to Ask a Siding Contractor Before You Sign the Contract”