It can be quite disconcerting to spend a lot of money on your siding whether wood, vinyl, or some other material only to have it start streaking not too long afterward. Unfortunately, no matter how well you take care of your siding, it’s prone to effects from Mother Nature. There are some things you can do to maintain your siding, though, and clean up the streaking that may be ruining the look of your beautiful home.
Stains and Where They Come From
Quite often, you can tell how a stain originated just by looking at the color. Brown streaks can be indicative of rusting nails, oil residue from wood, and even ice dams from the cold winter months, while black stains are the result of the formation of fungus-like mold, algae, or sometimes the buildup of soot from your chimney. Green means moss is overtaking your siding and yellowing can occur when the insulation is starting to deteriorate. When your gutter system is not doing its job, you’ll often see water-colored stains, so always check your gutter for obstructions and proper installation.
Oftentimes, getting rid of these stains calls for a simple pressure or power wash of the home. This is especially good for vinyl-sided homes, but may not be best for wood or other types of siding. The last thing you want to do is damage the siding in any way, so always consult with a professional before doing this. If you’re looking for spot treatments on vinyl siding, for instance, mix up a solution of 70 percent water and 30 percent white vinegar to remove light mold and mildew stains, recommend Bob Vila. If you’ve got cedar wood that’s experiencing staining from water, use a mild detergent and warm water to remove them. However, you’ll need to get at the root cause of the moisture problem, which could be pooling behind the siding. Hiring a professional to troubleshoot this task ensures you find the cause of the problem and address it so you won’t experience streaking again. House Logic says if you’ve got fiber cement siding, it’s easy to clean with a soft-bristled brush and a mixture of warm water and a 1/2 cup trisodium phosphate, which you can easily pick up at your local hardware or home improvement store. It’s durable enough to do the job yet gentle enough so it won’t harm your siding. Fiber cement siding is known for its durability, versatility, low maintenance, and affordability, thanks to its unique blend of wood pulp and Portland cement, according to This Old House. It’s not only resistant to rot and moisture, but it’s also termite-proof and can handle anything Mother Nature throws at it. Choosing Hardi Plank siding is a good bet when considering which type of siding to get for your house in the first place.
Protecting Your Investment
Cleaning your siding regularly is certainly a great way to keep up with its stellar appearance and maintain the resale value of your home. After all, when you let the dirt and grime build up over time, it gets harder to scrub off, says the Farmer’s Almanac. Cleaning aside, you also need to regularly inspect your siding for damage so you can fix it right away before it becomes a bigger problem. Wood siding, in particular, will deteriorate if you don’t properly maintain it, especially at joints, knot holes, or damage points, according to Better Homes and Gardens. Look for dents, cracks, or warping in your siding, and remove bird droppings, insects, spider webs, and pollen as they happen to avoid an eyesore. If you see staining due to fertilizers, herbicides, caulking, sealant, paint, or tar, remove it immediately. Structural damage should be addressed as soon as possible, which is why it’s important to conduct yearly inspections.