Prepare and Protect Your Siding from the Stresses of Summer with These Five Tips


Many homeowners choose vinyl siding such as James Hardie siding because it's virtually maintenance free. However, it still requires a bit of maintenance, especially if you want to keep it looking great for years to come. And although you don't have to paint vinyl siding like you do wood, you may want to make efforts to protect it from the summer's heat and the harsh rays of the sun.

Here are a few tips on summer maintenance for vinyl siding:

1. Don't pressure wash your siding.

The warm weather of the summer is the perfect time for doing a range of outdoor chores, including washing your siding. However, if you want to protect your siding and ensure it will last as long as possible, you need to approach this task carefully.

In particular, don't use a pressure washer. Unfortunately, when you shoot water from a power washer at your house, the strong jet of water can drive into the small gaps between the pieces of siding. As a result, water gets behind the siding, and the locked-in water can create mold and mildew, which ultimately can ruin your siding or spread to other parts of your home.

2. Scrub your siding gently.

Instead, make a gentle mixture of vinegar and water and use a soft-bristle brush to scrub your siding. Start at the top. This allows dirty water to roll down into the areas you haven't cleaned yet. After gently scrubbing the siding, use a sponge and warm water to rinse off any remaining residue.

Annually washing your siding helps to prevent the buildup of dirt and grime, keeping your siding looking great and helping to resist damage.

3. Learn how to make inconspicuous repairs.

While you are cleaning your siding, make sure to survey it and look for damaged pieces. In particular, you want to find pieces with holes bored into them by bugs or birds, pieces that have started to rot or crumble around the edges, and other types of visible damage.

Removing a piece of siding is relatively easy. Simply slip the siding removal tool between the two pieces of siding and pull the tool down and out toward you. Then, use the claw part of your hammer to remove any nails.

Unfortunately, if you replace the damaged piece with a new piece of siding, it won't blend in. In most cases, your existing siding is likely faded by the sun. Instead of using a new piece, find an old piece of siding in an inconspicuous part of your house. Place that faded piece of siding where you removed the damaged piece. Then, put the new piece of bright, unfaded siding in the inconspicuous spot.

4. Take steps to avoid thermal deformation.

Unfortunately, in some cases, siding can buckle when it's hit by extremely hot heat. This can happen if light bounces off a window and reflects onto your siding. If you see any long, slightly slanted places where the siding has bubbled, the culprit may be light bouncing off your window. If possible, check on the siding throughout the day. At some point, you are likely to see the light reflecting on it.

Depending on how the light is hitting your vinyl siding and where it is coming from, you may be able to stop it by hanging an awning over your window—the sun will hit the awning rather than hitting the window and bouncing onto your siding. Alternatively, you can use landscaping elements such as trees and bushes to help direct light away from your siding; this is especially helpful if the heat is bouncing off the neighbor's windows.

5. Add a vinyl protectant to your siding.

Finally, after cleaning your siding, replacing broken pieces and shielding it from damaging light, consider adding an extra layer of protection. There are a range of siding protectants on the market. To apply them, you simply wipe them on with a rag and then rub them into the siding. The process is like applying wax to your car.

However, you should speak with a contractor or siding expert before applying any protectant, and you want to ensure you buy a product compatible with the type of siding you are using. For example, if you have James Hardie siding, you may want to speak with a James Hardie siding contractor for specific advice at a company like Blue Springs Siding and Windows.



11 January 2016

Start Spring Cleaning Early

Every year, I make a list of spring cleaning tasks. Unfortunately, I’m a procrastinator. Therefore, I rarely complete every item on my extensive list. This year, I plan to start my spring cleaning early. One of the tasks I’m passionate about is cleaning windows. When I get finished with my windows, I want them to appear invisible due to their level of cleanness. To accomplish this task, I use both over-the-counter window cleaners and natural cleaning agents. To reduce the incidence of smudges, you can wipe your windows down with a newspaper. On this blog, you will learn how to clean your windows before spring arrives.