Vinyl siding salespeople are good at what they do, and why not? According to them, vinyl siding is an ‘install it and forget it’ solution. That’s why so many homeowners are shocked to discover their homes’ supposedly maintenance-free exterior solution playing host to not only dirt, but also mildew and algae.
The green stuff growing on vinyl siding isn’t feeding on the plastic, obviously. All siding will eventually pick up tiny droplets of sap, dust and dirt, and other stuff that makes a home’s exterior look dingy and is also appetizing to mildew and algae.
Sometimes all these things combined can actually cause tiny pits and scratches to form in vinyl siding, making it harder to clean and opening the vinyl up to even more weathering.
Should you powerwash? That depends. If you’re a seasoned power washer user, you know how to navigate lap joints, and you’re sure your siding has a weather barrier underneath, then maybe. If you’re not entirely confident in your ability to powerwash without soaking the wood underneath, leave it to a professional powerwashing service.
Wood shingles and siding can also harbor mildew and algae spores, of course, but repainting with a product containing “mildewcides” creates a new
smoother surface less likely to be the source of a bloom that turns your exterior green. Wood is also more durable in the long term – thin sheets of vinyl have a tendency to buckle and even come entirely off in extreme weather. And damaged siding can’t be patched without replacing entire sections.
There’s not much you can do to keep the vinyl siding already on your home looking new other than regular maintenance with oxygen bleach, a brush, and plenty of elbow grease. But if you’re considering covering up perfectly sound wood shingles or siding with vinyl because you think taking care of it will be effortless, please think again!