Follow these Siding Maintenance Tips for Algae and Mildew Free Siding
When it comes to siding maintenance the safest way to clean off the mildew and algae from your home is with a hand-pump garden sprayer, oxygen bleach and a soft bristle brush on a pole. Do not confuse oxygen bleach with chlorine bleach, which can kill the landscaping around your home. Oxygen bleach will not remove color from wood and is safe to use around plants and animals. I do not recommend using pressure washers. Pressure washers can damage the house if used improperly. The water, at high pressure and pointed upward, can be driven into cracks and crevices where it was never intended to go. Water driven behind vinyl siding at lap joints and corners can cause wood rot if your house lacks the proper weather barrier underneath. This requirement was lacking from the building codes for many years, so there are many older structures that do not have a weather barrier under the siding. In some cases it is nailed directly to the wood sheathing.
To clean your wood and vinyl siding, mix the powdered oxygen bleach with warm water, stir till dissolved and then apply it generously to dry siding. It’s best to work when the siding is in the shade. Allow the solution to remain on the surface for about 10 minutes, then scrub with the brush and rinse with clear water from a garden hose. When dry, the siding should look as good as new.
It is always suggested to work a small section at a time, start from the top and work your way down to prevent dripping or streaking onto the cleaned area. Gently clean the siding in a side to side motion in the direction of the siding. Do not allow the soap and mildew cleaner to dry on the siding. Continually rinse the area until all of the cleaner has washed off of the siding.
To prevent mildew and algae buildup wash your home every spring with a solution of liquid dish soap and water. This will remove the sugars from the siding, which is what mildew and algae feed on.