You’ve paid a lot of money for your vinyl siding, so the last thing you want is to have unsightly mold growing on the surface. The good news is that with a few simple tricks, you can prevent mold from forming on your siding and keep it looking its best.
To keep siding free of mold, maintain a regular cleaning routine using mold-resistant cleaners. Prevent damp conditions by allowing maximum sunlight to warm your siding. This can be achieved by cutting back trees, vines, and removing moss. Ensure that the siding doesn’t become unnecessarily wet from sprinklers or overflowing gutters.
Here are 10 ways to keep your siding mold-free. Later on, I’ll show you how best to clean siding if it already has mold, and some things you want to avoid so as not to damage the siding.
1. Direct sunlight
Mold thrives in places that are dark and damp, so one of the best ways to stop mold from growing is to allow plenty of sunlight onto the outside of your house. This could mean that you need to trim back trees or shrubs in order to allow as much light as possible through to your house.
Another advantage of trimming back the trees is that it will allow the air to circulate easier, which will keep your siding drier and make it harder for the mold to grow.
2. Remove climbing vines
While they might look appealing, climbing vines are actually aiding the growth of mold as they block out sunlight and prevent your siding from ever drying out properly. If your siding is always damp and lacking sunlight, then it is the perfect condition for mold to grow.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to remove the climbing vines and ivy so that the mold has less of a chance to grow on the siding of your home.
3. Remove moss
Moss has exactly the same effect as climbing vines as it creates a dark and damp environment on the siding which is perfect for mold to grow in. To prevent mold, you should remove as much moss from your home as you can.
4. Be careful with sprinklers
Although you might not realize it’s a problem, using a sprinkler too close to the siding on your house can aid the growth of mold as it will make the siding wet. Make sure that sprinklers are not used too close to your home’s siding so that you can keep it as dry as possible.
5. Maintain rain gutters
Another important thing to do when trying to prevent mold is to always make sure that your gutters are free from blockages as water can spill out of a blocked gutter and make your home siding wet. Not only will blocked gutters cause mold to grow but can cause a lot of damage to your home that is costly to repair.
6. Check ventilation ducts
Ventilation ducts from clothes dryers can produce steam outside your house which can attract mold spores. Therefore, it’s a good idea to check them regularly to make sure that they are clean and that there is no build-up of moisture.
7. Good insulation
Good insulation can also help to prevent mold from growing on the outside of your home as the drier and more ventilated your home is, the less chance there is of mold growing.
8. Regular cleaning
Mold is airborne and readily attaches itself to surfaces where it will grow if allowed to do so. A way to prevent build-up is to create a scheduled cleaning routine. Regular cleaning will also allow you to check regularly for any new mold that has begun to appear.
Set a reminder on your phone or calendar to inspect and clean your siding every three months or so. The best way to clean siding is with a hosepipe and soft brush. Always remember to spray the water downwards so that it doesn’t find its way inside the siding panels.
9. Act fast
One of the best ways to stop prevent mold is to stop it in its tracks as soon as you see any of it starting to grow. The best thing to do is to use a solution of diluted bleach and water to remove it. This will stunt the growth of the mold and should stop it from getting out of control. If you don’t act quickly, it will take more time and effort to remove.
10. Use mold-resistant cleaners
There are some cleaning products that contain ingredients that kill the mold before it has a chance to grow. Therefore, it’s a good idea to use a mold-resistant cleaner on the siding surface as it will prevent mold and mean that you will need to clean the siding less often.
How to clean mold from vinyl siding
If there is just a small amount of mold on your siding, then a mix of 70% water and 30% white vinegar should be enough to remove it. However, if the mold is particularly stubborn, you will need to make a stronger solution as outlined below.
What you’ll need
|Ingredients||US measurements||Metric measurements|
|Water||1 gallon||4 liters|
|Liquid bleach||1 quart||1 liter|
|Powdered laundry detergent||1/3 cup||50g|
|Powdered household cleaner||2/3 cup||90g|
Combine the above ingredients to create your cleaning solution. In order to clean the siding, you will need a soft sponge. It’s also a good idea to have a spray bottle to apply the solution onto the siding, although it’s not necessary.
How you’ll do it
1. The first thing to do is to hose the siding surface down as light mold will usually come straight off with just water. You should begin spraying the siding at the bottom and then move up to the top. Always make sure that you don’t spray any water under the edge of the siding as the water could get in through the seams and cause problems.
2. Rinse the siding down again, from the top to the bottom this time.
3. Cover any plants with plastic drop cloths so that they don’t get damaged or killed by the cleaning solution.
4. Now you can use your cleaning solution on the mold. The best way is to scrub the area with the solution and leave it for several minutes to soak in before rinsing off.
5. Rinse the cleaning solution off the siding, beginning at the top and moving down to the bottom.
6. If there is a lot of mold, or it is very stubborn and refusing to come off, then leave the solution to soak a little longer before rinsing. If the mold is particularly stubborn, you may need to apply the solution and scrub vigorously several times.
What not to do when cleaning siding
Never use anything such as liquid grease remover, furniture polish, or undiluted chlorine bleach as they might cause serious damage to the surface of the siding. You should also never use steel wool or an abrasive scrubber as they can also damage the surface of the siding.
Should I use a pressure washer to clean siding?
A good way to remove mold from the siding is to use a pressure washer. However, it’s best to get a professional to do the job as it is easy to damage the siding. Pressure washers may cause dents or even put a hole in the siding. Even if it doesn’t damage the surface, it could leave streaks that are less than appealing.
If you do decide to do the job yourself, then you should always use the widest setting on the washer and point it directly at the siding and not upwards. You should always keep the nozzle of the pressure washer moving, never remaining in one spot for long, so that you don’t force any water underneath the siding as that could cause problems far worse than mold.
A good way to clean off the mold is to use a mold-killing agent with pressurized hot water. Some products contain chemical agents that kill the mold quickly before it begins to grow. By using mold-killing agents, it means that you don’t need to clean the siding nearly as often.