Cleaning Vinyl Siding- Powdery Residue

Home owners should regularly inspect the siding of their home every year. Check aluminum and vinyl siding for holes, loose panels, mold, mildew and signs of oxidation.

Cleaning Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is one of the most popular home exterior sidings available on the market today. It’s affordable, long-lasting, and easy to maintain. But it should be cleaned using a low pressure cleaning process called soft washing or power washing every year to remove biological growth and surface dirt.  Also because it’s made of PVC, there is an oxidation reaction that can happen with some siding. When this reaction between the material and oxygen happens, it creates a film that looks chalky on the surface of your siding.

Oxidized siding

Oxidized siding

Exposure to the sun can also break down the resins in the dye, resulting in a chalky residue on the vinyl’s surface and fading of the color.

Oxidation (chalking) is defined as any chemical reaction that is a combination of a metal with a gas. Oxidation is the transfer of electrons from the metal to the gas. This leaves a chalky residue on the siding that will dull the exterior of the surface. Keeping the surfaces clean will help keep the oxidation from forming. Extreme caution should be used when cleaning oxidized surfaces. Many times these surfaces will need to be cleaned, primed, and painted to look good again. Unfortunately oxidation is usually hidden beneath mold and surface dirt, so it’s not always obvious that there is a problem.

Trying to clean heavily oxidized siding can leave streaks and striping that is very unsightly unless a restoration process is used.