Pressure Washing Your Vinyl Siding

Power Wasing Vinyl SidingThe weather out side is nasty and winter still has us in its grasp, but now is a good time to think about spring and what all the snow and cold a and wind has done to your siding during the winter. Now is also a good time to look for sales on pressure washers since it is the off season. Here are a few easy to follow steps to help you clean you vinyl siding when you are ready.

Cleaning the vinyl siding of your home is a great way to keep your home looking beautiful and to keep the value of it high. Rather than needing to scrub every inch of your siding by hand, a pressure washer is a great tool to use. In order to do a thorough cleaning job and to ensure that you do not damage your siding, there are some steps you should take.

1. Choose the right pressure washer and amount of pressure.

There are a number of different types and sizes of pressure washers out there, so it can be difficult to decide which one is the best one for you to use. You can use either an electric or gasoline run pressure washer as long as it has at least a 3,000 PSI pressure rating with a rate of flow that is at least 4 gallons. This will give you both the pressure and amount of water you need to thoroughly clean your siding. You will want to add your cleaning solution to the reservoir and set the sprayer to low pressure. When you are looking for your new power washer (pressure washer) make sure to tell the sales folks that you intend to use this for siding washing. Have them explain the cleaning solution (soap) holder and how it works. Keep in mind that your new pressure washer will have many other uses then just cleaning your siding. Sidewalks, decks, gutters garage floors and even your car can all be cleaned with a power washer. Steel and wood siding can be cleaned as well but you will want to use caution because the washer will etch into the wood and remove the stain. siding can be Different nozzles have different uses. Each nozzle has  a different amount of pressure it releases as well as the spray pattern it produces. Here is a nozzle chart showing the different nozzles and there impact.

2. Prep the area you will be cleaning.

It will make the process of cleaning your siding go quicker and more smoothly when you prepare as much as you can before you start. Some of the things you should do are:

* Move any patio furniture, flower planters, or any other objects that may get in your way.
* Cover any plants you have outside to protect them from damage as well as to prevent them from getting any cleaning solution on them.
* Cover any electrical wiring or outlets you have outside.
* If you see any mold that is growing on your siding, you will want to remove this first with a bleach and water mixture.

3. Test the water pressure first.

Before you begin cleaning a large area, test the amount of pressure you are using on a small area. You can easily change the amount of pressure you are using to ensure your siding will be cleaned. Normally the soap application is done under low pressure then you switch to a higher nozzle (25 degree) and use that to wash off the soap and clean the siding.

4. Use a steady motion spraying back and forth.

To ensure that all areas are thoroughly cleaned, you will want to spray the siding from left to right in a steady motion. Keep the angle of the sprayer at about forty-five degrees to prevent water from getting behind your siding.

5. Rinse with clean water.

After you have washed your vinyl siding with soapy water, you will want to rinse it to avoid streaking. Ensure that you rinse it within just a few minutes of washing it so the cleaning solution does not have a chance to dry. I tend to start at the bottom and work my way up it seems to reduce streaking.


Proper Holiday Lighting Installation on Vinyl Siding

Gutter Clips

With the holidays quickly approaching, you may be in the mood to start putting up your outside Christmas decorations. Head outside on a relatively warm day and decide what type of decorations you’re going to be hanging this year. From Christmas lights to wreaths, bows and garland, there are so many different types of decorations to choose from. Show off your holiday spirit by installing lights and more on your homes vinyl siding. This approach works just as well on metal siding as it does for vinyl. If you are unsure of how to install Christmas lighting and decorations on your home, simply follow this guide to make your day a little bit easier.

Gutter Clips
One of the easiest ways to install Christmas lights on vinyl siding it to take advantage of gutter clips like in the picture above. These type of clips can be purchased at your local hardware store or retailer that specializes in Christmas decorations. Plastic gutter clips are easily able to snap onto your gutter without causing any damage to the siding of your home. To get started, you will first want to make sure that you have enough lights to string across your chosen space. Get your lights and other materials ready, including a ladder, at least two gutter clips for every foot of lights, an extension cord and pliers. Check to ensure that your lights are working before installing them.

Replacing Lights
Before installing your Christmas lighting on your vinyl siding, you will want to make sure that all bulbs are lit. If any bulbs are not working, simply use your needle nose pliers to pull the dead bulb out at the base and install a new bulb. If you do not have any extra bulbs, these can typically be purchased at your local hardware store during the holiday season.

Climbing and Hanging
After you have ensured that your lights are all in proper working condition and you have untangled the strings of lights, it’s time to climb up your ladder in a safe and sturdy spot to start installing your gutter clips along with lights. Place your gutter clips about every six inches along your siding. These clips easily snap on to your gutter, providing a hook to hang your lights from. Continue to move the ladder along the side of your home until you have installed all gutter clips. Next, repeat this process by moving your ladder along the side of your house while hanging the lights from the gutter clips that you have already put on. Connect your lights to an extension cord to bring them to a power source to complete the decoration process.

Decorations on the Siding We have just discussed the easiest way to hang lights.”Gutter Clips” Now what do you do if your plan includes hanging wreaths, lights or any other decoration that you can think of right on the siding. rule number one is try to avoid putting holes in the siding. Unlike wood siding where you can nail or screw right into it. Vinyl and Aluminum siding does not like holes. Water tends to find a way in behind and can damage the insulation or build up ice and push the siding out. So what are you supposed to do to hang that special decoration?  The same as you do with gutters there are clips designed just for siding. Just like we showed you with the gutter hooks you can get siding hooks at your local hardware store as well. Watch this Vinyl Siding Clip Installation Video for a sample of how they work. You can also consider using an adhesive stick on clip. I have found they do not hold as well in real cold weather. If you are doing aluminum siding you could check out magnetic clips for your projects.   Installing Christmas lights and decorations on siding is simple! Clips are available for a wide variety of lights including icicle lights and C6 bulbs.

Which Type of Siding Has the Highest Efficiency Factor?

Siding energy efficiencyHomeowners today are concerned about energy efficiency in their homes for a couple of reasons. First, with the high cost of energy, keeping utility bills under control requires using energy-efficient materials. Secondly, many are also looking for eco-friendly products that reduce their home’s impact on the environment.
Which type of siding does the most to make your home energy efficient?  The top choices are insulated steel, vinyl or aluminum siding. Here’s a look at your options when it comes to energy efficiency and home siding.

Efficiency Levels of Common Siding Materials

The truth is, no standard siding material offers very good efficiency. The energy efficiency for building materials is known as R-value. The higher the R-value, the more efficient the building material is. Most energy experts suggest that your home’s walls should have at least an R-13 energy efficiency. In fact, that is code in many areas. An R-15 or R-18 can be achieved by using 2×6 construction instead of 2×4 construction.
Most siding materials have an R-value of less than 1! That includes standard vinyl, steel or aluminum siding without added foam insulation. Here’s a brief list of siding materials and their R-values.
Beveled wood siding: 0.81
Standard aluminum, steel or vinyl siding: 0.61
Brick or Stone: 0.44
2-inch stucco: 0.4
Fiber cement: 0.37
1-inch brick or stone veneer: 0.11
As you can see, none of these is going to make a significant difference by itself in lowering your energy use or your energy costs.

The R-Value of Insulated Vinyl, Steel and Aluminum Siding

When you choose one of these siding products backed with quality foam insulation, you will increase the R-value of the siding to 3.0-4.0. That’s a remarkable improvement, and that will make a tangible difference in how much energy is saved in your home.

Is Energy Efficiency a Cost-Effective Choice for You?

If you are building a home, the extra cost of insulated siding will be better spent on upgrading from 2×4 construction to 2×6 construction in the walls or by choosing a better insulation product. If you are re-siding an existing home, then adding insulated siding is your most cost-effective choice for making your home an energy-miser.

More Energy Saving Tips for your Home

These tips for a green home will also lower your utility bills. Get a programmable thermostat and use it to turn down the heating/cooling system when no one is home or when everyone is sleeping. Add insulation to the attic and weatherstripping to doors and windows. Properly vent your attic, especially in warm climates. And when it is in the budget, replace those windows and doors with Energy Star rated products that will make your home more energy-efficient in all seasons.

5 Reasons Vinyl Siding is the Best Choice for All Homes

Vinyl siding remains the most popular form of siding by far. Here are the reasons that vinyl siding is the best choice for any home.

1. Vinyl Siding is Affordable

Homeowners want cost-effective ways to improve the look of their home while protecting it from the elements. Average prices for vinyl siding are well below prices for wood siding, aluminum siding, stone or brick siding or veneer. It is the most affordable type of siding on the market.

2. Vinyl Siding Offers Many Attractive Options

You’ll find a full spectrum of vinyl siding colors when you shop for it. Many are light and bright while others are richer and deeper. For texture, most vinyl siding has a heavy grain pattern that looks very much like painted cedar. Newer siding products offer the look of classic smoothed wood that was popular used in 19th century and early 20th century structures. It’s a great choice for any home.

3. Vinyl Siding is Durable in All Climates

No matter where you live, vinyl siding will hold up very well to the sun, wind, rain and snow. Made from tough polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, it is flexible enough not to be brittle but strong enough to hold together in a storm. It resists damage from hail very well too and is protected against fading.

4. Vinyl Works with Any Style of Home

With today’s fantastic choices, including the trim and accessory pieces available, vinyl siding is an attractive accompaniment to any style of home. It works well on upscale homes, sometimes in conjunction with brick or stone. Vinyl siding looks just as good on a starter bungalow. It works well with everything in between. No matter what style of house you have, classic, traditional, contemporary or rustic, there are vinyl siding colors, textures and accessories that will significantly improve the appearance of your home.

5. Vinyl Siding Offers a Good Return on Investment

If you decide to sell your home, recently-installed vinyl siding will improve your home’s value and increase the likelihood of it attracting attention. If your home has outdated or worn siding, new vinyl siding will boost its curb appeal tremendously.
From an expense standpoint, vinyl siding costs are much lower than prices for wood, brick, stone, fiber cement board and other options. It will cost you less to make your home more appealing to potential buyers when you choose high-quality, affordable and attractive vinyl siding.
These are the top 5 reasons vinyl siding is the right choice for any home. Take a look at today’s vinyl siding options. You’ll love what you see!