Care & Maintenance

Vinyl SidingHow to clean Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding has quickly become the most popular siding material in the United States.  It’s durable, looks great and doesn’t rot or flake.  However, we recommend that a yearly cleaning will help keep your siding looking newer for longer.  Here’s how to keep your siding looking great:

Pre-cleaning steps:

Because you will be spraying water and cleaner around your house, protect yourself and items around the home by closing all windows and doors, turn off power to outside electrical units such as lights, cover plants and shrubs to prevent detergent from damaging them and move any trip hazards like toys and lawn furniture.

Check for signs of mold or mildew.  If you’re unsure that it’s mold, place a small drop of bleach on it.  If it turns white, it’s mold; if it stays dark, it’s dirt.

What you will need:

  • Laundry Detergent
  • Water
  • Soft bristled brush
  • Broom
  • Sponge mop
  • Large buckets
  • Hose
  • Pressure washer (optional), check your pressure washer owner’s manual for the proper spray nozzle

The cleaning process:

  1. It will be easiest to work around your home in sections.
  1. Fill a bucket with 4 gallons of water and mix ¼ cup of laundry detergent into it.
  1. Begin by using the hose to spray away any loose dirt and debris. If you have a pressure washer available, that can be used instead of a hose and will likely lessen (or completely eliminate) the amount of scrubbing needed.  Be careful not to force water behind the vinyl panels through the seams.  Doing so could cause mold and mildew that are much harder to get rid of behind the siding.
  1. Starting at the top, dip your chosen cleaning tool into the soapy water and begin scrubbing away any dirt and debris from the siding. Continue working your way down to the bottom of your section.
  1. Use the hose to rinse away any soapy water. Be sure to remove all the soap before it dries or it will leave a mark on the siding.

With just a little bit of time and effort, vinyl siding can be kept looking “like new” and will provide years of trouble free protection for your home.

How to clean Vinyl Windows

double_hung_cleaningVinyl windows are a low-maintenance durable option for your home.  However, as with any product exposed to atmospheric conditions, they will become dirty and require cleaning.  We recommend inspecting and doing a thorough cleaning once a year to keep your windows looking great:

What you will need:

  • Glass cleaning spray of your choice
  • Mild soap and water
  • Toothbrush
  • Towels or rags
  • Paper Toweling
  • Vacuum

The cleaning process: 

To tilt in the lower sash, follow these steps:

  1. Unlock the window
  2. Raise the lower sash a minimum of 3”
  3. Pull both tilt latch buttons (located on the top rail of the sash) towards the center of the sash to disengage them from the mainframe jambs.
  4. With both hands, carefully pull the top of the lower sash in toward you slightly beyond a 90⁰ position.
  5. Support the sash while cleaning the exterior.

To tilt in the upper sash, follow these steps:

  1. Lower the upper sash to at least 2” above the sash stops (located in the lower outside tack).
  2. Pull both tilt latch buttons toward the center of the sash to disengage them from the mainframe jambs.
  3. With both hands, carefully pull the top of the upper sash in toward you slightly beyond a 90⁰ position and rest it on top of the supported lower sash.  (The upper sash cannot be tilted in without the lower sash being tilted in.)

To replace the sashes in operating positions, hold the top rail of the sash with both hands and push it all the way into the mainframe tracks.  Make certain that the tilt latch buttons “click” in to lock the sash in the mainframe.  If the tilt latches are not locked into the mainframe, the sash may fall inward unexpectedly.

Screens can be cleaned easily with a soft brush accessory from a vacuum cleaner. Or lightly washed with warm soapy water.

Cleaning beyond the glass:

Label and tape adhesive should be removed by alcohol based cleaners on small glass areas only. After this is removed, thoroughly wet the glass and rinse with plain water.

Glass can be cleaned with regular or ammonia based cleaners.

Vinyl (PVC) products can be cleaned with a solution of mild soap and water.  For heavier cleaning tasks, most window manufactures recommend commercially advertised household cleaners.  Use any non- abrasive cleaner for tough jobs.  Do not use solvents, paint removers or sharp objects to clean your windows.

If mildew is a problem in your area, use an appropriate cleaner or mildew controller found in your local store.

For dirt buildup, use a vacuum to clean excess debris from the sill and the weatherstripping.

The tracks of the double hung and sliding windows are exposed to the outdoor elements, which can cause a buildup of dirt, leaves, sand, grease, soot, etc.  If these elements are not removed, they can be ground into the vinyl tracks when the sashes are operated.  A minimum semi-annual cleaning is recommended.  These tracks can be cleaned with a stiff nylon brush such as a toothbrush, then wiped down with a soft cloth.  If necessary, an occasional light coat of silicone spray lubricant (Do Not use an oil based lubricant) on the balance shoe track of the double hung and the tracks of a sliding window, will help ease the operation without leaving an oily residue which can collect more abrasive elements.