Expert Tips Revealed: How to Pressure Wash Vinyl Siding Safely and Effectively

 

Introduction

In the world of home maintenance, pressure washing stands out as a transformative process, capable of refreshing the exterior of your home with remarkable efficiency. Vinyl siding, in particular, benefits immensely from this cleaning method, shedding years of dirt, grime, and biological growth to reveal a siding that looks as good as new. 

However, as straightforward as it might seem, pressure washing siding requires a careful approach to avoid damage and ensure a sparkling clean outcome. Let’s explore the process and different methods of pressure washing vinyl siding, drawing from a wealth of professional experience and industry best practices.

 

After Pressure Washing Of Vinyl Siding

 

Can You Pressure Wash Vinyl Siding?

The short answer is yes. Pressure washing, when done correctly, is safe for vinyl siding. Cleaning Vinyl siding is quite simple actually. It is the most simple and easiest siding to wash. Most vinyl siding no matter how heavy the algae and mildew growth is can be treated with a simple soft wash that doesn’t use heavy amounts of detergents. 

But, I would like to stress to take caution.  The line between effective cleaning and causing damage is thin. Improper techniques can lead to cracked or punctured siding, water infiltration, and even voided warranties. 

Consider The Age of Vinyl Siding:

There is an issue with washing super old vinyl siding. Older vinyl can have Oxidation present or the paint is peeling off. In this case, we’d have to wash very carefully and with extremely low pressure to prevent moving oxidation or chipping off paint. 

Other Critical Factors to Consider: 

  • The age and condition of your siding (mentioned above)
  • The pressure washer’s PSI (pounds per square inch)
  • Nozzle type
  • Your experience level 

For older or more delicate siding, seeking advice from a professional may be the best course of action to prevent damage.

Here’s an article guiding you on what to look for when hiring a professional pressure washing company

Do Not Pressure Wash With Strong Pressure: 

Vinyl should never be washed with strong pressure. Using high pressure on Vinyl will cause cracking or even puncturing the surface. We want to avoid and mitigate that as much as possible. Opt for low pressure with the right amount of detergents and soaps. 

Washing algae and mildew off Vinyl siding can be done so quickly and quite effectively when you soft wash it. Allow the soaps and detergents to do the work. You’ll see algae and mildew disappear before your very eyes. It’s extremely satisfying to wash vinyl siding out of most siding. Quick, easy, and safe. 

 

How to Pressure Wash a House with Vinyl Siding?

1. Safety First

Before starting your pressure washer, prioritize safety. Wear goggles, gloves, and closed-toe shoes to protect yourself. Also, take care to cover nearby plants and shield electrical outlets from water. 

You can read our article about safety tips for pressure washing where we discussed pressure washing safety tips and benefits of having a safe pressure washing. 

2. Preparation

Begin with preparatory steps to set the stage for a successful clean. Turn off any water supply to outdoor sprinklers, remove loose debris from the siding, and select an appropriate cleaning solution. Opt for mild detergents or diluted bleach solutions for tackling mold and mildew, steering clear of harsh chemicals that can damage your siding or the environment.

3. Cleaning Process

Adopt a “low and slow” approach. Start with a wide-angle nozzle at a low pressure, maintaining a distance of at least 3 feet from the siding. Apply the cleaning solution from the bottom up and rinse from the top down to prevent streaks. For areas that resist easy cleaning, a soft brush can make a significant difference. Remember, the goal is to be thorough yet gentle, especially around windows, vents, and trim.

 

Different Soft Washing Methods for Vinyl Siding

Pressure Washing Vinyl Siding. The Before & After

 

There are three soft washing methods for washing vinyl siding and they are: 

  • Downstream 
  • Xjet 
  • Dedicated soft wash machine

1. Downstreaming

Downstreaming uses a pressure washing system that mixes detergents and algaecide with water to instantly form a very low concentration solution. The concentration of this solution is about 1-2%. This percentage is the mix ratio between the algaecide to water ratio. It is enough and very effective on vinyl siding.

2. X-Jet

The next method is X-Jet which is very similar to Downstream. It also uses a pressure washer to mix the detergent with water to form a solution. Both downstream and x-jetting do not use high pressure, however. The application process is done using low-pressure tips that reduce the pressure to about 50-150 psi with a high volume of water to shoot the solution onto high places. The low pressure makes downstream and x-jetting a soft wash method. When it comes to washing vinyl siding those methods are sufficient. 

3. Dedicated Soft Wash Machine

The last method is a dedicated soft wash system which is by default low pressure in nature. It however can adjust the level of solution from lowest to high. It is best to use a dedicated soft wash system on surfaces such as stones, concrete, shingle roofs, tile roofs etc. You can use a dedicated soft wash system to wash a vinyl siding, but may be too complicated when dialing the right solution. 

Down streaming and X-jetting to wash a vinyl siding is automatic and you don’t need to worry about the concentration of the mix being too high. Vinyl siding is simple and delicate so we try to keep it simple when cleaning them. 

What is The Best Soft Washing Method For Vinyl Siding? 

The best method would be x-jet or downstream. It gets the job done much quicker and less moving parts/room for error. You are able to quickly change from water to solution fast. And the solution is often low in concentration, so switching quickly to water to dilute everything makes it much safer.

Some would argue that a dedicated soft wash system is needed, but it’s much more risky to do so. You have to make sure the solution percentages are correctly mixed in the blender/manifold. You can’t switch between water and solution quickly to water plants or sensitive areas. Remember, house washing is more than just washing the house, it’s prevention as well.

Can I Do One of These Methods Myself? 

It can be done DIY. Anything can. You will have to go through trial and error for sure. But anyone can wash a house with any method. It will take some learning and time/money to get the set up. But everything that we do can be DIY and is a great fit for those that enjoy this as a hobby or don’t have the budget to hire someone at the time. Results may vary, but with a lot of practice, anything is easy. 

Most customers who do have the budget for the service often value time more than doing it themselves and cost isn’t a factor to them. They just want the service done correctly without any headaches. It’s a premium service or a sort of luxury to have to not think about anything that has to do with cleaning and come home to a perfectly clean home without any issues.

 

How Much PSI to Pressure Wash Vinyl Siding?

The Before and After of Vinyl Pressure Washing

 

When it comes to pressure washing vinyl siding, less is indeed more. The recommended PSI range is 60 PSI – 150 PSI. Of course you need to also be aware to stand at a reasonable distance to apply the solution and rinse it off. Pressure washing vinyl is doable, but the risk and results will be subpar. 

Pressure washing is putting a band aid on the problem, while soft washing is the solution. It kills the organic growth and leaves your home much cleaner.

 

How Much Does It Cost to Pressure Wash Vinyl Siding?

The cost of pressure washing vinyl siding varies, depending on whether you choose the DIY route or hire professionals. DIY costs include equipment rental, cleaning solutions, and safety gear. Professional services factor in hourly rates and additional expenses for materials and travel. 

On average, the national cost for professional pressure washing services ranges from $173 to $311, which provides a benchmark for budgeting this project. The numbers are from Home Guide’s 2024 Pressure Washing Prices.

House Washing Price in Austin TX

Vinyl siding is quite easy to clean. It can range from $0.20 per square foot to $0.28 per sq. ft.

House washing at a minimum is $525 here at Full Color Cleaners regardless of siding or size of home. 

House washing in general isn’t all about cleaning the siding and the house alone. It’s also about making sure electricals are safely sealed and taped off and plants are cared for. A lot of time is put into preventing damages. It is why it costs much more than most services. Much more responsibilities to ensure a great service and outcome.

 

Expert Tips and Tricks

From professional pressure washing, several tips emerge. For instance, a fan-shaped nozzle can cover larger areas more evenly, and testing the pressure washer on a hidden section of siding can prevent unwanted surprises. Avoid hot water, which can warp vinyl, and always aim for a gentle touch, especially on older siding.

 

Addressing Limitations

Even with careful technique, damage can occur, especially with very old or delicate siding. In such cases, seeking professional help is advisable to prevent unintended harm. Full Color Cleaners, among other service providers, offers expertise in handling such situations with care and efficiency, presenting itself as one option in a range of available professional services in Austin TX. 

 

Conclusion

Pressure washing vinyl siding, when done with the appropriate care and technique, can greatly enhance your home’s exterior appearance and longevity. Following safety guidelines, using the right techniques, and carefully choosing pressure and cleaning solutions can lead to professional-quality results. 

While Full Color Cleaners is mentioned here as a resource, it’s important to consider a variety of professional services to find the best fit for your specific needs and budget. 

Whether tackling the project yourself or seeking professional assistance, the key is to know the material, understand the process, and recognize the value of a well-executed pressure wash in maintaining your home’s aesthetic and structural integrity.

 

About the Author

Benjamin Nguyen, owner of Full Color Cleaners LLC, has garnered significant recognition for his company’s exemplary services in window cleaning and pressure washing, making them one of the Top Rated Exterior Cleaning companies in Austin, TX. Full Color Cleaners commendations are not only from renowned platforms like Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Super Pages but also include prestigious recognitions as one of the “10 Best Austin Window Washers” by FreshChalk.com and “Best Window Washing Services in Austin” by Expertise.com. Beyond this, Benjamin’s expertise extends to specialized areas such as soft washing, roof washing, and Christmas Lights Installation, with the latter backed by his membership in CLIPA. His dedication to continuous learning is evident through his annual certifications and affiliations with Pressure Washing School and Expert Safety Services. Notably, Benjamin’s commitment to excellence in exterior cleaning is further solidified by his status as an F9 Authorize Handler, showcasing his proficiency in handling commercial chemicals.

One of the pivotal moments in Benjamin’s career trajectory was his association with the Home Service Business Coaching (HSBC) Program, steered by David James Moerman. Under David’s mentorship, Benjamin honed his business acumen, propelling Full Color Cleaners to its current stature as one of Austin’s top-rated window cleaning and pressure washing enterprises. David Moerman, a successful entrepreneur himself, has publicly endorsed Benjamin’s dedication and vision for his business. For those seeking to connect with Benjamin or learn more about Full Color Cleaners, he maintains an active presence on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Yelp, and Indeed.

Benjamin Nguyen Contact Info:
benjamin@fullcolorcleaners.com
512-883-2807
fullcolorcleaners.com