If your wood siding is a looking a little dull and you're thinking that it needs a fresh coat of paint, take a minute and look at the wood siding a bit more carefully. It just may be that all it needs is a good cleaning. Though homeowners love the look of wood siding, all of us dread paying the cost of having it repainted or doing the tedious and often dangerous work ourselves.
Examine closely to see if the paint is showing any signs of cracking or peeling. If it is not, then all you really need to do to make it look vibrant again is to give it a good washing.
Cleaning wood siding, however, has to be done with a great deal of care. Do not use a pressure washer on it unless you know exactly what you are doing. A pressure washer can destroy not only the existing house siding paint, but also damage the wood permanently and potentially foster mold and mildew growth. A pressure washer can gouge the wood, strip the existing paint off, loosen caulk and force water underneath the clapboards, where it can end up causing mold and mildew growth.
It is best to use a standard garden hose and a cleaning wand. A Hyde Pivot Pro outdoor cleaning wand does a perfect job. It will provide just the right pressure to aide in cleaning the wood siding without damaging the wood. This said, plan to do some hand scrubbing, as well.
Along with the cleaning wand, you will need a garden hose, wood siding cleaning product, a soft brush and some plastic sheeting to cover and protect any plants or shrub around the house foundation.
First, close all the windows on the house and cover all shrubs and plants around the house foundation to protect them from becoming damaged by the wood siding cleaner. Similarly, cover any electrical outlets on the house with plastic. As you prepare to clean the house siding, pay close attention to any areas of the siding with any visible mold on it. You'll want to keep these areas in mind when cleaning the siding.
Start at the roofline and work your way down the house siding, continuously moving the wand side to side while applying the cleansing water over all surfaces of the house, siding windows and doors.
After applying the cleansing water that contains the house siding cleaner, allow it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing with just clean water.
Where there are mold areas on the house siding, apply the wand for a bit more time. You may also want to gently scrub the affected areas with a soft brush; however, don't overdo the scrubbing, as you can cause damage to the paint. You can also use one of the brushes that come with the Hyde Pivot Pro cleaning wand.
To address the mold areas, you may alternatively want to use a mildewcide that you can purchase from your local home improvement center. Pour the mildewcide into the mixing reservoir that is integrated into the Hyde Pivot Pro Outdoor cleaning wand to easily apply it to the house siding.
Again, after applying the mildewcide, wait a few minutes before rinsing it off with clean water.
When cleaning house siding, it is best to work in small sections, such as 10- or 20-square-foot sections at a time.
Continue this process over the entire house siding. After you are finished and all the siding has had time to dry, stand back and take a look at your work. You'll be amazed by the improved difference in the appearance of the house siding and your home.
So before calling the house painter or pulling out the ladders and paintbrushes yourself, consider giving your house siding a good cleaning instead. If you are still unsatisfied with the appearance after cleaning the house siding, at least you will have fully prepared your house for a fresh coat of paint.
Mark J. Donovan's website is at http://www.homeadditionplus.com.