Removing mildew from vinyl siding

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ThankYouJack
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Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by ThankYouJack » Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:42 pm

I have an electric pressure washer that works pretty well but I have a fair amount of mildew on the north side of my house. It's a two story house on a slope so it's tough to reach and easily clean the highest spots with just the pressure washer. Also, some of the spots are more stubborn and take longer to get with just water.

So I'm looking for tips on first treating it with bleach or cleaning solution. What solution do you use and how would you recommend applying it if I can't use my pressure washer to do so?

donaldfair71
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by donaldfair71 » Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:08 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:I have an electric pressure washer that works pretty well but I have a fair amount of mildew on the north side of my house. It's a two story house on a slope so it's tough to reach and easily clean the highest spots with just the pressure washer. Also, some of the spots are more stubborn and take longer to get with just water.

So I'm looking for tips on first treating it with bleach or cleaning solution. What solution do you use and how would you recommend applying it if I can't use my pressure washer to do so?
Two items I've used:

50/50 simple green/water. Applied with brush. Rinse with hose.

25/25/50 Murphy's oil soap/simple green/water. Rinse with hose.

Both work perfect for a season. Murphy's mix works much longer.

granpa
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by granpa » Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:15 pm

While living in Houston had good luck with a product called Jomax. It is a concentrate that you mix with water and bleach to eliminate mold and mildew from siding and other exterior surfaces around the home. Mix in and spray with a garden sprayer, soak a few minutes, and wash off with a hose. Think I used to get it at H. Depot.

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Toons
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by Toons » Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:35 pm

I have been successful with mild mixture of bleach and hot water before :happy
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Rich in Michigan
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by Rich in Michigan » Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:42 pm

There is a product you can get at Home Depot but the name escapes me. It is awesome. The bottle hooks up to a hose and you wet the area down, flip the lever and spray again so that the product is applied. You wait a bit and then hose it off with water. Totally hassle free and it gets the vinyl totally clean with not an ounce of physical effort on your part. Very reasonably priced too. No scrubbing, no using a power washer, nothing.

TMCD75
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by TMCD75 » Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:57 pm

Hire a professional, most homeowners have no business getting on a ladder in that situation. I'm a 20 year painting contractor and I own three pressure washers. For the best results, you need a gas powered washer with plenty of power. I've used a couple of electric washers in the past and most were severely under powered which makes your job slower and tougher.

In the situation you're describing, it's critical that you level the feet of the ladder. It's also a good idea to flip the feet up and let the ladder dig into the ground, giving you much more holding power.

With your small unit, a 50/50 combo of warm water & bleach pumped through a garden sprayer should work. Let the beach sit for 5 minutes and then rinse. My rigs are usually powerful enough that bleach isn't needed, high pressure water is enough to knock it off.

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lthenderson
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by lthenderson » Sat Mar 19, 2016 2:55 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:I have an electric pressure washer that works pretty well but I have a fair amount of mildew on the north side of my house. It's a two story house on a slope so it's tough to reach and easily clean the highest spots with just the pressure washer. Also, some of the spots are more stubborn and take longer to get with just water.

So I'm looking for tips on first treating it with bleach or cleaning solution. What solution do you use and how would you recommend applying it if I can't use my pressure washer to do so?
I would caution you about spraying your siding at an upward angle under pressure. Houses and vinyl siding especially are designed to shed water down. You can be doing a lot more damage than just getting rid of mildew.

Saving$
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by Saving$ » Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:15 pm

Bleach will get it off, but you need the bleach to stick to the siding long enough to kill the mildew. So some type of detergent mixed with the bleach will make it "stick." I usually use powdered Tide or powdered Spic&Span. Powdered detergents are getting increasingly difficult to find.

nps
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by nps » Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:58 pm

Rich in Michigan wrote:There is a product you can get at Home Depot but the name escapes me. It is awesome. The bottle hooks up to a hose and you wet the area down, flip the lever and spray again so that the product is applied. You wait a bit and then hose it off with water. Totally hassle free and it gets the vinyl totally clean with not an ounce of physical effort on your part. Very reasonably priced too. No scrubbing, no using a power washer, nothing.
Are you thinking of Mold Armor? This is what I use and it works well, particularly when I remember to shake it first :D

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pfrank
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by pfrank » Sat Mar 19, 2016 4:22 pm

If you have alot of mildew, start with a bleach and Simple Green mixture. We have a long aluminum pole with a soft brush attached to it. Home depot sells the set up. I think it is made by Unger. We use it to remove most of the heavy stuff. Rinse it off. Let the siding completely dry. Then spray it with Wet and Forget. Make sure you use the right ratio...your garden sprayer may not work. Every year after that, spray it with Wet and Forget. No more mildew ever again.

You can use Wet and Forget only and skip the scrubbing step. Wet and Forget works great, but takes time to work (months). My wife is not that patient.

MattE
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by MattE » Sat Mar 19, 2016 4:23 pm

I've always had great success with just regular dish soap, hot water, and a scrub brush on the end of a pole (I got a 10 foot telescoping one from Home Depot that works great and lets me reach all the way to my roof from the top of a 10 foot ladder). Doesn't even take that much force\pressure, comes right off. Works a lot better than my 3000 psi pressure washer ever did.

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Meaty
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by Meaty » Sat Mar 19, 2016 7:11 pm

I'd stay away from power washing. It's easy to spray at the wrong angle (upward), blowing caulk out of Windows, etc. get a bottle of jomax from lowes and a hand pump sprayer. You spray the mixture on (water,bleach, jomax) gently, let it sit for a few min, and then use the hose to rinse. The mold will slide right off and won't come back for 12-18 months.
"Discipline equals Freedom" - Jocko Willink

BoxOfUpticks
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by BoxOfUpticks » Sat Mar 19, 2016 7:31 pm

donaldfair71 wrote:50/50 simple green/water. Applied with brush. Rinse with hose.
This is all that's worked for me. The brush is key. I'll have to try the murphy's soap addition.
granpa wrote:a product called Jomax
Jomax is awesome on my concrete sidewalk. I was strongly cautioned not to let it touch the house (siding or faux stone facade). It may be prudent to test it first.
There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those that understand binary, and those that don't.

ThankYouJack
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by ThankYouJack » Sat Mar 19, 2016 7:53 pm

Thanks for the replies. I figure I'll initially try just the stuff I have in the house which will be my brush, murphys soap and some laundry detergent (possibly oxyclean). That'll probably do the trick. I'm not too concerned about the stuff up high as it's only visible if someone is standing in my small "side" yard.

All the great info made me think of another question:

I have a lot of black staining in my driveway. It's not oil, but seems like grime and possibly dirt build up. I may try Jomax but does it use pretty harsh chemicals? Any other recommendations for getting those out?

derosa
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by derosa » Sat Mar 19, 2016 8:34 pm

What does manufacturer recommend?

HoopDiddyDiddy
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by HoopDiddyDiddy » Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:27 am

ThankYouJack wrote:
I have a lot of black staining in my driveway. It's not oil, but seems like grime and possibly dirt build up. I may try Jomax but does it use pretty harsh chemicals? Any other recommendations for getting those out?
That's what your pressure washer is for- works great on this application with water alone. If you have a valued lawn or landscaping watch out for run-off if you decide to use something other than plain water. But again, just water works fine.

As far as siding, we use Spray and Forget.

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Meaty
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by Meaty » Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:31 am

HoopDiddyDiddy wrote:
ThankYouJack wrote:
I have a lot of black staining in my driveway. It's not oil, but seems like grime and possibly dirt build up. I may try Jomax but does it use pretty harsh chemicals? Any other recommendations for getting those out?
That's what your pressure washer is for- works great on this application with water alone. If you have a valued lawn or landscaping watch out for run-off if you decide to use something other than plain water. But again, just water works fine.

As far as siding, we use Spray and Forget.
Agreed. For the concrete, use a power washer with just water
"Discipline equals Freedom" - Jocko Willink

ndchamp
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by ndchamp » Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:39 am

Using a pump pressure tank sprayer, mix 1 gal of water, 1 gal of bleach, good squirt of Dawn Detergent, and a good squirt of Jet Dry.
Spray on the vinyl siding, hose off. Works for me in high humidity N. Carolina.
:sharebeer
Last edited by ndchamp on Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ThankYouJack
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by ThankYouJack » Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:06 pm

HoopDiddyDiddy wrote:
ThankYouJack wrote:
I have a lot of black staining in my driveway. It's not oil, but seems like grime and possibly dirt build up. I may try Jomax but does it use pretty harsh chemicals? Any other recommendations for getting those out?
That's what your pressure washer is for- works great on this application with water alone. If you have a valued lawn or landscaping watch out for run-off if you decide to use something other than plain water. But again, just water works fine.

As far as siding, we use Spray and Forget.
The grime is really stuck on my driveway, so it's really tough to pressure wash evenly (much tougher than my vinyl siding). I was thinking a solution could help loosen up the really tough stuff. Or I may need a gas power pressure washer or pro to do the whole driveway evenly without it taking forever.

MattE
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by MattE » Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:42 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:The grime is really stuck on my driveway, so it's really tough to pressure wash evenly (much tougher than my vinyl siding). I was thinking a solution could help loosen up the really tough stuff. Or I may need a gas power pressure washer or pro to do the whole driveway evenly without it taking forever.
Electric pressure washers may as well not exist for how useless they are at anything other than rinsing cars.

HoopDiddyDiddy
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by HoopDiddyDiddy » Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:16 am

ThankYouJack wrote:Or I may need a gas power pressure washer or pro to do the whole driveway evenly without it taking forever.
Oh, I never even considered that yours might not be gas.
We had one for so long I forget that not everyone does.

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flossy21
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by flossy21 » Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:33 am

2 products that I have used with success...

1.) Wet N Forget -- get it at lowes or home depot, maybe ace hardware -- http://www.amazon.com/Wet-Forget-Remove ... oncentrate

2.) Jomax -- also at lowes, home depot and maybe ace -- you have to add bleach to the mix for this one -- http://www.amazon.com/Rust-Oleum-60180- ... ords=jomax

wet n forget is nice because you don't rinse it off. stuff like brick requires scrubbing due to the texture but it will kill stuff on siding like it was never there. No pressure washer needed. Just a pump sprayer.

dcb
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by dcb » Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:00 am

flossy21 wrote:2 products that I have used with success...

1.) Wet N Forget -- get it at lowes or home depot, maybe ace hardware -- http://www.amazon.com/Wet-Forget-Remove ... oncentrate

2.) Jomax -- also at lowes, home depot and maybe ace -- you have to add bleach to the mix for this one -- http://www.amazon.com/Rust-Oleum-60180- ... ords=jomax

wet n forget is nice because you don't rinse it off. stuff like brick requires scrubbing due to the texture but it will kill stuff on siding like it was never there. No pressure washer needed. Just a pump sprayer.

+1 on Wet N Forget

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plannerman
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by plannerman » Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:05 am

You also might want to try Spray 9. I had previously tried most of the other products listed in this thread to try and clean the black stripes off my white aluminum gutters--with no success. I had purchased a small spray bottle of the Spray 9 to clean the mildew off some soft vinyl chair covers and it really worked great. So out of desperation, I tried it on the gutters and it worked like magic. You can fine it on the internet in gallon jugs which is much cheaper than the small spray bottles from the home centers.

plannerman

songman52
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by songman52 » Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:05 am

I use a pump garden sprayer. Mix about one quart to 1/3 gal. of bleach and water to make one gallon, then add a few ounces of Spic&Span. I spray it on and let it sit for a few minutes, then spray off with an electric power washer. Has worked great for me. Occasionally I may have to repeat the treatment on an area that's hard to reach.

canderson
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Re: Removing mildew from vinyl siding

Post by canderson » Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:15 am

Our house is 3 stories tall, I have to pay $1,000s for them to professionally clean it.

I wish I could do it myself!

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