As a homeowner, you are most likely familiar with the various tasks to protect your investment. From replacing shingles and mowing the lawn to pressure washing your exterior siding, it is easy to see the challenges of home ownership. Of course, proper cleaning and maintenance requires educating yourself on your home’s specific siding. Using this guide, you can clean and maintain your fiber cement siding without the use of harsh chemicals.
The 101 on Fiber Cement
Constructed out of a combination of pulp fibers and cement, fiber cement creates a protective shell for your home’s exterior. While it may appear similar to vinyl, fiber cement is a more durable option.
Considering many manufacturers offer a 30 to 50 year warranty, fiber cement is a great investment for your home.
Cleaning your fiber cement siding once a year is smart to ensure it is free of heavy dirt, debris, and mold. Using a pressure washer is the easiest way to conduct a light cleaning on your siding.
To get started, connect your pressure washer to your garden spigot and turn on the water. Standing a few feet away from your home’s exterior and holding your wand at an angle, spray the siding. Use side-sweeping motions to wash large portions of your home. Work your way around the entire home.
Pressure washing your home once a year is smart for preventing buildup, but you still may develop dirt and debris on your home’s siding that requires a more involved cleaning. Fortunately, using a solution of baking soda and water is a sufficient manner of removing this buildup. In an outdoor pump sprayer, combine the following:
- 2 gallons of water
- 2 cups of baking soda
Shake the container to mix before spraying the siding. Allow the baking soda solution to soak for 15 minutes before washing off with your pressure washer.
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, creates carbonation when it encounters moisture on a surface. This carbonation will dissolve dirt and debris from the surface without the use of harsh chemicals.
If you live in humid climates, you may develop patches of mold on your fiber cement.
Unfortunately, mold is not only unappealing, but it is also unhealthy, so removal is imperative. At first glance, you may reach for bleach. Although an effective chemical for removing mold, bleach can irritate your skin, eyes, and respiratory system. In addition, bleach will most likely damage your surrounding landscaping, so a natural solution is a safer alternative.
Vinegar contains acidic properties that are naturally antibacterial and antiviral, which makes it a great mold removal. In your outdoor pump sprayer, combine 2 gallons of water with 2 gallons of white vinegar. Shake to mix before dousing patches of mold. Allow to soak for 20 minutes before pressure washing.
Caring for your home requires knowledge and effort. Using these tips, you can clean and maintain your home’s fiber cement siding without the use of harsh, toxic chemicals.