Best Methods Of Cleaning Brick and Vinyl Siding

ntl1991February 8, 2011

I have one brick-sided wall on the front of my house and the rest of the house is white vinyl. The vinyl has been on the house for the past 20 years or so, probably more. Because of the exposure to the sun and lack of washings, the siding has this "chalk" residue that washes down the house when it rains, and stains the brick, especially below the windows.

When Spring (finally) comes, I want to tackle the exterior of the house, replacing cracked siding, washing the siding, and cleaning the brick, along with landscaping. I'm "raring to grow!"

I've never washed the vinyl or the brick. What's the best method to tackle brick stains? Are there any household concoctions that work well? It seems like chemicals would be too rough on the brick, and the runoff wouldn't be good... Or is it just about scrubbing away or power washing away? If scrubbing is key, what kind of things do I need to gather up to get the job done?

What about the vinyl siding? Is a simple rise-off enough? I don't have mold or stains, it just has a chalky residue that washes down on the brick and the walkways around the house.

Thanks for the help,


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Cute House. Rather than siding chalky residue under the two front windows on the first floor, is there any chance that is paint from the window framing that is 'chalky'? It seems more concentrated under those two windows, rather that evenly across the whole front.

Either way, I have no advice for you to clean, other than a power washer.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 9:54PM
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Thanks Barbara,

The windows are new, and because I had storm windows with the old wooden-sash windows before, the window frames were all repainted white (they were a horrid avocado green color, before!). I'm pretty sure it's the siding, because if you look at the corners of the house, there's white staining where the corner piece of the siding ends on both sides. Also, along the top row of vertical bricks, there seems to be a lot of build up.

I'm just wondering if there are any plant-safe concoctions that will ease cleaning brick, and what the best way of cleaning brick and siding is. I guess there's always the pressure-washing method, but would I need to use a detergent to get this stuff off?


    Bookmark   February 11, 2011 at 4:05PM
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Hi! Maybe this can help:
You should test first the surface of the brick for water absorption before cleaning. Wet a small section of the wall with water. If the brick becomes saturated all at once (the brick color darkens and spreads immediately) clean one small section at a time. Then mix a cleaning solution with warm water. Some household detergent does an excellent job. You can also use two pounds of trisodium phosphate in a gallon of warm water to remove tough stains.

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    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 2:57AM
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