Cleaning the inside of your home is obvious. When something that you spend a lot of time looking at gets dirty, you’ll clean it promptly. Most homeowners are likely to forget that the exterior of their homes needs regular cleaning, too. This is especially necessary if your home has wood siding, as it requires more maintenance than other siding materials, meaning it needs consistent cleaning and maintenance if you want to maximize its longevity.
What Causes Wood Siding to Get Dirty?
- Dirt and pollen. Although this seems obvious, you’d be surprised by how much dirt actually collects on your siding. Anytime the wind picks up, dirt, pollen, dust, and other elements can be blown around and will stick to your home.
- Weather. Surely everyone knows that when it rains, the outside of your home will get wet–but have you ever thought about how this water affects the wood on the outside of your house? Wood absorbs moisture, so the wetter it gets, the more likely it will begin to deteriorate and grow mold. Aside from the rain, wind and storms can blow debris against your house, leaving other unsightly stains or marks. Also, excessive UV exposure can cause discoloration and fading.
- Mold and mildew. As I mentioned in the previous section, wood absorbs moisture. A lack of regular cleaning can leave mold and mildew to breed and thrive in the dampness of the wood, which could in turn cause serious structural integrity issues.
Why Is It Important to Clean Wood Siding?
Aside from increasing the overall curb appeal of your home, dirty wood can be an indicator that other damage has occurred, or will in the near future.
When pieces of dirt, rock, pollen or other debris get thrown against your siding by the wind, they will stick and begin to collect. If they remain on your siding for too long, they can actually puncture or scratch the paint or seal on your wood. If removed regularly, the chances of this damage significantly decrease.
If mold or mildew begins to grow, your wood siding becomes at risk for serious structural damage. Because of the moisture that mildew traps, and because of wood’s ability to absorb moisture, the wood can actually begin to decay, and moisture can seep into your foundation and even the interior of your home. When you notice mold or mildew on your siding, be sure to remove it as soon as possible.
How Often Should Exterior Siding Be Cleaned?
Generally speaking, at least once per year. However, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of regularly inspecting your home to make sure you don’t have any unwanted mold or decay. If you notice that your siding is looking a bit discolored and unattractive, it’s perfectly okay to give it an extra clean.
Need to Clean Your Siding?
When you decide you’re ready to clean the exterior walls of your home, take your time to learn proper cleaning techniques. Improper cleaning can actually do more harm than good by leaving your wood splintered, soaked, and in need of some costly repairs.