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How to Properly Clean Your Home’s James Hardie Siding

James Hardie siding is becoming an increasingly popular choice when homeowners decide to remodel their home’s exterior. Not only is it one of the leading siding materials on the market, but it’s also extremely durable and requires little maintenance.

It’s especially popular here in central Missouri, as it can withstand our hot and humid summers as well as our cold winters. Of course, over time, extreme weather can cause dirt and grime to build up on even the most durable siding material. But, if you take the time to clean your siding regularly, you can keep it looking great and help extend its lifespan.

Read through this guide on how to properly clean your James Hardie siding so your home will continue to look great for years to come.

The Importance of Proper Care

Preventative Maintenance

While James Hardie siding is a durable material, it’s not indestructible. Natural exposure to the elements means that over time, your siding will accumulate dirt and grime and could be susceptible to mold and mildew growth. Fortunately, unlike other materials, James Hardie siding is specifically engineered to withstand damage from moisture and rot, so you’ll only have to worry about surface-level cleaning.

And, of course, proper care can help prolong its lifespan even more. By occasionally cleaning your James Hardie siding, you clear off all of the built-up grime, leaving your siding look good as new.

Curb Appeal

Whether you’re not thinking about selling your home anytime soon or you’re preparing to put it on the market, home value and curb appeal are important to most homeowners. After all, HomeLight reports that “99% of Realtors believe curb appeal is important in attracting a buyer, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2018 Remodeling Impact Report.”

The reality is that dirty siding can make your home look outdated, which hurts its value. When you give it a good cleaning, it can instantly make your home look new and more market-ready.

How Often Should You Clean James Hardie Siding?

Now that we’ve covered why it’s important to keep your siding clean, here’s the good news: you don’t have to clean it often to keep it looking great! In fact, you should clean it no more than once a year. And, thanks to the climate here in central Missouri, we recommend only cleaning it once every two years. That’s all it takes to help prevent future damage and keep your home’s curb appeal at an all-time high

How to Clean Your James Hardie Siding

Now, let’s go over the cleaning process so you know exactly what you need to do to keep your siding in great shape.

Washing By Hand

While you might be tempted to use a pressure washer to clean your siding, that could actually do more harm than good. Instead, a low-pressure hose is all you need to keep your James Hardie siding clean.

Simply rinse down your siding with the hose mix together a cleaning solution using water and mild liquid dishwashing soap. Then, gently wash away dirt and grime with a soft cloth or a long-handled, soft medium bristle brush.

You’ll want to start at the bottom of the house and work up, being sure to completely rinse off the cleaning solution before it dries.

Removing Mold and Mildew

If you’ve already started to notice mold or mildew growth on your siding, most times, you can clean it off, with a little effort. You can use either a DIY cleaning solution or a store-bought cleaner on small spots of mildew and mold, allowing it to sit before scrubbing it away.

Fortunately, James Hardie siding is made to be resistant to mold and mildew, however, dirty siding can be a breeding ground for mildew growth, particularly during periods of high humidity. That’s why cleaning your siding once every year or two is crucial to help keep mold from developing.

Different Types of Siding Cleaners

DIY Cleaners

As we mentioned above, you can either use a DIY cleaning solution or a store-bought cleaner for your James Hardie siding. Let’s take a closer look at both options.

Soap-Based Cleaner

You can mix together warm water with a mild dishwashing liquid soap to make a great all-purpose siding cleaner that removes light mold and mildew stains.
Pros
  • Usually kills most types of bacteria and mold
  • Does not give off dangerous fumes
  • Non-toxic, natural, and safe to use
Cons
  • Typically does not eliminate as much bacteria and mold compared to a chemical/bleach solution

Bleach-Based Cleaner

Alternatively, you can mix one gallon of water with one cup of oxygen bleach in a bucket to make a bleach-based cleaner. It’s important to choose an oxygen bleach, as it will clean your siding without damaging your landscaping.
Pros
  • Makes discolored surfaces white again
  • Destroys almost all types of bacteria and mold
Cons
  • Gives off toxic fumes, so it can only be used in a well-ventilated area
  • Can be harsh on skin, lungs, and the environment

Store-Bought Cleaners

For algae marks and other stubborn stains, consider a store-bought cleaner instead. To ensure that you choose one that is safe for James Hardie siding, in particular, we recommend contacting your contractor for a trusted recommendation.

Have Any Other Questions?

As your local siding experts, we’re here to help! If you have additional questions about how to best clean your James Hardie siding, please feel free to reach out to us at any time.

Or, if you have been thinking about replacing your old siding or taking on another exterior home remodeling project, we can help with that too! We’d be happy to meet with you to assess your needs and offer our design solutions through a no-obligation consultation. Just call or text us at 636-757-3925 to get started.

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