Life's Dirty. Clean Easy.

How to Clean Siding – The Basics

By Wet & Forget

Cleaning your siding often involves ladders, scrub brushes, strong chemicals, odors and more. This time grueling task requires a lot of physical labor and takes up too much of your weekend. Many harsh chemicals can even damage your siding. Read on to find out what can grow on siding and how to clean siding with one easy step!

What types of siding are used on homes?

The siding on your home protects its exterior structure from the elements and adds a unique curb appeal. It’s important to know what kind of siding you have, so you can maintain it properly. There’s a wide variety of materials that can be used, here are the most commonly found types of house siding:

  • Brick
  • Composite
  • Concrete
  • Fiber Cement
  • Fiberglass
  • Metal
  • Wood (natural, painted, and stained)
  • Stone
  • Stucco
  • Vinyl
Are certain types of siding more prone to organic growth?

Certain stains and sealers used on wood siding, especially ones that are oil-based, can collect dirt and pollen and make the surface more prone to organic growth. Many stains contain mildewcides and algaecides to prevent organic growths from developing on the surface, but the effectiveness can decrease over time with repeated exposure to the elements.

Green and black stains are commonly found on vinyl siding because while it is durable, it’s not resistant to organic growth. According to Home Repair Expert Danny Lipford, mold and mildew can easily grow on vinyl siding, especially if it’s exposed to humidity, shade, and moisture. If you have trees planted near your home, the sugar and sap can fall onto your siding and create a breeding ground for mold and mildew too. Any dust or debris that’s attached to the vinyl siding can also attribute to organic growth.

Will organic growth harm my siding if I don’t clean it?

Yes, organic growth will harm your siding if it remains on the surface over time. Organic growth consists of moss, mold, mildew, algae and lichen that will grow on exterior surfaces. No matter what type of siding material you have, the Northside of your home is prone to moss, mold, mildew, and algae growth due to lack of sunlight.

Moss grows with indirect sunlight and moisture. Moss can spread and cause pitting on the surface of some types of siding.

Mold and mildew grow in damp, shaded areas. Typically, it can be found growing underneath eaves, overhangs and awnings. Mold and mildew can also cause staining on some surfaces, so it’s a good idea to remove it as soon as you can.

Green algae also grows in shady areas when provided with enough moisture. Black algae can grow there as well as in areas with direct sunlight, due to its protective coating.

Lichen is a complex organism formed by a combination of fungus and algae. Usually appearing as a scaly growth, it can grow on any type of siding. It’s an invasive growth, and if left untreated, can lead to permanent etching on some types of siding.

What’s the best way to remove moss, mold, mildew, and algae from my siding?

clean siding with wet and forget

Many people make the mistake of turning to bleach and pressure washers when trying to clean their siding. Caustic chemicals like bleach can kill your lawn, ruin your clothing, and even corrode surfaces. If you make one wrong move with a pressure washer, you could harm your siding, tear your gutters loose, or even crack your windows. Unfortunately, these home remedies don’t remove the growth properly. To the naked eye, the surface looks clean, however, it can come back a few months later, and you’ll be stuck in an endless cycle of cleaning which takes up too much of your time.

Safely eliminate moss, mold, mildew, and algae on your siding with Wet & Forget Outdoor. It will gently remove green and black growth on siding without damaging or discoloring your home. Once applied, Wet & Forget will start working to remove the stains on your siding and is designed to wash the dead growth off over time with exposure to the wind and rain. Usually, green stains disappear in 2-3 weeks, and black stains come clean in 4-6 weeks. Wet & Forget removes growth along with any staining the growth may have caused. Once the siding is clean, most people don’t see any regrowth for up to a year or longer.

Since siding is a vertical surface, it might not be fully exposed to rainfall. If you’re not getting rain on the siding due to an overhang or awning, assist the process by rinsing it off with a hose on a jet setting about a week after application. You can continue to hose off the siding weekly or every couple of weeks until it’s clean.

If you have green and black stains on your siding, clean it easily with Wet & Forget Hose End. You can apply Wet & Forget with your feet firmly planted on the ground. The jet tip nozzle allows you to reach surfaces up to 30′, so now you don’t need to use a ladder to reach your second-story siding. The new Wet & Forget Rapid Application Hose End bottle makes it easy to apply to hard-to-reach areas and high elevations.

Customer Review

Don’t just take our word for it! See what Bob shared with us about his experience with using Wet & Forget on his siding.

“I sprayed Wet & Forget on the south side of my house four years ago, and it’s still clean! I saw a little old lady up the street scrubbing the side of her house. I went over there and applied Wet & Forget to her siding, two years later the siding is still clean…It’s the best thing since grilled cheese!” -Bob W. Winfield, MO.

Click here to see Bob’s full review of Wet & Forget.

To read another review about cleaning your siding with Wet & Forget, click here.

Application Tips

For best results, apply Wet & Forget on a windless day to avoid having the product wafted into the air. Outdoor temperatures should be above 55°F during the application. If you’re applying on a warmer day, keep the surface saturated with the product to ensure it will fully attack the growth on your siding.

Once the siding is free of all organic growth, you can use Wet & Forget as maintenance to keep it clean. Reapply the product on a yearly basis or at the first sign of new growth. Don’t get stuck in the vicious cycle of old school cleaning! Wet & Forget does the hard work for you, so you can and get back to doing the things you love!

Click here to read more about why Wet & Forget Outdoor is the perfect siding cleaner.