LESLIE: Lynn in Virginia’s in a sticky situation. You’ve got some stain on your vinyl siding. Tell us what happened.
LYNN: Yes, ma’am. We recently bought a five-year-old house and when we cleaned the vinyl up, it looked like some of the old deck stain is on the vinyl. And we were wondering what to use to get the old stain off the vinyl.
TOM: Hmm. That’s a tricky one. Was the deck stain latex or oil based?
LYNN: I have no idea.
LYNN: I guess the first homeowner stained it and it – the deck needs to be redone. So I don’t – I don’t know what it would have been. It didn’t last very long. (chuckling)
TOM: Alright. Well, I’m going to try it. We’re going to start with a basic cleaner. There’s a problem out there called Jomax; J-o-m-a-x. It’s available in home centers. It’s one of my favorite cleaners. It works really well. And you mix this up and you apply it to the siding. You’re going to really have to let it sit and try to work on the stain for a while and then rinse it off and see if it lightens up.
LESLIE: Lynn, have you tried to use – lightly use – a paint scraper? Because if it’s an oil base, it might just be sitting on top of it like a little gel of nail polish.
TOM: That’s a good point.
LESLIE: And if you can approach it gently, you might be able to just sort of lift it up. Because the vinyl siding is very delicate.
LYNN: It doesn’t look like it’s sitting on top. It looks like it actually stained the vinyl. We cleaned the vinyl with Simple Green and that’s when we noticed it. Because the house was so dirty (chuckling), we didn’t know what the orange spots were. We just thought it was, you know, red clay. But it’s actually stains from the deck because that’s the same color the deck is.
TOM: How old is the house, Lynn?
LYNN: It’s about five years old.
TOM: OK. Well, if all else fails and it turns out that you cannot get this stain off of the vinyl, one of the things that you could do is you could have a siding contractor remove those sections of vinyl. And you may not be able to find the same piece that matches, but what you could do is you could trade out the stained piece with another good piece that’s somewhere else on the house; perhaps an area that’s not as visible, like behind bushes or something like that. So you basically are going to swap out pieces of vinyl that are on the same house to try to put one that’s clean where you can see it and one that’s dirty where you can’t see it.
LYNN: OK, that’s a good idea. Thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome, Lynn. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.