Cleaning Brick and Vinyl Siding
LESLIE: William in Ohio is looking for some cleaning tips; particularly involving brick. How can we help, William?
WILLIAM: Yes, I have a brick house. And I was wondering how –
WILLIAM: – how to get it cleaned. I don’t think you’re supposed to power wash it but I’m not really sure. I was just wondering if somebody could give me some help on how to clean it.
TOM: Well, you certainly can power wash it. But the key, here, is to not use an excessive amount of pressure. What you want to do is use a mildicide solution, first, to make sure that any mildew that’s attached to that brick – which is tends to make it what … what is what tends to make it look sort of dull and dirty and green and that sort of thing (inaudible) –
LESLIE: Tom, would you recommend making up your own homemade mixture of like bleach and water? Or would you say use something more like a Gelmax (ph)?
TOM: You know, it’s funny. I have a painter friend of mine that does this all the time and he absolutely swears by straight Clorox; just loves it, loves it, loves it.
LESLIE: Straight Clorox on the brick directly? Not even watering it down?
TOM: Yeah, except that all your plants die (chuckling) when you do it that way. I, personally, like to use Gelmax (ph) which is a cleaning solution that you mix with water and bleach together that gives you a little bit longer life. But the secret here, William, is to put it on and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes; keep it wet.
LESLIE: And if you do it on a sunny day, the sun activates the bleach and actually helps it to clean better.
TOM: Yeah. And then you can rinse it off with a pressure washer but you don’t want to use one like on the needle-like setting; you want to use one with sort of a fairly wide spray. And you’ll be amazed how much brighter your house will look when you do that. Don’t just blast it first without a cleaning solution because it won’t last.
WILLIAM: I also have a vinyl siding garage. Is this … can I use the same thing on that or -?
TOM: Yeah, you absolutely can. But you have to use a lot less pressure with the vinyl siding. You have to be careful.
LESLIE: Oh, because that will ding and dent and –
TOM: Ding and dent? It’ll blast a hole right through it. (chuckling)
LESLIE: (chuckling) Right through it.
TOM: It’ll turn that puppy into Swiss cheese, William.
TOM: Yeah, pressure washers are a great tool but you have to use them cautiously. Okay?
WILLIAM: Yes, sir.
TOM: Alright, William. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.