The Different Types of House Siding and How to Clean it

Updated: Jul 25

If you're looking to clean your house's siding, it helps to know what material you're working with. Different types of siding require different cleaning methods, and using the wrong approach may damage your home inadvertently. Here are the most common types of siding, from brick to fiber cement, plus how to clean each one.


House Washing | Charlotte NC | American Exteriors

Wood siding

If you're looking to clean wood siding, the best thing you can do is to use the soft wash method. A gentle detergent will work best and make sure to use a low pressure. This will prevent any damage from occurring while still keeping your siding clean-looking and free of debris.



House Washing | Charlotte NC | American Exteriors

Vinyl siding

Vinyl siding is the most common form of house siding in the United States. It's durable, easy to maintain and relatively inexpensive to install. Vinyl siding is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is also used for plumbing pipes and windows. When cleaning vinyl siding, it's best to avoid using hot water because it can degrade the material over time. If you have stubborn stains on your vinyl siding, seeking professional help is recommended to prevent any damage being caused to the home.

If you live in an area where there are no professional services available locally, here are some tips for DIY maintenance that can help keep your home looking clean:

  • Clean regularly by sweeping off debris around doors and windows every other week or so; 2) Clean twice annually by washing off leaves or other debris off walls every autumn after they fall; 3) Treat stains while they're still fresh—or at least within 24 hours—with diluted bleach (1 part bleach:9 parts water).


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Brick siding

If you have brick siding on your home, you’re in luck. Brick is made of clay, sand and water. It’s strong, durable and easy to clean—which means it’s one of the best options for any climate.

Brick siding will last for decades without serious damage if treated correctly. But some issues can arise from younger brick that hasn’t been properly maintained or from more mature bricks with cracks or chips in them.


If chipped or cracked:

  • Clean only by hand using a soft brush and soapy water (or vinegar) solution.* Do not use pressure washers as this could cause further damage to the brick.* Use an air compressor to blow out dust build-up between bricks; this should be done every few years.* If necessary, fill small cracks with a matching caulk material (not silicone sealant).

  • Hiring a professional will have the appropriate equipment and skills to handle situations like cracked and chipped brick. Skilled pressure washing technicians will make sure your brick house will look brand new without the risk of causing further damage.

If the brick is in good condition, power washing is the best method for removing dirt and debris, and is preferred.


House Washing | Charlotte NC | American Exteriors

Fiber cement siding

Fiber cement is a type of siding that is often used for its durability and low maintenance. Fiber cement siding is made from cement, sand, and cellulose. Fiber-reinforced composite materials are very hard and durable, making them ideal for areas with high winds or snow.

Best way to clean fiber cement is by soft washing it. Soft washing uses low pressure since too harsh of water pressure could damage the exterior. By soft washing, it uses the perfect pressure to remove debris without causing damage.


Regular cleaning makes your home look great and can even add years to its life.

Regular cleaning of your home's siding is not only a great way to improve the look of your house, it can also increase its value. Cleaned siding will last longer, help prevent damage and keep mold from growing on the surface. It's important to use the right type of cleaner so that you don't damage your home or make it more susceptible to rot and other problems.


Although there are many types of siding, they all need to be cleaned. If you don’t want to clean the whole house, you can always hire a professional to do it for you. Just make sure they use the right cleaning products and know how to handle that type of siding properly!




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