How to Wash Your Kayu® Tropical Hardwood Exterior Siding?
If you want to give your home more curb appeal, one great way to start is by giving your Kayu® exterior siding a thorough cleaning. An exterior that sparkles in the sun can make a world of difference.
When to pressure wash? Kayu® Tropical Hardwood Siding is typically strong enough to withstand pressure washing. But before you head to the home improvement store, consider just how dirty your house is. It’s best to start with the lightest, gentlest cleaning method that is effective and work your way up from there
Don’t reach for the pressure washer unless you have some serious grime to contend with — a light layer of dirt and road dust can be easily cleaned using a plain old garden hose. If your home has Kayu® siding and needs more power than a garden hose can muster, a pressure washer can be heaven sent.
Get prepared to pressure wash. If you own your home and plan to use a pressure washer at least once each year, it could be worth it to buy your own. They are not cheap … but they are not cheap to rent, either. If you cannot reach the upper floors of your home on a ladder, consider hiring a pro to do the job. If you are doing it yourself, follow these steps?
Preparing to Wash your Kayu® Tropical Hardwood Siding
- Soap or no soap? Water alone is enough to get most exteriors clean. If you have mold or mildew, use a specialty house cleaner designed to kill mildew in the pressure washer’s detergent compartment. Many of our Kayu® customers strongly believe that Oxyclean is the best cleaning solution.
- Choose the right nozzle. Pressure washer nozzles are measured in degrees — those that shoot water in a very narrow area have the strongest spray (zero is the strongest) and should be used very cautiously. For most homes a nozzle with a 40-degree spray should suffice, so start there and work your way down to a 25-degree nozzle if necessary.
- Secure windows, doors and pets. Make sure dogs (who could be curious about the spray) and children are inside, and close all the windows and doors before getting started. Also put on a pair of safety goggles to protect your eyes from dirt and debris.
Pressure washing safety. Treat your pressure washer with respect and common sense, the same as you would any other power tool — because it is potentially just as dangerous. The spray that comes out of the tip of the power washer is so concentrated, it can slice through skin, so keep children and pets away while you are working, and never direct the pressure washer at a person.
Also avoid spraying windows, as the spray could break the glass, especially in older homes with single-pane windows.
How to Pressure Wash Your Kayu® Tropical Hardwood Siding?
- Spray at a downward angle. Siding is designed to protect your home from weather … and weather comes from above, not from below. Work with your home’s protective features and direct your sprayer downward. Never spray into seams or cracks in siding where water can become trapped and damage your house.
- Test a small section. Before getting too far along, turn off your pressure washer and take a close look at the first small section you’ve completed. If you see any evidence of damage, switch to a regular hose. If it looks good, continue!
- Keep the hose moving. Use a steady side-to-side sweeping motion as you spray your house — lingering too long on one spot can cause damage. If you are using a cleanser, work from the bottom of your house to the top, then rinse from top to bottom.
Washing Your Kayu® Tropical Hardwood Siding with a hose.
Pick up a siding cleaning kit from your local home improvement store — it should come with a nozzle attachment for your regular garden hose and a compartment to fill with cleanser if needed.
Inspect. Take a close look at the exterior of your home, keeping an eye out for spots that are especially grimy or mildewed — you will be tackling those first.
Pretreat. Squirt especially soiled areas with cleanser before getting started with the hose. For a gentler alternative to harsh mildew killers, try a solution of oxygen bleach, which is a form of hydrogen peroxide. You can give especially grimy areas a quick scrub with a soft brush, too.
Wash. Fill the compartment in your hose attachment with cleanser, if using. Keep in mind that unless your home’s exterior is heavily soiled, water alone should do the job. Spray your home from bottom to top, working one section at a time. Just as with pressure washing, aim the spray at a downward angle.
Rinse. If you used a cleanser on the first pass, now is the time to rinse, spraying your home from top to bottom.
If you would like to apply some wood oil to your home siding, Let the siding dry over night or two days in a humid environment and re apply a coat of deck oil using a paint roller or my preferred method a paint sponge on a long handle.
Apply lightly, not too thick; less is more. Wipe off excess and enjoy another year or two. The process is surprisingly easier than most people think. Even better is the pride you feel as you drive up to your home and see and it shining and squeaky clean.
Kayu® International, Inc. is the global leader in Tropical Hardwood. A Direct Importer of the finest select Exotic Hardwood for the US and Canadian markets, founded in 1994; Dependable Service at Affordable Prices. Our warehouses are stocked year-round and are strategically located on the West Coast, Mid-West, South-West and East Coast.
For information on KAYU’s full line of select hardwood decking and flooring products, installation and maintenance guides and other useful resources, please visit us at KAYU.com.