October 8, 2020

Restoring Exterior Siding

The main function of exterior siding is to protect your walls, while the second is for aesthetics. Good maintenance is therefore necessary in both cases.

A thorough cleaning is generally sufficient to restore the surface to its original state. Otherwise, a paintbrush can work wonders. However, some materials require special care.

General recommendations

Be careful not to water electrical installations and not to take a ladder beyond six feet. When working with chemicals, be sure to wear gloves, goggles and long sleeves. Cover nearby plants, respect the times indicated on the product’s packaging and, if in doubt, start with a mild detergent.


Use a rag with soap and water, working from the bottom up and rinsing often to avoid cleaning marks. For more stubborn stains, scrub lightly with a soft-bristled brush with a mixture of 4 liters of water, 1/3 cup of Hertel and 2/3 cup of trisodium phosphate.

For mould or discoloration, use an antifungal or vinyl restoration product. It is possible to paint vinyl, although it’s recommended that you hire a contractor. The surface must be washed with a degreaser, rinsed, then painted with two coats of 100% acrylic paint with a roller brush or spray gun.

Brick and stone

First, dust the surface with a vacuum cleaner. Then use a pressure washer about 2 feet from the wall, avoiding mortar joints as much as possible. If the walls are weakened, rub water and baking soda with a stiff bristle brush instead. For mould, mix 1 litre of water and 2 tablespoons of bleach.

Note that it is generally not recommended to paint brick or stone, because moisture can get trapped there and cause it to crumble. However, paint has been developed to allow these materials to breathe.

Finally, repointing is necessary every 25 years or so to prevent water infiltration. This consists of removing the damaged parts of the mortar and replacing them with new mortar.

Natural wood

Clean with a low-pressure power washer containing water and mild soap. Otherwise, use a soft-bristled brush.

Wood can chip or tarnish over time, so it should be maintained every 4 to 9 years with linseed oil or a product that will treat the wood.

There are four main types of products available:

  • Paint: provides long-term protection, but masks the wood's grain.
  • Varnish: forms a hard protective film that is effective against humidity, impact and UV rays.
  • Stain: translucent product that is effective against humidity, insects, fungi and, if coloured, against UV rays.
  • Saturator: permeates the wood deeply and prevents it from drying out.

Wood fiber

Washing wood fiber siding annually with dishwashing soap is usually sufficient. Touch up the paint if there are any scratches.

If the surface begins to deteriorate, wood fiber becomes sensitive to moisture and may blister. To prevent this, there is a paint for wood fiber siding that prevents water infiltration.


In a low-flow pressure washer or with a soft-bristled brush, use an all-purpose cleaner with water. For stubborn stains, mix 1/3 cup of detergent, 1/3 cup of bleach and 1/3 cup of trisodium phosphate.

If the aluminum is oxidized, rub gently with very fine steel wool. Use up and down, not circular, motions to avoid scratches. Aluminum is easy to paint if it is discolored, stained or slightly dented.

Metal and steel

For basic cleaning, simply use a garden hose with clean water. If there are traces of tar or anything else, use mineral spirits first, then soap applied with a soft brush.

If there is surface rust, you can treat it and then apply a rust inhibitor or suitable paint.

Acrylic (EIFS)

Wash the acrylic with clean water or with dishwashing detergent and a soft-bristled brush. Inspect walls frequently and, if there are any cracks, repair them by applying pre-mixed stucco.

To paint acrylic siding, it is recommended that you use the services of a professional. They will prepare the surface and, with a spray gun, cover it with a paint or sealant that allows the coating to breathe.

See also:

Choosing a Renovation Professional

How to Paint Melamine

How to Establish a Realistic Renovation Budget


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