CertainTeed vinyl siding resists most common household stains,
like oil and grease, but it will get dirty just like anything else
that is left outside. Chalk may also accumulate on the surface.
Chalking is normal and occurs on any pigmented surface that is
constantly exposed to sunlight and the elements.
Soil, grime, and chalk are easy to remove with soap and water.
Especially stubborn stains can usually be removed with cleaners
like Fantastik,™ Formula 409,™ and Simple Green.™ When you
clean vinyl siding, work from the bottom to the top to reduce
In some areas, mildew is a problem. Homeowners may call with
questions about “black spots,” especially in the covered areas
under eaves and porch enclosures. Commercially available
mildew cleaners are available at good hardware stores.
Homeowners who prefer to mix their own cleaners can do so,
but they should be cautioned against changing the proportions:
Stronger proportions of TSP and/or bleach may damage vinyl
and polypropylene siding.
3 quarts water
1 quart household bleach
1/3 cup powdered laundry detergent
2/3 cup TSP (Soilax trisodium phosphate, for example)
These care and maintenance instructions are printed on the
back of the warranty booklet, which you should leave behind
after every job is completed.
NOTE: CertainTeed does not recommend power washing
because it can cause moisture intrusion, water damage,
Exterior vinyl building materials require little maintenance for
many years. Nevertheless, common sense dictates that builders
and suppliers of vinyl products store, handle, and install vinyl
materials in a manner that avoids damage to the product and/or
the structure. Owners and installers should take a few simple
steps to protect vinyl building materials from fire.
Vinyl siding is easy to care for. In this chapter, you’ll learn
how to clean and care for vinyl products.
• Cleaning dirt, chalk, and mildew
• Fire safety
• Color variation
13. Care and Maintenance
Under normal conditions, vinyl siding will not melt or sag, even
in the warm climates of the South and South West. Even though it
is manufactured with a thermoplastic resin, vinyl has to be
heated to its point of deflection (more than 168°F @ 264 psi)
before it begins to soften. An unusual, but more likely situation
occurs when the reflection (an awning, mirrored windows, glass
windows with low-E coating, car windshields, even a metal
chair) acts as a mirror and concentrates heat on a particular
spot on the vinyl panel. If the spot gets hot enough, the vinyl will
begin to sag. Unfortunately, there is no remedy for the
distortion—short of moving the offending reflector and
replacing the damaged panel. An external heat source such as a
barbecue too close to the house will also melt siding.
Unfortunately, there is no fast rule for how far from the house
the barbecue should be positioned, but homeowners should be
cautioned about this heat source.
To the Building Trades
When rigid vinyl siding is exposed to significant heat or flame,
the vinyl will soften, sag, melt or burn and may expose the
material underneath. Care must be exercised when selecting
underlayment materials because many underlayment materials
are made from organic materials that are combustible. You
should ascertain the fire properties of underlayment materials
prior to installation.
All building materials should be installed in accordance with
local, state, and federal building codes and fire regulations.
Vinyl siding is warranted against excessive or inconsistent
weathering. In the unlikely event that siding on the same wall
weathers inconsistently, CertainTeed will, of course, replace it.
But everything “weathers,” and the color changes, fading, even
chalking that all outdoor exposures undergo are considered
normal. Problems occur when damaged siding, incorrectly
installed accessories (flashing, gutters, or soffit), or blow-off
necessitate replacing siding. Siding that has been exposed to the
weather will always look “faded” next to new siding.
Variations in color are most often caused by manufacturing
inconsistencies. Gloss is usually the culprit because different
gloss levels reflect light differently, making color look deeper in
some sections than in others. For this reason, CertainTeed vinyl
siding is tested and
re-tested for consistent gloss level at several points during the
manufacturing of the vinyl sheet and the panels. In the rare
instance that color varies conspicuously, CertainTeed will
replace the siding.
CertainTeed siding and trim has earned the Vinyl Siding Institute
(VSI) Color Certification for its siding and trim. The VSI colorretention
certification process requires a two-year, outdoor
weathering study. Each certified CertainTeed color demonstrated
the ability to resist major changes in a variety of climates. The
color-retention certification is based on the performance
standard for color retention.
CertainTeed Vinyl Siding Master Craftsman Education & Development Program
• Like any other product that is exposed to the outdoors,
vinyl weathers over time.
• Chalking, mildew, and dirt can be removed from vinyl
siding with any number of commercial and homemade
• To avoid streaking, always clean vinyl siding from the
bottom to the top.
• Over time, the color of the siding will fade. This should not
be a problem because CertainTeed vinyl siding should fade
• Always keep sources of heat—grills and combustibles—
away from sided walls.