How To Clean Vinyl Siding
A soft cloth or a long-handled, soft-bristle brush might come in
handy for cleaning vinyl siding.
If you are the new sheriff out to clean up the town, there's nothing
to it if the town has maintenance-free vinyl siding. All such siding normally
needs is a good rinse with a garden hose; but after a few years and a
couple of gunfights, stagecoach holdups and cattle drives through town,
you might have to work a mite harder. The boys over at the Vinyl Siding
Institute suggest using a soft cloth or a long-handled, soft-bristle brush.
For tough stuff like stubborn dirt, use household cleaners such as Fantastic,
Lestoil and Windex. For really tough stains like paint or tar, use mild
abrasive cleaners like Ajax, Comet or Soft Scrub. But be careful, partner;
rub too hard or too much and you might scratch up the surface. And that's
the On The House tip for today.
Provided by: www.onthehouse.com
The word "moisture" refers to water vapor mixed with air.
Most of the moisture generated in the home is dissipated by the movement
of moisture-laden air out of the home. As homes become more energy-efficient,
the number of paths of escape are reduced, and dealing with moisture becomes
During the heating season, the indoor humidity level should hover around
30 percent to 40 percent. When indoor humidity exceeds 40 percent during
cold weather, moisture problems begin to appear. One symptom of a high
humidity level is condensation forming on cold surfaces.
High levels of humidity are often the result of too much moisture vapor
HEATING AND VENTILATION magazine provides builders with reference data
on sources of water vapor. For instance, cooking for a family of four
adds 4.5 pounds of moisture a day to a house. Each shower contributes
half a pound; a weekly laundry, 30 pounds; human occupancy contributes
6 to 3 pounds per day; dish washing 1.2 pounds, etc.
So you see that the modern living of a family of four can easily release
150 pounds, or more than 18 gallons of water per week into the air in
All of this moisture MUST eventually escape from your home.
Condensation will occur whenever the window surface is cool enough to
allow moisture in the air to condense on it, which is why some condensation
can be expected in the winter - condensation should be controlled as much
as possible since it can damage the window's components, cause the wood
to rot and saturate the wall insulation reducing its effectiveness.
(An example of condensation: A glass of ice water sweats because the warm
air that surrounds the glass meets the cold surface and causes....you
guessed it, Condensation)
Moisture on the inside of the storm window (or outside pane).
Indicates that the prime window is allowing air and moisture to leak out
to the storm window where it condenses. Stopping these air leaks with
caulk and weather-stripping will stop the condensation and ultimately
save your window. It is also important to understand that too little humidity
is bad for your house. Manufacturers claiming that low humidity (15 percent)
is best for windows may be covering for a poor quality product. Good windows
should not have excessive condensation at normal humidity levels (30 percent
to 40 percent).
Moisture on the inside of a window pane:
This is a sign that airborne water is trapped in the house due to poor
air circulation and exchange.
Moisture between single pane windows and exterior storms:
Storm window frames are made with a breathing hole that permits condensation
to escape. These breathing holes often become plugged or puttied shut
over time. When this happens, moist air becomes trapped and condensation
appears. To fix the problem, unplug the holes.
Steps to Reduce Excessive Humidity:
Recognize that the best way to stop condensation is to reduce the moisture
in the inside air. Here are a few tips:
Vent gas burners and clothes dryers to the outside. Dryer and kitchen
range exhaust fans should never be vented to the attic.
Install exhaust fans in the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.
Controlling or covering other sources of humidity (radiator water pans,
fish tanks, large numbers of plants, etc.).
Installing a dehumidifier.
Opening fireplace damper.
Ventilating the crawl space or basement: Install foundation vents or leave
a basement window cracked in the fall or early winter to ventilate your
basement or crawlspace.
Another positive measure is to connect a small duct from the outdoors
to the return side of a forced-air heating system, so that fresh air is
drawn into the house whenever the system is operating. A damper placed
in this duct will allow the home owner to control incoming air.
A simpler method is to simply crack a window somewhere in the home.
Ventilating the attic: Because of vapor pressure, the moist warm
air from your home can go right through your ceiling into your attic.
If your attic is not ventilated, the humid air will condense on the cold
underside of your roof. This condensation can start to rot the roof boards,
cause ice dams, or drip down onto the ceiling below and damage your plaster,
paint, and attic insulation.
Wall Insulation: To prevent or reduce condensation problems inside
your walls and protect your insulation, the side of the insulation exposed
to high vapor pressure (warm side in winter) must be covered with material
that will impede the natural drive of moisture to flow through the inside
surfaces of exterior walls, toward the lower vapor pressure outside. To
be effective, such a material must have a high resistance to moisture
flow. The material is usually called "vapor retarder."