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How To Clean Mildew From Soffits

Cleaning the soffits.

Anytime that you are talking about a cleaning project, most homeowners would rather pay a professional. No one really likes to clean. Remember, when you were a young person and you had chores to do around the house. As a homeowner, you will still have chores to do around the house. In this case, your chores have you outside cleaning the soffits. How to clean mildew from soffits? Luckily, mildew is fairly easy to remove, so accomplishing this task just takes time.

Let’s take a look at what the simplest way to remove mildew from soffits is.

Cleaning mildew from the soffits is important so you can have clean soffits like these.
A darker vinyl soffit that blends with the home.

What Are Soffits

Soffits are a piece of the home that is installed to protect the attic space rafters or trusses from the environmental elements. They also connect the exterior of the home to the eaves that extend off of the home from your roof. Always remember that materials like a vinyl soffit are installed to keep pests, rodents, and water out of the attic space, while also allowing for air circulation.

What do they look like:

  • Horizontal pieces that are typically vinyl materials.
  • Are made in a variety of colors to match your home.
  • Can be made of aluminum, steel, fiber cement, wood, or vinyl.
A homeowner using an extender brush to scrub mildew off of the soffit.
Brushing the mildew off of a soffit.

How Can I Clean Them

Believe it or not, it can be fairly easy to clean mildew from soffits. Just keep in mind that you do not want to spray too much water for too long of a time onto the soffit. You could risk getting water into the attic and causing a mold problem. Let’s take a look at the best steps to follow for accomplishing this project.

  1. Take your garden hose and attach a simple spray nozzle. Spray the soffit with an even back and forth motion. This helps loosen up any debris, dirt, or mildew that is present on the soffit.
  2. Take a 1-gallon bucket of hot water and add in a 1/2 cup of all-purpose cleaner. This will help wipe away any dirt and grime. Add white vinegar to the hot water in order to remove the mildew. You might also consider a commercial-grade vinyl siding cleaner to clean the vinyl soffits.
  3. Depending on how high the soffit is, a long-handle extender brush might get the job done. If you need a ladder, just make sure it is in a sturdy place. Dip the brush into your bucket of solution and scrub away the mildew from the soffits.
  4. Once you have applied enough solution, you can rinse it away with your spray nozzle garden hose.

How Much Does It Cost

Cleaning the soffit is relatively inexpensive. You are looking at the time differential here. As in, is your time worth it as a homeowner to spend all day cleaning the soffits. In most cases, a power washing company will charge $1 to $1.50 per square foot to clean the soffit. Also, you will likely pay an hourly fee on top of that. The $1 to $1.50 typically covers their materials and the cost of the solution that they use.

Other Recommended Maintenance

One area to take care of is the downspouts. The downspouts should extend at least 4-6 feet, but 10 feet if possible from the house. This is so the water flows away from the home and out towards the road or other places where it will drain. Sometimes a splash block is needed to make sure the water drains and doesn’t puddle in the yard.

You might notice that your metal roof is looking dull. You can paint the metal roof and this will give it a longer lifespan, as well as reflect heat energy away from the home and it will be aesthetically pleasing to look at.

Lastly, after a hail storm, you will want to check for any damage you might have on the roof. It will look like dents, dings, bruising, missing shingles, and exposed matting. The hail damage can happen if the roof is older, the wind speed is fast, wind direction, hail size, and slope of the roof.

When Do I Call A Professional

If you aren’t sure you want to clean mildew from the soffits, a professional company can power wash your soffits, as well as the exterior of the home, deck, patio, sidewalks, and driveway. However, you will want to contact a local home inspection team first so they can conduct a full home inspection and make sure your soffits aren’t damaged. They probably can also recommend a good company that is licensed and insured.

Conclusion

Soffits do get dirty so next time you are working on your landscaping, take a look up at the soffits and see if it is time to clean them. You may want to clean them when you are cleaning the exterior of the home. If you aren’t sure, contact your local home inspection team to do a roof inspection and let you know what areas should be cleaned. Reach out to Waypoint Inspection to conduct a home inspection in your home in Tampa and Central Florida.

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