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Can You Clean Hardie Board With Bleach? The Best Ways to Care for Your Fiber Cement Siding

Posted on by PortlandSEOGrowth
Prevent Algae On Vinyl Siding

Can you clean Hardie Board with bleach? 

That is the question that many homeowners, like you, ask when looking to keep your home’s siding sparkling clean. 

While there are many ways to keep your fiber cement siding looking its best…

This blog post will focus on some of the most popular methods that work well for preventing the build-up of dirt, debris, and preventable damage on vinyl siding as well as keeping Hardie Board looking great.

Table of Contents

Cleaning Hardie Board

Cleaning Hardie Board With Bleach and Other Products

Sometimes we just want to know, “Can I do it myself?”

In some cases, yes, you can clean your Hardie Board by using a simple DIY bleach solution:

½ cup bleach for every gallon of water

However, bleach is not always the greatest solution for cleaning your siding; it depends on the severity of the grunge you’re attempting to remove. 

There are other cleaning solutions on the market for siding surfaces, including Hardie Board. 

What is the best way to keep Hardie Board looking its best?  

Depending on the type of mess that needs to be cleaned, there are various techniques and tools, such as:

  • Using a pressure washer to clean algae off of the siding 
  • Using a mixture of vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap to clean the algae
  • Purchasing an algae stain remover for fiber cement siding at your local home improvement store

In the next section, you will learn about some very specific techniques for cleaning Hardie Board in different messy situations.

Tip: Considering the age of your siding, it may be time to look into replacing it if cleaning isn’t making it look better.

Hardie Board Siding

The Most Effective Techniques to Clean Hardie Board

Hardie Board has been a popular siding option for many homeowners because it:

  • Is long-lasting and durable;
  • Creates an attractive look; and
  • Is easy to care for and maintain.

However, over time things such as weathering can cause dirt and grime to accumulate on the surface of your home. 

That means you’ll need to know how best to clean this type of siding to maintain its appearance. 

Fortunately, this blog post has some helpful tips on what you should do when it comes time for cleaning Hardie Board.

Cleaning Dirt, Chalk, or Construction Debris

If you’re a homeowner, chances are that at some point in your life you’ve had to deal with dirt, chalk, or construction debris on your Hardie Board. 

This type of mess can be a huge pain. 

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to call their contractor or even the manufacturer of their Hardie Board because they don’t know how to clean this type of mess from the surface. 

However, there is a fairly easy process for removing these types of stains from your home’s exterior boards.

Does Your Hardie Board Need to Be Cleaned With Bleach for This?

You will not need bleach to clean dirt, chalk, or construction debris from your Hardie Board siding.

The only liquid you’ll need to clean these materials is water, along with the following supplies and tools:

  • A soft cloth
  • A chip brush
  • A water hose
  • A soft paintbrush
  • A siding (or horsehair) brush

It’s never a good idea to use a harsh or abrasive cleaning brush to clean fiber cement siding.

Cleaning Method

Use your soft brush to clean away the dust or chalk that you wish to remove from the siding and follow these simple steps:

  1. Rinse away the dirt and debris with the water hose 
  2. Use a soft cloth to handle the remaining dirt by wetting it and wiping the siding until it is clean
  3. Rising the siding again with the water hose 

It’s probably a good idea to have several cleaning rags on hand or be prepared to rinse the cloth frequently so you don’t use an unclean one.

Prevent Algae On Vinyl Siding

Cleaning Oil, Grease, or Other Natural Contaminants

Hardie Board is a type of siding that’s made from cement

It has an excellent reputation for longevity and durability, but because it’s porous, it can absorb oil or grease – making the surface slippery. 

If you’re looking to clean oil, grease, or other natural contaminants without having to remove your Hardie Board (which could be costly), there are some do-it-yourself solutions you can try at home. 

Does Your Hardie Board Need to Be Cleaned With Bleach for This?

No, you do need bleach or any other special solution to remove oil, grease, and other natural contaminants. 

Your solution will most likely use some things that you already have on hand in your kitchen right now:

  • Mild liquid dishwashing soap
  • A water hose
  • A soft cloth

Abrasive cleaning solutions are not necessary.

Cleaning Method

The cleaning method is a pretty straightforward, 3-step process:

  1. Create soapy water to clean the siding
  2. Use a soft cloth to wipe off the greasy surface
  3. Wash the suds and muck away by rinsing the area with the water hose

The liquid dishwashing soap does most of the cleaning by breaking down the oil, grease, and other natural contaminants. 

Cleaning Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew are common household invaders that can often go unnoticed for months or years. 

These pesky organisms feed off the moisture in your home, creating a musty odor and damaging your Hardie Board siding.

These contaminants are dangerous for your family’s health so it’s important to remove them right away.  

Does Your Hardie Board Need to Be Cleaned With Bleach for This?

You can use bleach to clean your Hardie Board of mold and mildew. 

But it is not always the best or only solution because …

  • The structural integrity of the Hardie Board could be compromised with the harshness of bleach; and
  • Bleach can also erode the sealant on the Hardie Board and cause structural damage later

Another cleaning method includes a safe fiber cement siding cleaner that you can purchase at your local hardware store. 

However, you will need to also have the following items on hand:

  • Water hose
  • A soft brush
  • Hand sprayer
  • Hand gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • Mask to protect against breathing in mold spores

The risk of being affected by harsh chemicals and mold spores can be enough to call a professional to clean your Hardie Board of mold and mildew.

Cleaning Method

Using only one of the ingredients (bleach or store-bought cleaning solution), proceed with the following steps:

  • Use a hand-held sprayer to apply the cleaning solution to the Hardie Board 
  • Wait a few minutes before rinsing the siding with the water hose 
  • Clean any stubborn spots with a soft brush
  • Repeat this process 2-3 times, or as needed, to clean large mold or mildew areas

How Can You Prevent Algae on Vinyl Siding and Hardie Board?

Both algae and mold are different but equally harmful to your property. 

Mold is a fungus that will eat nutrients to survive while algae eat away at the organic matter found on the home siding. 

Either of these can be bad news for the exterior of any house.

So how can you prevent algae on vinyl siding and Hardie Board?

The best preventative measure is cleaning your siding with a low pressure garden hose only, but never a pressure washer.

can you clean hardie board with bleach

Protective Gear and Equipment Needed When Cleaning Hardie Board

It’s critical to dress appropriately when cleaning any part of your house, especially the siding.

  • Protective eyewear will ensure that no loose dust or dirt will enter your eyes
  • Gloves protect your skin from any adverse reactions to cleansers by blocking them
  • A respirator mask may prevent you from inhaling any mold or mildew while cleaning your siding

It’s also wise to cover any flowers, yard furniture, or anything else nearby with a tarp to prevent damage while cleaning Hardie Board.

Pro Tips for Cleaning Hardie Board

Here are some pro tips to keep in mind when cleaning Hardie Board:

  • Be careful with using a high-pressure hose to clean Hardie Board, as it’s one of the few ways to damage it. If you must use a high-pressure washer, be sure you are using it at least six feet away from the siding.
  • Don’t clean too much of the area at once. Begin small and work your way up. Before you go on to another spot, clean that one first so that if you must stop for any reason, you’ll feel as though you’ve accomplished something.
  • Begin cleaning at the top and work your way down to avoid streaks and runoff from the boards above dripping onto the already cleaned below.

Keeping Up With the Maintenance of Your Hardie Board Siding

For many homeowners, Hardie Board is a great siding option due to its low maintenance. However, low maintenance must not be mistaken for no maintenance.

Remember that maintaining your Hardie Board siding includes:

  • Cleaning it at least once a year. Consider twice a year if you live in an area if you live in a very dusty and dry area.
  • Taking time to carefully inspect your Hardie Board for any irregularities, wear, or other damage.

If you do not feel comfortable maintaining your Hardie Board siding, reach out to the professionals at Elite Home Exteriors to take care of it for you. 

Ready to Freshen Up Your Hardie Board or Other Exterior Siding? Contact Elite Home Exteriors NW for a Free Consultation

The exterior of your home is one of the first things people notice and a fresh coat of paint or a new siding installation can make all the difference.

Elite Home Exteriors NW specializes in Hardie Board, but we also work with vinyl, stucco, brick, clapboard, and more to provide you with a beautiful finished product that will last for years to come. 

Ready to freshen up your Hardie Board or other exterior sidings? 

Contact us today for a free consultation on what exterior improvements are best suited for your needs.

Hardie Board Siding

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