Prefinished siding is not merely a product, but a process that when handled and installed correctly will save you both time and money. Below is a list of suggestions that when followed will help you increase your efficiency and reduce the risk of damage to the finished surface.
This is merely an aesthetic issue and only takes a moment to fix. Touch-up is the simple process to repair the affected spot and restore the siding. Before you begin you will need to verify that you have factory supplied touch-up paint to match the original color on you siding. You will also need a few Q-tips, some clean rags and clean water. Once your workspace is setup, simply grab a few Q-tips, open the can of touch-up paint, and dip the Q-tip into the paint and dab the affected spot. The "dip & dab" Q-tip technique is critical for siding finished with a two tone process as the touch-up paint is a specially formulated solid color designed to blend in when applied to the spot requiring touch-up. It is also important to use a Q-tip on solid color touch-up as well, as each layer of paint is going to build sheen and using a Q-tip makes it very hard to apply too much paint.
Your house spends all of it's time outside and exposed to the elements and over time can collect dirt, dust, and pollen on the surface. Similar to washing your car, you should occasionally wash your house to take care of your finish. The process is simple, all you need is your garden hose, some mild detergent and a little bit of time. Simply wet the outer surface of the siding then gently use the detergent on a sponge to clean off difficult dirt, and then rinse off.
Cement is porous like a sponge and will absorb any moisture it is exposed to. That is why it is ultimately important to keep your siding dry and covered prior to installation. Any moisture that the cement board absorbs prior to installation will need to get back out somehow. Typically what draws the moisture out is sun and heat. However, while the board is still saturated, salts from the substrate will dissolve only to then be carried to the surface as the excess moisture is drawn out. As the moisture then evaporates, the salts are left behind as a residue on the surface, this is known as “efflorescence”. Once the siding has been correctly installed in its permanent state on the structure, it is protected from excessive moisture entering from the back side (as long as the house has house wrap!!). The best method for removing efflorescence is by using Duckback products “safe solution” concrete etcher. Mix the solution 50/50 with water in a spray bottle and liberally apply to the affected areas. Let the solution stand for 10-15 seconds to dissolve the salts and then remove with a clean, dry rag. The clean, dry rag is critical to your success otherwise you will smear the salts, so make sure to have several clean rags available. In extreme cases it may be necessary to repeat the process to completely remove the efflorescence.
Surfactants are soap compounds that contain water soluble solid matter that contribute to the color and stability of the liquid paint. In the first few weeks after painting, these compounds migrate from the paint film leaving deposits on the painted surface. Usually these deposits are microscopic in nature and uniformly distributed over the entire surface thus making them invisible. However, when it rains or when condensation forms on freshly painted surfaces, the excess moisture can rapidly extract the surfactants from the paint film. When the condensation dries, concentrated surfactants are deposited on the painted surface. These deposits are noticeably different in color from the paint and tend to accumulate on the bottom edges of lap siding. This phenomenon is called surfactant leaching. Surfactant leaching is simply an aesthetic inconvenience caused by nature but can easily be cleaned off and does not affect the integrity of the paint film.
Since surfactant deposits are water soluble they will often rinse off with a garden hose. However, if the deposits are not addressed right away, they will begin to harden over time. Use a mild detergent solution and a rag or soft brush to lightly scrub off the deposits. It is important to clean surfactant leaching as soon as it is noticed to make the cleanup easier and to reduce the risk of damaging the painted surface by scrubbing to hard.
By virtue, paint is a sacrificial coating that is designed to both beautify and protect the substrate. Over time, UV radiation and weather, will deteriorate the paint film and can result in a “drifting” from the original color. Additional specifics relating to color fade include: