**HELP ME** - Siding is discolored after being power washed - what happened?


I am seeking a professional opinion. 5 months ago I hired a local company in Minnesota to clean my home’s siding. I advised them that my siding was ABC Seamless which is vinyl-coated steel, and they could see my siding was not new, faced direct sunlight and had a visible chalky appearance (what I have now come to learn is oxidation). They did not communicate any concerns with me and proceeded with power washing the siding. After the “cleaning” my siding looked/looks horribly discolored, splotchy and uneven… with dark swirls everywhere. My house looks horrible! I’m curious if there is a standard acceptable practice when a licensed professional is dealing with steel siding and particularly siding with visible signs of potential oxidation? Should this company have talked to me before proceeding with the job about what could happen when siding with potential oxidation is power washed?

I am in desperate need of a professional opinion as to what happened to my siding. I HAVE MANY MORE PICS IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE - I WAS ONLY ALLOWED TO UPLOAD ONE. Thank you in advance! :slight_smile:


You paid for your house to be washed. It was washed. If you knew that it was steel or aluminum siding and was already chalky then why have it washed if you were not ready to paint it. That’s like taking a car rhat only has primer on it thru a car wash.


So is it my job as the homeowner to be the siding and power washing expert? As a single female, I had never heard of the word “oxidation” as it relates to siding. I HAD NO IDEA THAT CLEANING MY SIDING COULD LEAD TO THIS HORRIBLE DISCOLORATION - IF I HAD BEEN EDUCATED ABOUT THE POTENTIAL RISKS, I WOULD HAVE NEVER PROCEEDED WITH HAVING THEM CLEAN IT! I was simply trying to do the right thing and properly maintain my siding - it just needed a light cleaning. Shouldn’t the professionals that I hired… the “experts”… have educated me about any potential risks, if there were any? Shouldn’t they be the ones that are aware of any oxidation or other risk factors associated with siding materials? I don’t get it… if you hired an accountant or CPA at $300 an hour for professional financial advice and they gave you advice that directly ruined your credit and put you in a bad financial situation, shouldn’t they be held accountable? Why would laypeople hire licensed, insured professionals if we cannot rely on them to provide a PROFESSIONAL SERVICE, EDUCATION, AND ADVICE??

What you see below should NEVER happen to anyone’s siding… and if the risks are there for this to happen, then the homeowner should be educated and communicated to before the cleaning takes place. Exactly WHO is the expert here??


You realize cap’s equates yelling? You asked for advice/opinions and it was freely given. I am sorry that you don’t agree with it. A home is a pretty large investment. My suggestion would be to research and spend a little time learning about the different properties about it. Do not be discouraged that you are a female. Research is by no means a man’s domain. Just ask my wife :slight_smile: It is not someone else’s burden to educate someone about their own property. I am sorry that this happened to you. It can be painted and there are some contractors that offer removal of oxidation. Post the general area you live in and I’ll see if I can refer you to someone than can assist.

William Page


Well I’m glad that I did not hire you or your company. I have had several professionals express that this company should have never touched my home to begin with - knowing what they should have known… and they should have known better and communicated the associated risks with me. So you feel that homeowners should be responsible for educating themselves on siding materials, oxidation, chemical treatments, power washing techniques, and any variance or combination of the above that can have a possible impact on a desired outcome?? If this is the case, then why wouldn’t I have taken it a step further and washed the house myself?? Why? Because I hired a PROFESSIONAL to do the job and DO NOT pretend to be an expert nor do I want to be an expert on cleaning the exterior of homes. If you are a professional and do this for a living, are you telling me that if you showed up to a home with 15 year old vinyl-coated steel siding, on at a home that is south facing and gets direct sunlight and has somewhat of a chalky coating you wouldn’t first take a step back and talk to the homeowner before proceeding with the job?? (Keep in mind that these are all things that I, the homeowner, have learned about in the past 6 months since this damage was done to my home’s siding… I didn’t hire these so-called professionals knowing that my siding was “oxidized” or that steel siding required a different power washing technique - and nor should I have to… that’s why people hire the professionals.)


Innocentbystander, I found the description below on your company’s website. Instead of taking the incredibly one-sided stance that you did before getting all of the facts and required information to give an informed opinion, did you think for one minute that the company I hired MAYBE did do something in error. Maybe they, unlike your company, did not utilize a low-pressure service and instead did “powerwash” my home causing the discoloration and damage. Maybe they used harsh chemicals and abrasives? That is why I posted initially, to get “professional” input as to what may have caused this to happen to my siding. Your posts have not been educational or helpful, just one-sided and rude.

Off Duty Fireman Pressure Washing offers low-pressure house washing services to residential customers who are concerned about the integrity of their home. That should be everyone! The purpose behind using low pressure instead of “powerwashing” your home is to safely remove the dirt, mold and other residue without damaging your home’s exterior. By using environmentally safe detergents and low pressure rinsing


The gentleman gave you an educated and thoughtful response. You appear to have convinced yourself that there is only one correct answer and it would appear that you don’t really seek an answer so much as you seek validation.

If you are going to take exception with anyone, perhaps that would best be taken with your contractor.


Sorry you feel that way. I can only offer advice that I feel is correct, not what makes you feel better. Once again I offer assistance to you in help finding a contractor that can possibly remove the oxidation if you let us know where you are. No one damaged your home. You home was damaged by age and oxidation. Washing only removed dirt and contaminants that was hiding it. Expecting another outcome is like washing a wrecked car and expecting it to be repaired. I can only base my comments on the information you have given. I would not have a company clean carpets in my house until I researched steam, dry and other methods. Same with painting my house. I would research the best paint and methods available and hire accordingly. Sometimes we must take responsibility for our own actions and decisions. I truly wish you well and don’t mind offering to help find someone for you. As to other professionals telling you that someone screwed you over; anyone can tell you what you want to hear to make themselves look better or maybe they really think they are right. Opinions are cheap and plentiful. I just believe mine is correct.


You call this an educated and thoughtful response?
You paid for your house to be washed. It was washed. If you knew that it was steel or aluminum siding angd was already chalky then why have it washed if you were not ready to paint it. That’s like taking a car rhat only has primer on it thru a car wash.

How is that helpful to me in any way? Yes I paid for my house to washed - not to be ruined like it has been. I’ve had others private message me asking for additional information and photos in order to give an actual educated response, not just one-sided on the side of the contractor. Innocentbystander’s response did not answer my question as to what could have actually caused this to happen to the siding. I have found in other threads on this site that it can be caused by too much pressure or the use of chemicals when siding is oxidized and that it is fairly common practice for professional cleaners to take precautions when cleaning metal siding, particularly if it shows ANY signs of being oxidized. This is what I was wondering… if a professional company would typically arrive onsite, evaluate the job (siding material, age, characteristics, chalky residue, etc) to determine the best cleaning method? And in some cases, do professionals communicate to the homeowner that it might be best not to proceed with a cleaning as it carries too many risks - of something like this happening? I don’t know why you are both getting so defensive…I’m not saying all exterior cleaners are bad… that’s why I came to this forum to get information. But I’m looking for factual information, not just one-sided opinions defending the contractor who took siding that looked good and turned it into this.


Help me understand your view point, because I just don’t get it. All I’m asking is if the company I hired should have been educated enough to know that if metal siding is showing signs of oxidization that power washing could possibly lead to this type of discoloration? I have seen it everywhere in the research I have been doing since this happened to my home in May, so I have a hard time understanding how a company that has been in business for many years would not also have this basic level of knowledge. When you hire a professional, their job is to communicate any obvious known risks, side effects, etc, before proceeding when there is a circumstance that requires it. And in my experience, it sounds like most cleaning professionals that have reached out to me (other than yourself and Tim4) agree that given the known facts, the contractor should have handled the job differently and not attempted to clean my home. So, you disagree on this point? Tell me, how would your company have handled this particular job then?


You asked for advice. I gave it. No one damaged your siding. They only removed what was hiding the damage. Don’t know how to be clearer or more concise. If you are getting better advice from others then go with them. It makes no difference to me. I simply responded with info. My offer is still there ti find you a contractor to help you. If you just want an internet argument over something that happened 5 months ago I’m bowing out now. Wish you well.


I get that my siding apparently had a pre-existing condition… I’m not arguing that point. But prior to the contractor performing the power washing, my siding looked good to the naked eye and had a uniform color. If removing "what was hiding the damage" is a known side effect of power washing oxidized siding then SHOULDN’T THE CONTRACTOR HAVE ADVISED ME OF THAT RISK? AND ASKED IF I WAS HAVING MY HOME CLEANED SO THAT IT COULD BE PAINTED?

How is the visual below okay to anyone?


Nothing said here can change the past. Do you want assistance in finding someone to help your situation? If yes then I’ll be glad to help.


Buyers remorse comes in many forms. What is it that you hope to accomplish at this point? No one is able to turn back the hands of time. If you did hire an incompetent contractor, what is it that you want me to do? Other than you insisting that you know the answer to your question and now we must all agree with you, I am lost as to what you are expecting at this point.



Tessa @Asset218, what do you hope to gain by getting even more opinions on this, 5 months after the fact?

If you were unhappy with the work, that should have been handled shortly after the work was done. It sounds as if you are now trying to build a case against this contractor by collecting as many “professional opinions” as possible.

If I were in your contractor’s shoes, I would be very put out if a customer came back to me 5 months after I washed their house and told me to ‘fix the siding I screwed up’. I stand by my work and would be more than willing to make a situation right if I was told shortly after completing a job that they were unhappy with the work. But 5 months? A lot can happen in 5 months.

My personal opinion doesn’t really matter, and as someone fairly new to this field, it carries much less weight than the pros who have already replied to you.

Personally, I think that the oxidation issue is something that cleaning contractors should understand well and communicate to their customers. I say “should”, not in any legal sense, but in common business sense, for the good of their own businesses and the satisfaction of their customers.

My mechanic should know that my new car takes 0w20 oil- but if I go to the old-timer down the street who’s been doing oil changes for 60 years, I’m not going to assume he’ll know that automatically. That weight oil is a rather new and unusual choice for a car engine. Just because someone has been doing something professionally a long time doesn’t mean they’ve kept themselves up to date in their education and research.

The fact is, many power washers don’t understand oxidation, or perhaps don’t even see the resulting discoloration as being a problem.

The bottom line is, caveat emptor- buyer beware. In most situations like this, where no damage has actually been caused, it falls on the customer to ensure they’re getting what they really want out of a business exchange. Do the research before hand, make sure you hire a company with good reviews and references, that stays up to date in educating themselves.

And while it’s true that there’s danger in paying too little for something, a high price does not automatically mean quality. You have to dig deeper than that.


Is the whole house like this our just the front?


@wps1122 The front and both sides of the home… I would be happy to email more pictures to you if that would help.


You guys are really unbelievable! It seems it will be hard pressed for me to ever find a competent service professional to clean my home again based on the responses so far on this site. Wow! I have been attempting to deal with the contractor for nearly 6 months at this point but he has the same attitude that you do… that this was somehow MY fault. And in fact, he’s threatened to sue ME for slander and libel because I have posted bad reviews on social media. Unbelievable… I really thought I would maybe get some valid “professional” opinions on this site but instead it appears this is a good ol’ boys club!! Good luck BOYS!


@Alex_Lacey This is something I first reported to the contractor IMMEDIATELY following the incident, but the lack of customer service on their end has been appalling. Similar to the attitudes I have come across on this site so far. By the way, where did true customer service and satisfaction go? And where is the value of standing by a satisfaction guarantee? I posted to this site because I just wanted to know if these “professionals” arrived at a job with vinyl-coated steel siding that showed visible signs of potential oxidation (chalky residue) how would they proceed? Is it standard practice to communicate any potential risks with the customer before proceeding? Should they sign an agreement stating any risks? Are “before” pictures taken by the contractor? I just want to know how this situation would “normally” be handled. I simply feel that there was a severe lack of communication (NONE) on my contractor’s part and if there had been this could have all been avoided. Does anyone out there agree with me on that? Bueller… Bueller…?


Here is a link that has to do with oxidation. It might be of some help. I believe the solution was to hand wipe the siding.


Have contacted abcseamless.com to find out what cleaning methods are recommended?