Oxidation white paper

So my marketing director was asking our guys about this, and we’re thinking it might be a beneficial thing to collate all the important points of information that we need to/would like to share with customers regarding oxidation. It can be tough to make sure everyone on the team knows all the details to be able to educate the customer on some of the more technical aspects…so having a handy document compiling all that wisdom from everyone could be a good thing for the industry as a whole. If we’re going to put it together, it makes the most sense to gather as much info from as many wise sources as possible, and put it out there for everyone to educate folks.

So, what say you guys? What are the important things to let clients know when oxidation is present, or uncovered during a softwash? We’ll can then collect them all into an effective oxidation white paper.

That’s gonna be one short document lol

  1. It exists.

  2. UV light degrades the finish over time.

  3. No, we don’t fix it.

Lol at least that would be my version.


I have a document that I send my customers when they schedule. Oxidation is just one bullet point. Most of it is “move your cars”, “close the windows”, “get your stuff outta the way”, etc…

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we’ve got all that, and the “we’re not the cause of/responsible for oxidation” line. I’m looking more to educate folks on what it is, why it happens, what to expect. I want to start creating things to educate the consumer better, and have for our use when educating our clients.

So far basically:

  1. we don’t cause it with our process, it occurs naturally
  2. we often uncover it
  3. a prior bad wash may have streaked it up under all that mildew…
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That’s way to flash for PWR. Please tone down the fancy stuff, we’re simple people around here.


Yeah well he may have a marketing director but I have a bidet in the guest bathroom so who’s really the fancy one?


Yeah but do you use it is the real question lol.

Oh no. It’s still in the box but it’s in the guest bathroom so the hard part is done.


Lol sorry @JAtkinson I’ll stop mucking up your thread

I’m glad you posted this, as I have been reading more about it lately.

There are quite a few PW sites that that talk about oxidation, and several claiming that if left on the siding it actually causes damage. That part is somewhat suspect. I haven’t run into anything difinitive. It appears, from my limited understanding, that once it starts happening it is going to continuously occur, as it (PVC) has already begun to degrade. How long does it take to fully degrade, apparently it varies significantly based on too many variables from the manufacturing process to the application of any stabilizers (my term), but once it starts to occur the PVC will (my words here) become more brittle over time.

As it stands now, what I tell all my customers is this: It occurs due to the UV radiation, the PVC and oxygen reacting with one another (I don’t get more detailed). I tell them that if they want it removed it can be removed, but it will come back. I also tell them that it requires a lot of work and it is a little on the pricey side. I also usually show them the oxidation as I do in person estimates. Since you do a lot of volume, and are probably an online booker, I don’t know how you would approach that. I guess you could tell them (if they wanted to check) to go to the southern side or east side (depending on how their home is oriented) and wipe their hand on it. As you know, the darker shutters is where they would see it the easiest.

If any of my customers ask for more info, I direct them to this page and tell them to read number 14 and 15. Photostabilization of poly(vinyl chloride) – Still on the run - ScienceDirect I haven’t looked for another source of information since I found this one.

If you want to know how to fix it, so that it doesn’t degrade further, well, you will be rich. Here are the methods currently available from what I have read, but I haven’t read about any type of application, as this is largely in the production stage.
The photostabilization of polymers may be achieved in many ways. The following stabilizing systems have been developed, which depend on the action of stabilizer: light screeners, UV absorbers, excited state quenchers, peroxide decomposers and free radical scavengers, of these it is generally believed that excited state quenchers, peroxide decomposers and free radical scavengers are the most effective

I’m no scientist, just a guy with a keyboard and a curious monkey mind.

Good luck to you. If you run across anything that talks about oxidation removal increasing the longevity of the PVC, I would love to read it.


Well, TBH, at this point she’s also the office manager, and I’m now also the sales manager…since we’re down one person we had to split up those tasks, plus we went from 2 CSRs to zero for a minute there…so we’re seemingly pretty simple at the moment too :rofl:

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I have one in both bathrooms (well, I never bothered installing the 2nd one, but it’s in there…)

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Now I read this response…maybe we’re too much alike :roll_eyes:

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sorry, this should be read less impact resistant. It will still bend, twist, etc.

There are PVC films, that stop or slow the degradation, but I haven’t read about an application yet for siding. Most of the stuff I have read about is still in the laboratory stage. I would love to find an industry resource I could bounce questions off of. You would think DOW Corning or the place in Canada that makes most of the siding in the U.S. would be all over this unless they have planned obsolescence in mind. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they actually knew that it would degrade and need replaced when they started manufacturing it. Ok, I’ll take the tinfoil hat off and log off now.

One day we will both muster up enough git 'r done and make it happen. Until then we stand united.

They’re very common in Japan. I got flooded with them when I was there on holiday. It drove me insane, I just can’t get on one. They were nice machined stainless ones built to last.

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If your house was previously washed with high pressure it may have taken off the protective outer layer on vinyl siding, vinyl railings and vinyl fence. Once this layer has been removed your house will oxidize quicker, allow the growth of mold, mildew and algae and may appear lighter in color after a softwash. We use the manufacturer recommended method for cleaning and we are not responsible for lighten, blotchy, uneven or streaky siding if your siding is oxidized.

I have a customer this just happened too last week. He said I lightened his green siding. He read my website stating this is a possibility for his color house but he wants me to fix it. I told him I can’t and won’t. I told him to call my insurance to make a claim. I already know it’s not a valid claim. Same my insurer told him. It can happen and has happened from softwashing thousands of times. His siding still functions the same even if he believes it’s lighter in color.

I know some guys think if the siding lightens in color it’s not our fault and may have been like that under the dirt. I had it happen 3 times over the past ten years. Two on 10 year old vinyl. I believe softwashing made the oxidation more prevalent or visible. It’s my fault… but not my fault. I’ve seen it happen while cleaning. I have been researching this and can not find an answer as to why our chems would make oxidation more visible. I DS my SH so I can’t get more than 1% SH on the house. Manufacturers call for up to 3% depending on what company you refer to. We are all well under factory requirements.

If the house is older the sun breaks down the vinyl and oxidizes. Also high pressure removes the protective layer on vinyl and causes it to oxidize quicker. It can also void their warranty on their siding. There is a reason high pressure voids a warranty.

If the customer neglects and/or improperly cleans their siding we need to be notified prior to cleaning. If not we can’t be held responsible for the end result.

I am trying to educate my customers before they schedule with me by requiring them to agree they read my terms and conditions.

It’s happens to blue, green, brown, red, some tans and some grey houses. I know the grey and tans when I see them.

From certainteed, a large distributor of vinyl siding - seems like they know they have issues

Chalk may also accumulate on the surface. This is a normal condition for pigmented materials
exposed to the elements. (aka photodegradation or photooxidative degradation, but lets call it chalking)
For the best appearance, clean vinyl siding at least once a year. OK, but how

NOTE: We do not recommend power washing vinyl or
polymer siding as it can cause moisture intrusion,
damage, and/or discoloration. (this part is interesting water discolors vinyl)

To remove soil, grime and chalk from siding, use a garden hose, a
soft bristle brush, and a bucket of soapy water. (You can also use
the solution described below in the section about mildew.)
To minimize streaking, wash the house from the bottom up.
(Sell your rig bill, just some ladders, buckets, and bristle brushes and you will never damage it again you crude contractor)

here is their recommended cleaning method for mildew
Mildew may be a problem in some areas, especially warmer
climates with consistently high humidity. Mildew appears as black
spots on surface dirt and is usually detected in areas not subjected
to rainfall, such as under eaves and porch enclosures. To remove
mildew, prepare a solution as follows:
1/2 cup detergent (Tide, for example)
2/3 cup trisodium phosphate (Soilax, for example)
1 quart 5% sodium hypochlorite (Clorox, for example)
3 quarts water
CAUTION: Greater concentration may cause damage to the
siding and soffit.
If the above solution does not readily remove mildew spots, ask
your siding contractor or your local building materials retailer for a
mildew cleaner - I’m contacting them monday and requesting this specialty cleaning product.