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Tips for Washing Your House

If you’re looking to add some extra pop to the visual appeal of your property, a perfect way to accomplish this is by giving the outside of your house, driveway, sheds, garage, etc. all a thorough cleaning. The cleanliness of a property can be greatly enhanced by having everything fully clean and shiny.

Before You Start

It is definitely not recommended to just jump right in and start pressure washing, as beginners generally can’t tell what surfaces are what in terms of which materials may suffer damage if you pressure wash them. A lot of painted surfaces and artificial coatings will crack, peel, and chip under the force of a pressure washer, so it is really recommended to get a professional involved, however if you have to start on your own, it will help a good deal to start with the lightest dirt you have say, on your driveway, just so you can get a feel of the pressure you are working with and how it works or how effectively it works, and a lot of times, you will know just be feeling it that it wouldn’t be a good idea to try some surfaces. For the most part, stay on cement, siding (wood or vinyl, and away from painted surfaces, and if you do get a painted surface, just lower the psi to something less brutal, and you will peel off a lot of the dirt, without disrupting the paint.

Something else to keep in mind, is that if you’re in a dusty area, or there is a lot of debris in the air, such as pollen, grass clippings, etc., the hose will probably wash the layer of settled particles off just fine, and there’s no reason to get the pressure washer out.

Should I Rent or Buy

For homeowners, because you may end up wanting your home pressure washed one a year, or wanting the use of one more than that, because your hubby or kids are working on cars, and you want it to clean off spills or what now, a pressure washer can not be any better of an investment, because they are relatively fair priced, if compared to renting them, within 3-4 years, you’re making money, and your machine has paid that much use in to be worth the investment. Not to mention being able to quickly wash bikes, go carts, and other items that would never get as clean without it, and honestly it’s nice to have one around period. You can get the kids to actually WANT to clean the house, by sending them outside for an “allowances water fight”, this has been known to work wonders better than griping.

House Washing Safety Tips

  1. Fall Hazards – If there are ever areas that are above reach on foot, and the work requires a ladder, we recommend a professional being called in, for the simple reason that ladders are dangerous, pulling, jerking, and wobbling is dangerous enough if you take all the factors into consideration, and then, even the pros can slip. AND it’s WET! So, get some help for things, fascia boards and what not that are too high to reach, as trained pro will always get a safer and more effective job done.                   
  1. Eye Protection! – Always wear safety goggles. You don’t want something flying in your eye from a high pressure tool of any kind. You’re going to get wet, even if you try not to, this is just the nature of the beast, but if you want to put on a rain suit, you can stay relatively dry in colder temps.
  1. Keep All Dogs and Children Away – From work area, and don’t forget to close and secure windows.
  1. Don’t Spray Panes of Glass – Some types of glass will break under pressure, do not spray the window panes directly to avoid glass breakage.

Washing with Soaps and Chemicals

 

Water is good to clean most surfaces, but if you need to use them for a tougher task, there are soaps degreasers, and antibacterial for mold, mildew, and grease that you can add to the tank.

Calibration

There are different pressure washer nozzles for different jobs, and you want to pick the right one, so just heads up, in general, you want a 40 degree spray nozzle for most houses, after that, if you want something rougher, the power gets stronger as the number decreases, so 25 degree is harder than 40, and zero would be the strongest.

Safety –

Technique

  1. Angle – Spray at a downward angle, in the same direction as your siding is designed to deflect rain, and try not to spray in cracks, or upwards, because this would introduce moisture and warm your wood, and cause damage.
  1. Don’t Linger – Back and forth, or up and down motions. Staying in one spot too long can actually start to eat into your siding.
  1. Test Run

Test a spot about 3 feet wide to see how your house handles the pressure. If you don’t notice any damage, feel free to keep going. If your house looks like it may not withstand the higher pressure, switch to a regular hose.

My Review of the Best Pressure Washers

Hi! Isabelle again, here to tell you a little bit more about my toolbox! As you know, I make my living from doing chores for folks in my area: anything from mowing lawns to washing cars. I love my job because it can involve literally any task, depending on the day and the person I’m working for. It’s great for someone like me who gets bored kinda easily.

 

One of the other perks is that I get to bring out my tools to work on solving problems for other people, which just gives me more of an excuse to have cool machines and gadgets around my own garage.

 

My favorite go-to tool for cleanup jobs and for stripping surfaces, basically anything that needs lots of power, is my pressure washer. I hadn’t used one much before I got this job, but then I started doing some work for an older gentleman in my neighborhood who had a pressure washer that he used on his siding, but couldn’t get around to it anymore. Anyhow, I started helping him clean mold off his siding as part of my routine, and I fell in love with his pressure washer.

 

Just as a tool, these things are so cool to me. You’re using one of the elements to basically erode with a time warp speed. What draws me to pressure washers most of all is that they work for dozens of different things, without you having to have any different attachments or anything like you would with, say, a sander.

 

After a few months, I realized how much better I could get as a handy person with one of these in my truck, so I took the plunge and decided to invest.

 

It’s been one of the best purchases I’ve made in my life, and especially in my business. I used to do so much more grunt work cleaning sidings and paint, or sidewalks, and now I can just blast crud away with the pressure washer instead of wasting all that time and effort.

 

In my professional opinion, I think the best pressure washer out there is a Simpson MSH3125-S, which is what I operate. I found it on bestpressurewasher.reviews, after reading literally hundreds of different reviews. I wasn’t that happy with the ones I saw in Home Depot, since I haven’t had much luck buying tools there before. I also didn’t like that most of the ones I found for sale were electric, and that’s just not practical for me to work on the go.

I like this one because while it’s a Simpson build, it has a Honda motor. I’ve got a Honda mower, and pretty much every gas-powered tool I own I go Honda as well because they’re so reliable. It’s a lot better than buying something like a Craftsman or one of the other crappy brands.

 

One other thing is that Honda motors tend to use less gas, at least in my experience. It’s not as important as it is for, say, mileage in a car, but any way to lower my bottom line is a good decision to make as a business owner.

 

It fits in my pickup really easily, it’s got its own cart, and it does literally anything I need it to. Can’t find anything serious to complain about, no matter what I’m using it for. I strip mold off linoleum siding, and I’ve also used it to flake old paint off of wood siding when I’m redoing walls for people.

I also discovered it’s the ideal tool for cleaning out garages where there’s grease stains or other sticky gross stuff that bogs down a mop or other floor tool. Same thing with grills and outdoor ovens when you have to deal with soot or food grease–it just washes away. Basically, I’ve found that any time you’re looking for a way of how to better clean your space, that’s a time to try the pressure washer. Just not indoors, obviously.
So, if you’re thinking of getting one, I would go for the Simpson. It’s kinda expensive for the average joe, but for someone like me who gets a lot of use out of it, it really makes sense.

How to Clean Your House on a Budget

It is very rare that when considering a household budget cleaning comes into the equation, and yet cleaning supplies are one of the most expensive items on anyone’s grocery shopping list. For people who are limited to what they can afford due to budget constraints, there are things that can be done to clean house without breaking the bank.

Plan to Shop for Supplies

It can be easy to allow oneself to fall victim to grabbing cleaning products when in the supermarket, but often this will lead to paying higher prices than necessary. Planning to shop for cleaning supplies at the cheapest places will take some effort but can provide savings in the long run.

Buy Quality Tools

When budget constraints cause a person to consider buying a cheap cleaning tool the immediate saving may be attractive but when it doesn’t last as long as a better quality version the cost saving is lost when the item has to be replaced sooner. It pays to buy quality and have it last longer.

Repair and Clean Tools

One of the ways to clean on a budget is for a person to undertake repairs, cleaning and maintenance themselves instead of paying someone else to do it. There are a ton of YouTube videos covering almost every repair job imaginable. Keeping cleaning tools clean will insure they last longer as well as giving them the best chance possible to work properly.

Use Less Product

There are many instances where ‘less is more’. One mistake people often make is believing that more product will produce a better result but often when cleaning using that theory the person doing the cleaning makes twice as much work for themselves. Instead of cleaning just the dirt and grime from a surface they have to clean up the excess product as well. Using a little elbow grease may be enough to clean that surface with just a small amount of cleaner.

Old Clothes Make Good Cleaning Rags

There is no need to purchase cleaning cloths if old clothing is recycled into rags. Old t-shirts in particular are great for cleaning with, as are sheets. Just cut them up into an appropriate size and reuse over and over again. Using paper towels can become expensive very quickly when old clothing will do the job just as well, if not better.

Make Cleaners Yourself

Brand name cleaners tend to be expensive and even generic ones are not cheap. Many surfaces can be cleaned with simple ingredients around the home. Many store bought cleaners contain harsh chemicals so cleaning with ingredients such as vinegar can not only be a huge cost saving but also a healthier option.

Prevent Things from Getting Really Dirty

Prevention is better than cure when it comes to health, but the same can be said of cleaning. Keeping up with cleaning chores can insure that huge clean ups are not necessary. Keeping on top of cleaning tasks by doing a few small things each day will reduce the need for a deep clean once a month and will be more pleasant an environment to live in. Less cleaning products will be required also, thereby providing a cost saving over time.