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
- 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.
- 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.
- Keep All Dogs and Children Away – From work area, and don’t forget to close and secure windows.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.