If you’re looking for a way to clean the exterior of your house, you may want to consider pressure washing. Pressure washing can remove dirt, mold, and mildew from your home siding, and it’s easier than scrubbing it off by hand!
This blog post will discuss how to pressure wash a house correctly. We’ll also give tips on choosing a suitable pressure washer for the job and the basic steps involved in completing it.
How to Prepare For a Pressure Washing Job
Pressure washing is a great way to clean your house quickly and thoroughly; it’s one of the go-to methods for removing stubborn dirt, mold, and mildew. Pressure washing isn’t tricky, but there are ways to do it wrong. First, ensure the area around your home is clear of obstacles. Pressure washing can damage delicate items like flowerpots and outdoor furniture, so move these items out of the way.
In addition, you must cover stationary objects such as flowerbed shrubs with plastic sheeting to protect them from the high-pressure stream of water. Next, you should determine if there are any leaking seals on doors or windows in the home, as these could be damaged or leak during the cleaning process. Finally, you should look at your house siding to see if any areas need special attention, like areas with stubborn dirt and grime, and make a note of them.
After the Preliminary Steps
Ensure that you have all the materials required; your tools may vary depending on the job, but generally, you will need:
- A pressure washer and hose – You can either rent or purchase a pressure washer. If you only plan on using it once or twice a year, renting is probably the best option.
- Pressure washer nozzle – The type of nozzle you use will determine the pressure and flow of water from your pressure washer.
- Drop cloths or tarps – Pressure washing can get messy, so you’ll want to have some drop cloths or tarps on hand to protect your landscaping.
- Detergent with mildewcide and mixing bucket – You can purchase a pressure washing detergent specifically designed for removing mold and mildew, or you can make your own with bleach and water. Mix in a 5-gallon bucket
- Stiff deck-cleaning brush/Soft siding brush – A stiff brush will come in handy for removing stubborn dirt and grime. A soft brush is better for delicate surfaces such as siding.
- Safety goggles – Pressure washing can create a lot of debris, so it’s essential to wear safety goggles to protect your eyes.
- 6-ft to 12-ft extension wand – This is optional, but if you have a two-story home, an extension wand will help you reach the second story without moving your ladder.
Why do You Need Cleaning Brushes?
Pressure washing isn’t just pointing the pressurized nozzles at surfaces and spraying until the area is wet. To clean surfaces, you need to agitate the surface with a cleaning brush. Cleaning brushes help loosen dirt and grime before the water does its job. You also need to use the mildewcide as it will return if you don’t remove the source of the problem.
Pressure Washing Specifics: Set up Your Unit Correctly
There are two types of pressure washers: electric and gas. An electric pressure washer will do fine if you have a small job; they’re lighter and quieter than gas models. If you have a large job or one that requires a lot of pressure, you’ll need to opt for a gas model. Gas pressure washers are more expensive than electric ones, but they’re also more powerful.
- Your specific setup will depend on the conditions of the structure you’re cleaning, but this basic guideline will work overall.
- Pressure washers have different nozzle types. Use a 15-degree spray nozzle for harder surfaces and higher psi needs. Use a 25 or 30-degree nozzle for softer surfaces and lower psi needs.
The Very (Basic) Steps For Pressure Washing
Pressure washing may seem like a straightforward process, but there are still some steps you need to take to do it correctly.
- Hook the home’s water supply hose to the pressure washer and turn on the unit.
- Start with the low-pressure nozzle and work your way up. Pressure washing from top to bottom will also help avoid streaks. Rinse the area with low pressure before moving on to a higher setting.
- Use a back-and-forth motion when pressure washing; don’t hold the wand in one spot for too long, as this could damage the surface. Work in small sections to avoid missing any areas.
- Turn off the machine and release any pressure before moving it.
- Using your mildewcide, apply and scrub areas with mold or mildew. Reapply the detergent to any sites that seem to need more attention. Then, rinse the area with low pressure.
- Once you’ve gone over the entire house, turn off the machine and release any pressure left in the system.
Mistakes to Avoid When Pressure Washing
Pressure washing can be dangerous if you’re not careful, so it’s essential to be aware of potential hazards.
- Never point the wand at anyone, even if the pressure is turned off. The high-powered water can cause serious injuries.
- Don’t use too much pressure on soft surfaces, as this could damage them.
- Be careful of electrical outlets and cords; water and electricity don’t mix.
- Don’t pressure wash areas that have already been damaged by water, as this could worsen the problem.
How Much Does it Cost to Rent The Equipment?
The answer to this question depends on a few factors, but typically, it will cost around $150 to rent a pressure washer for a day. Most rental companies also have weekly rates. You’ll also need to factor in the detergent cost, scaffolding or ladder, and additional materials. So you’ll spend $300 on the entire project.
Are Professional Services Really That Expensive?
When you compare the cost of renting the equipment and doing it yourself to hiring a professional, you might be surprised to find that the price is comparable. Pressure washing professionals typically charge around $200-$400. Most professionals will also include the cost of supplies and equipment in their quote.
If you’re considering hiring a professional, get a few quotes to compare prices. Of course, if you’re not comfortable washing your house, you can always hire a professional. Pressure Perfect pressure washing services are Sarasota, Florida’s best pressure washing company. They offer residential and commercial pressure washing services and provide specialized services if necessary. Contact them today for a free quote!