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6 Tips for Pressure Washing Your House

Now that spring has sprung, don’t put off your cleaning any longer! Is pressure washing exterior walls on your to-do list? Pressure washers use up to 80% less water than garden hoses and are up to 50 times more powerful! Metal, vinyl, and wood can all benefit from a thorough clean every year or two as needed.

We’ve put together a guide on pressure washing your home, to help you prepare and get the job done right:

1.     Choose the Right Pressure Washer

Not all materials can withstand the same amount of pressure, which is why it’s important to select your pressure washer according to your specific needs:

  • Softer materials (like aluminum or soft-grain wood) can take pressures between 1,200-1,500PSI before you’ll begin seeing signs of damage.
  • For especially vulnerable materials like stucco, you’ll want to consider using a wide-spray nozzle to spread pressure.
  • The best option for harder, non-painted surfaces (like vinyl siding) is a higher pressure, between 2,500-3,000PSI.

If you have plans to use a cleaning solution, make sure you choose a pressure washer with a built-in detergent dispenser.

2.     Prepare the Area

Before you begin, make sure you manually scrub visible mildew and inspect for defects. Repair any damaged spots before pressure washing your home’s exterior to prevent making existing problems worse.

To get the area around your home ready, you should:

  • Turn off electricity to open outlets.
  • Cover delicate light fixtures with plastic.
  • Close all windows.
  • Move any outdoor furniture or accessories away from the cleaning zone.
  • Wet plants in nearby gardens to ensure soap doesn’t stick to them.

3.     Get Your Pressure Washer Ready

Before starting your pressure washer, make sure you:

  • Set the wand to no or low pressure, which will prevent kickback when you start the machine.
  • Turn the water supply on. Don’t forget to squeeze the trigger to get the pump ready and remove any trapped air from the lines.
  • Start your pressure washer, letting it run for 1-2 minutes to warm up. Never run it for more than 3-5 minutes with the trigger off, as that can damage the pump.

4.     Spray the Cleaning Solution from the Bottom Up

Spraying from the bottom up prevents dirt and soap from running down the house onto areas that are still dry, preventing streaks.

  • Use a low-pressure tip to apply soap.
  • Let the cleanser sit for approximately 10 minutes before rinsing.

5.     Rinse from the Top Down

To rinse the cleaning solution off, you should:

  • Keep the nozzle at a 45-degree angle about 1-4 feet away from your house.
  • Work on small areas at a time to minimize streaking.

6.     Stay Safe When Using Your Pressure Washer

If misused, pressure washers can cause injury or damage to your property. Keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Never direct the pressure washer at another person, yourself, or an animal, as that can cause serious injury.
  • Always wear eye protection when operating your pressure washer to prevent any debris from hitting you.
  • Do not use a pressure washer while standing on a ladder. The powerful kickback can cause you to lose your balance and fall. Instead, invest in an extension pole
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from power lines or electrical masts at all times.
  • Never spray under horizontal siding, as it can cause damage to your home.
  • Don’t spray windows directly. The pressure can cause them to break.
  • Lock the trigger for safety when you’re not using the pressure washer.

To guarantee the best results, you need the right equipment, and the knowledge to safely and effectively tackle the job.

Check out our selection of pressure washers from leading brands including Stihl and Echo. Contact us today to discuss your pressure washing needs with one of our product specialists!

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