Cleaning Your House with a Pressure Washer

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Cleaning Your House with a Pressure Washer

Cleaning Your House with a Pressure Washer

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As a homeowner, your most visible and valuable asset is your house. Because your house is representative of you and your family, it stands to reason that you would like to keep the outside of your home as clean as possible. Depending on the size of your house, washing the exterior can be a monumental task. You may opt to call in a professional or tackle it yourself with a ladder and some soap and water, but using a pressure washer is the most efficient and effective way to deal with it.

What You Need

With the proper attachments and cleaning solutions, a pressure washer can have the exterior of your house looking like new again in the span of just one afternoon. Compared to its electric counterpart, a gas-powered pressure washer is a superior choice for large-scale projects like this because the job will be finished two or three times faster. In addition to an environmentally friendly siding-specific detergent, you will require two different nozzles – the black soaping nozzle and either the 25 or 40-degree tip –and a telescoping extension wand, especially if you have a two-storey house. A brush attachment isn’t necessary, but it improves the performance of your pressure washer and can be useful to clean other items.

Pressure Washing Precautions

As with any heavy-duty home improvement project, pressure washing your house requires a number of safety guidelines to follow. Here are a few to keep in mind:

  • Weather Conditions: For best results, schedule your pressure washing adventure for a day with minimal wind and no precipitation. Also, it is argued to Wash Wisely away from direct sunlight.
  • Protect Your Eyes: Avoid the possibility of tragic eye injuries by wearing safety-rated glasses.
  • Lose the Ladder: Since the pressure exerted by the washer could result in losing your balance, never operate one while standing on a ladder.
  • Prevent Power Problems: If there are any power lines surrounding your property, be careful because water and electricity do not mix. To prevent electrocution, watch where you’re waving that wand and turn off all power to your electrical outlets through the distribution board.
  • Deal with Damage First: If you have reason to believe that your house is coated with lead paint or contains asbestos, call in a professional. Fix up any minor exterior flaws before pressure washing to avoid making them worse.
  • Close Everything: Since you likely don’t want the water getting inside your home, make sure you close all doors and windows. To protect light fixtures, use plastic and tape to cover them.
  • Rinse Down: Before you get started, hose down your garden areas below to prepare them for the environmentally friendly cleaning solution you’re about to use.

Siding Specific

The type of detergent you use to clean your house will depend on the type of exterior siding you have. Although they are all fairly similar, different types of siding can present unique challenges. If you have vinyl siding, don’t spray overlapping panels near window or door frames. For aluminum, don’t spray under panel overlaps at an upward angle. Wood, brick, and stone siding need to be lightly sprayed with the garden hose beforehand.

It’s Cleaning Time

Now that you have taken all the precautionary steps, you’re ready to whip that pressure washer out and get to work!

  • Hook up your garden hose to the pressure washer and turn it on. Attach the soaping nozzle and place the siphon tube in the detergent.
  • Starting from the bottom up, apply the detergent to the side of your house and let it sit for five to ten minutes, preferably not in direct sunlight.
  • Replace the soaping nozzle with either the 25 or 40-degree spray tip. Starting from the top down, rinse away all the detergent. While spraying, hold the wand as straight as you can perpendicular to the surface and at least one foot away (two feet for stucco siding).
  • Once you have washed the cleaning solution completely off, sit back and let it dry. You’re done!

The extension wand is handy if you have a two-storey home and for cleaning out your gutters. Keeping your house clean is a snap with the right pressure washer.