The outside of our homes is constantly exposed to harsh elements, which over time attack the surfaces leading to discoloration, degradation and oxidization. As a result, our properties start to look awful and can even lose their value.
You will notice over time if you haven’t power washed your house before, that the harsh elements as well as birds, insects, spiders, mold, mildew and tree sap, will make your house look like a down right mess. Pressure washing is considered one of the most effective, yet affordable ways to maintain your property looking clean and in good condition, hence keep its value.
But before you head to your computer or to the local home improvement store to buy a high-pressure water cleaner, you will need to find out whether the surface of your house can handle the intense spray of the machine as well as consider how dirty your house is.
An electric-powered high pressure water cleaner is the best choice for washing small homes that require mainly cleaning instead of stain removal. The models are often relatively quiet and light, and require little maintenance. Plus they create no exhaust emissions. Gas-powered pressure machines deliver high-pressure water which cleans large houses without the need for chemicals. However, they are relatively heavy and noisy, and require tune-ups.
Getting Prepared to Pressure Wash Your Home
1. When to Use Soap
Depending on how dirty your home is, water alone might not be enough to get its exterior clean. If there is mildew or mold, using a specialty house cleaner designed to kill mildew might be necessary.
2. Selecting the Right Nozzle
Pressure washer nozzles are measured in degrees. Zero degree is the strongest and shoots water in a very narrow area, so it should be used very cautiously. For most homes, a nozzle with a 40-degree should do the work. So, start there and if necessary work your way down to a 25-degree nozzle.
3. Securing Your Home and Pets
Make sure your pets (which can become curious about the spray) and your kids are inside the house, and that all windows and doors are closed before getting started. And don’t forget to wear quality safety goggles to protect your eyes from dirt and debris.
4. Use Common Sense when Dealing with Your Pressure Washer
Like any power tool, a pressure washer can be potentially dangerous. The spray that comes out of the machine is concentrated so much that it can slice through the skin. So never direct the pressure washer at a person. Also avoid washing the windows because the force of the spray can break the glass, especially in older homes.
5. Spray at a Downward Angle
Always direct your sprayer downward and never spray onto cracks and seams in the surface where water can get trapped and damage your house. Also, use a consistent side-to-side sweeping motion as you wash your house (spraying for too long in one spot can lead damage). Before getting too far along, consider washing a small section. If there is any evidence of damage, use less pressure or consider switching to a regular hose. If it looks good, continue the job until the whole house looks as good as new!