The Ultimate Guide How to Pressure Wash a HouseHello there! As a pressure washing company or dealer, you’re likely aware of the dramatic difference a thorough cleaning can make to the exterior of a house. It can transform a dull-looking facade into a radiant one, boosting the overall curb appeal. But how does one achieve this? How can you ensure that you’re using your pressure washer effectively and safely? We’re here to help! This detailed guide will walk you through the process of using a pressure washer to restore any house to its former glory.
Safety First: The Non-NegotiablesLet’s begin with the most important aspect – safety. Pressure washers are powerful pieces of equipment, and they need to be handled with care. Here are some crucial safety tips to keep in mind:
- Wear Safety Gear: Always remember to put on your safety glasses and gloves. These aren’t just accessories; they’re essential tools that will protect you during the process.
- Handle with Care: Remember, a pressure washer is not a toy. Never point the nozzle at people or animals. It’s not a water gun fight; it’s a professional cleaning task.
- Avoid Over-pressurizing: Pressure washers can be intense. Be careful not to over-pressurize the surface you’re cleaning, as this could cause damage. Start with a low pressure setting and increase it gradually if needed.
- Ensure Dry Surfaces: Always make sure the surface you’re about to clean is dry and free from ice. Cleaning a wet or icy surface can lead to accidents and injuries.
Step 1: Preparing the HouseThe first step towards achieving a squeaky-clean house exterior is preparation. Here’s what you need to do:
- Clear the Area: Remove any furniture, potted plants, or other objects that might be near the house’s exterior. This will give you unobstructed access to the walls, ensuring a comprehensive clean.
- Sweep Off Dirt and Debris: Use a broom or a blower to get rid of loose dirt or debris from the walls. This preliminary cleaning makes the pressure washing more effective.
- Apply a Cleaning Solution (if necessary): If the house is extremely dirty or has visible stains, consider applying a house cleaning solution before pressure washing. This helps in loosening the dirt and making it easier to clean. Remember to let it sit for about 10 to 20 minutes.
Step 2: Understanding the NozzleThe nozzle of your pressure washer isn’t just an outlet for the water; it’s a determinant of how effective your cleaning will be. Here’s what you need to know:
- Choose the Correct Nozzle: Attach the correct nozzle to the pressure washer. For most house surfaces, a 25-degree nozzle should work well.
- Using a Cleaning Solution? Change the Nozzle: If you’re using a cleaning solution, remember to attach the soap dispenser nozzle to the pressure washer.
Step 3: Powering Up the Pressure WasherNow that we’re all set, it’s time to power up the pressure washer. Here’s how:
- Start at a Low Setting: Turn on the pressure washer, starting with a low pressure setting. This allows you to test the water force before you begin cleaning.
Step 4: Pressure Washing – The Main EventWith everything in place, you’re ready to start washing. Follow these steps for a successful cleaning session:
- Start from the Bottom: Begin pressure washing at the bottom of the house and gradually work your way up. This ensures that the dirty water doesn’t streak over your clean areas.
- Maintain a Sweeping Motion: Keep your movements fluid. Use a sweeping motion and keep the nozzle moving at all times to avoid focusing too long on one spot, which could cause damage.
- Mind the Distance: Maintain a distance of about 8 to 12 inches from the surface. This is close enough to clean effectively but far enough to prevent damage.
- Cleaning Solution Application: If you’re using a cleaning solution, apply it before pressure washing. Let it sit for another 10 to 20 minutes to break down the dirt and grime.
Step 5: Rinsing and DryingAfter pressure washing, it’s crucial to rinse off the house thoroughly. Here’s how to do it:
- Rinse Thoroughly: Rinse the house with clean water to remove any residual dirt or cleaning solution. Make sure you cover all the areas you’ve cleaned.
- Allow It to Dry: Let the house dry completely before using it again. This helps to prevent any dirt from sticking to the wet surfaces.
Bonus TipsHere are some extra nuggets of wisdom to help you master the art of pressure washing:
- Frequency of Washing: A well-maintained house may only need pressure washing once a year. However, if the house is in an area prone to dust or harsh weather conditions, you might need to do it more frequently.
- Choosing the Right Equipment: If you’re dealing with a large area, a walk-behind pressure washer might be more suitable. For smaller areas, a handheld version should suffice.
- Different Types of Siding Require Different Care: Be cautious with different types of siding. Wood siding can be damaged by high pressure, while vinyl and brick can tolerate higher pressure settings.
- Stucco Houses Are a No-Go: Avoid pressure washing stucco houses. The intense pressure can damage the material, leading to costly repairs.