HOW MUCH WATER DOES IT TAKE TO PRESSURE WASH A HOME?
You are probably at this page because you are curious about how much water will be used to clean your house, driveway, and/ or roof. Depending on how big your house is, what pressure washing services, and what machine is being used, are all factors of how much water is really being used. Before we continue, the average household uses about 100 gallons of water per day.
RESIDENTIAL PRESSURE WASHING
You would think that using a smaller pressure washer that you can buy from the store would use less water because it uses only 2- 4 gallons per minute right? Wrong. Even though these pressure washers have less water running through them, this also means that cleaning a house is going to take longer. Let's use a 2.3 gallon per minute machine, only because anything less than this will take a very long time to clean a house, and may not even be able to reach the top of your siding on your house. Let’s also use an average house, a 2,000 square foot home.
A 2.3 gallon per minute pressure washer uses 2.3 gallons of water every minute it is running and spraying, which is 138 gallons: this is a lot less than 300 gallons but; since it is running about half the amount of water through the wand, it will also take you twice as long. This means instead of the house taking an hour and a half, it takes you three hours. Three hours of running water through the pressure washer consistently will use about four hundred gallons of water. This is only fifty gallons less than the commercial pressure washer uses. As we know water coming from your house is less than a cent, so you are only saving probably around thirty cents.
COMMERCIAL PRESSURE WASHING
Many companies use pressure washers for almost all jobs they do, for house washes, and driveway cleans companies use a downstream injector that connects to the house after their pump to pull their solution needed for services. Most companies use a 5- 8 gpm machine to effectively clean your property.
Let’s use a 5 gpm machine as an example. Gpm stands for Gallons per minute, this is how much water is being pulled through the machine and out of the wand at a time.
If you consistently are running the pressure washer for a minute, you are using five gallons of water, if you run the machine for one hour, you have used three hundred gallons. On a normal sized house roughly 2,000 square feet, with a five gpm pressure washer, it normally takes about an hour and a half to complete the wash. That would mean to clean a normal size house, would use about four hundred and fifty gallons of water. Now this might seem like a lot, but in reality water out of a spigot from your house costs less than a cent per gallon. So using four hundred and fifty gallons of water is only a few dollars worth.
HOW MUCH WATER CAN MY HOUSE SUPPLY?
Most spigots from your house can only provide 4 gallons of water per minute through a garden hose. With a home depot pressure washer, you can hook up your hose right from the spigot to your pressure washer and it will be able to run and use all the water it needs. With commercial pressure washers or anything over 4 gallons per minute, you would need a buffer tank, before businesses go out to do their pressure washing services, they fill their buffer tank. When arriving to a house they still connect a hose to the houses water source, so they don’t run empty, remember a house can use hundreds of gallons of water per hour, so even when you can hold two hundred gallons of water in your tank, you still need something filling it up so you don’t run out of water on the job.
IS PRESSURE WASHING A WASTE OF WATER?
So is pressure washing my house a waste of water? It depends on where you live, some states have laws for water usage, so look up your local state laws before continuing trying to clean on your own. If you are hiring someone don’t worry about this because they will know the laws on water usage. But for the most part no, if it is done correctly from a professional, the water used is the water that is needed for the cleaning of your driveway wash, roof cleaning, house washing, etc.
Pressure washing is a great way to also get all your plants and grass watered! While doing roof cleaning and house washes, plants around the house are always watered throughout the whole cleaning process. This is to keep your plants alive while spraying their effective cleaning solutions to your home. Don’t worry! The amount of rinsing and watering dilutes the solution times over, so your precious grass and flowers will stay alive.
BENEFITS OF PRESSURE WASHING YOUR HOME
Pressure washing your home has many benefits, if done properly. When new houses are built, they tend to be covered in dust and dirt from the construction, pressure washing your home with low pressure and the right solution will get your new home truly looking new. Older homes will have built up dirt and dust from the years, but also will have mold and algae starting to build up. This mold and algae starts growing in places that are cool and have more moisture. A place a lot of mildew, mold, and moss likes to build up is your roof. Usually only one side of your roof will be visibly more green, and this is usually on the north side, the side that gets the least amount of sun, and has the better climate for this mold to grow. If you are seeing this mold growing and want to get a roof cleaning done, usually they will want to clean the entire roof. This is because just because you see the green on one side, doesn’t mean it isn’t on the rest of the roof. Cleaning just one side will leave the mold molecules on the rest of the roof, and will spread back to the worse side, bringing back the mold much sooner than if you clean your whole roof, and get the mold killed everywhere.
Most people will see green algae on their siding, or roof built up. They might try to tackle the task of cleaning the mold of their siding by buying a pressure washer and hit it with a hard stream of water to knock it off and clean it. There are two problems with this. Using pressure on your vinyl siding, or other more delicate siding, will cause oxidation. Oxidation is water getting in between the panels, causing your siding to become warped and discolored. Oxidation removal is very expensive to get rid of. The other problem with hitting your green moldy siding with pressure, is it won’t really get rid of the algae. Mold needs to be hit with an effective solution to kill the mold, spraying it with water won’t kill it and will start to grow back not long after you spray it. In the next section we will talk about how to kill this mold on your own.
DIY MOLD REMOVAL
You might have noticed green specks or spots on your roof or siding. This is mold, mildew, and or algae that has grown on your home. We recommend having professionals clean the mold and mildew from your roof, because of the amount of time, experience, and expensive products to clean roofs. Siding is easier for a homeowner to do on their own.
Cleaning and killing this green from your siding can be done for pretty cheap. You will need a pump up sprayer, (I recommend a hand held Dewalt one, just in case it leaks it doesn’t get on your skin or clothing), gloves, eye protection, and a respirator. The main solution we are going to be using is bleach. You can use sodium hypochlorite which can be either 10% or 12.5%, or you can use normal bleach that is about a 7% mix. Last thing you will need is a garden hose, and a water spigot.
When you have your supplies the first thing you are going to do is put on your ppe (personal protection equipment) and dilute your bleach with water, you are wanting to get to about a 1.5% to 2% mix. Anything higher and you will have the risk of killing other organics like your grass and plants.
Once you have your mix, wet your siding with your garden hose. Next, carefully apply it to the affected siding. Once you spray the mix, let it sit for about 10 minutes, you should see the green slowly disappear. After 10 minutes, thoroughly rinse. After rinsing off, if the mold and algae is bad, you might have to repeat the process 1-2 more times.
If you were worried about the amount of water and money spent on water when pressure washing your house, or having a company pressure wash your house, now you know that even if you are using a couple hundred gallons of water, it is a matter of a couple dollars being spent, and nothing to worry about. We also went over some reasons and benefits to cleaning your home, and how to remove mold, mildew, and algae off your house on your own.