What Can You Power Wash Around The House?
Have you ever noticed the dirt and grime that clings to the exterior of your home and outdoor appliances, tarnishing the natural charm? Your home faces the elements every day, so it’s bound to undergo some visible changes. Accumulated dirt, stains, debris and even mold can be found on a house’s exterior due to natural exposure, rough weather and regular wear and tear.
Maybe you want to prepare the siding for a fresh coat of paint or prevent potential damage. If so, pressure washing is a great way to get your house into shape. You could spend the money to hire a professional, but power washing is a relatively simple project you can tackle yourself.
Why Choose to Power Wash?
Pressure washing may seem like a job best left to the experts, but with a bit of research and preparation, your house can look brand new. While interior repairs and upgrades might be necessary to keep up with a growing family, your house’s exterior could also benefit from some TLC.
Not only can pressure washing improve the aesthetics of your property, but there are other benefits as well. You can increase a home’s overall value if you keep the exterior looking fresh. Plus, clearing out substances such as algae or bird droppings — which are extremely acidic and can weaken housing materials — could help you avoid repairs in the future.
Depending on where you live, dirt and dust may be more likely to stick to your exterior. If your house is in need of new paint or siding, the grime might be even more apparent. If left untreated, mold can also grow into the deeper crevices, potentially damaging the framework or even the foundation. Luckily, pressure washing is a great option to use all over the house, from the roof to the garage to the fence.
What Do You Need to Get Started?
Before you begin your project, determine what parts of your home need to be cleaned. Then, find the power washer that can best handle the job. Not all pressure washers work the same. For instance, some equipment utilizes multiple pumps, each delivering a different result. These pumps control the water pressure and can be powered by gas or electricity. Although gas pressure washers typically require more maintenance than electric ones, they are capable of generating more power. Alternatively, many electric pressure washers produce less harmful environmental emissions, but they usually require a power outlet, limiting their portability.
Another factor to consider is the PSI, or pounds of pressure per square inch, and GPM, gallons of water per minute. Each machine can handle a different level of PSI and GPM, which may sway you toward a certain piece of equipment. Depending on the size of your project, it might be helpful to estimate how much power you’ll need from the unit, such as light, medium, heavy or extra-heavy power. These sizes have a PSI ranging from 2,000 to over 3,300 lbs. You don’t want to damage any belongings, so do your research and be deliberate about the washer you choose.
What Are Some Pressure Washing Best Practices?
Once you have the proper machinery, it’s time to get started. To accommodate the pressure of the jets, prepare the area before spraying. Cover sensitive parts with plastic drop cloths to avoid damage. If you are trying to eliminate mold or mildew, you might want a cleaning solution to help disinfect those sections.
If you’re a beginner, use the machine on a low setting until you gain confidence. Eye and ear protection should be worn throughout the process to avoid injury from flying debris. Hold the spraying wand with both hands and keep the nozzle approximately 18 inches away from any surfaces. For more tips on cleaning specific areas, check out our infographic which illustrates the items around the house can and can’t be power washed.
Author bio: Debisree Saha is Senior Marketing Strategist at SIMPSON, a leading manufacturer of electric and gas pressure washers. She has 10 years of experience in the industry and focuses on marketing strategy and execution.