Residential Pressure Washing Tips for New Homeowner
If you just bought a new home one of the first things you should do for that house is give it a proper wash. Unless the home is a new construction, there is likely to be layers of dirt and all kinds of undesirable stuff hiding beneath its various surfaces.
These can include algae, bacteria, mildew, mold, mud, corrosive chemicals, and old paint. With all these materials clinging to the walls, siding, driveway, and deck of your new home, your home will not only look older, but it will deteriorate faster.
You can get rid of these layers of impurities reasonably and quickly by giving your home a pressure wash. Pressure washing your house will strip away dirt to reveal the real surfaces beneath. This alone will improve the appearance of your home, says Onsite Management Company.
But this is only if you follow the right steps when pressure washing your home. That’s because just as it can clean your home, pressure washing can also damage its surfaces. What are the things you need to know before pressure washing your home?
Pressure washing tips for new homeowners
What can you safely pressure wash?
You can pressure wash both the interior and exterior surfaces of the home, but you need to be more careful when working inside the home. Most exterior surfaces – aluminum or vinyl siding, wood decks or fences, walkways, and driveways – can be pressure washed. But be aware that pressure washing surfaces can strip paint away from a surface and topcoat from cement. Pressure washing can also damage seal coating.
Determine surface type before pressure washing
Before you pressure wash your home, you should know what materials the different surfaces in the home are made of and how those materials will react to being pressure-washed.
Siding for instance is often made from vinyl, cedar shake, aluminum, or cement composite. Each material reacts differently to being pressure washed and there are specific pressure washing techniques for each one.
Prep your home before you pressure wash
Follow these steps to protect the features and contents of your home when pressure washing the house:
- Remove all lawn furniture and other items around.
- Move potted plants away from the surface to be pressure washed.
- Hydrate plants and grass around the home to protect them from cleaning agents.
- Protect light fixtures, door handles, and delicate surfaces before pressure washing
- Tape all electrical outlets to protect them from water.
Follow proper safety procedures
Read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to safely operate the pressure washer and make sure to follow the guidelines. Turn off and unplug electrical devices in the vicinity of the area about to be pressure washed.
Place warning signs around the home to warn people not to stand or walk close to the areas being pressure washed. Do not let small children play with the stream of water from the pressure washer. Keep pets locked up.
Do not use too much pressure
A small pressure washer that’s meant for use in the home can produce up to 3000 PSI (pounds per square inch) of pressure. This is enough water pressure to hurt a person and damage wood fibers.
Using too much pressure is the most common pressure washing mistake homeowners make. Too much pressure can damage cedar and vinyl siding, as well as drive water under siding, soffits, and doors or window jambs.
Use a cleaning agent
To reduce the amount of pressure you need to clean a surface, add a cleaning agent to the water. Adding a cleaning agent will let you “soft wash” the surface. For instance, applying a blend of bleach and surfactant detergents to siding using a low-pressure spray will clean them as well as if they were new. For wood surfaces, you may use a mix of surfactant and oxygenated cleaners.
Rinse away grime after pressure washing
If you applied a cleaning agent, you must give it time to soak into the surface and do its work. However, after the dirt is removed, you don’t want cleaning agent residue hanging to the surface. To remove the cleaning agent from your home’s surfaces, rinse with a large orifice nozzle. This type of nozzle will not produce more than 300 PSI. This is not enough pressure to harm the surface or drive water under it.
How often should your pressure wash your house?
The forces that deposit harmful debris and materials on the surfaces of your home do not take a break. Your efforts to minimize their impact on your home should also be consistent. To retain the benefits of pressure washing your home, you should do it at least once a year. It is also a good idea to pressure wash your home if you are about to repaint it.
Lastly, if you find the above steps difficult or you do not have the necessary tools and skills to follow the tips, you should hire a professional to pressure wash your home. The cost of water damage to the home is a lot less than what you will pay that professional.
If you currently live in Utah and are needing pressure washing services for your home, contact our sister company, AJET Services (801-330-0398 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Visit our pressure washing, janitorial, detailing and how to blog posts by visiting our “Tips & Tutorials” page.