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Seven Tips for Pressure Washing Your Home Exterior

Pressure washing your home’s exterior is a reward in itself. Whether you’re preparing to paint or stain the house or just doing some seasonal cleaning, the result can be really satisfying. Removing dirt, debris, mold and mildew can also be good as preventive maintenance. This assumes, of course, that you do the job properly.

Here are a few quick tips on planning and completing your pressure wash.

Factor in the Weather

This one is pretty obvious but no less important. It’s hard to do a good job in heavy wind or rain as you can’t see the dirt and buildup. Too much sun can also cause shadows so you might miss a few spots. Optimally, you’ll get a mild day where you can get started early and avoid heavy glare.

Cover or Turn Off Outlets

This is an easy one to forget but an important point. You don’t want to pop breakers or risk electrical shock when you are working with water. Thankfully this is a pretty easy fix.

If your outdoor outlets have covers, make sure they are secured in the closed position. If you don’t have covers, take care to avoid direct streams or saturation of the outlet. If necessary, you can always switch off the power to your exterior outlets while washing.

Close Windows and Doors

This is another no brainer but an easy one to forget. The last thing you want to find when you come back inside your home is a bunch of wet walls, floors and furniture.

Make sure all your windows and doors are closed and secured so water pressure won’t force them open.

Remove Clutter and Obstructions

You’re going to be dragging a hose around and spraying quite a bit of water. It’s best to remove clutter both to clear your path and to make sure important thing don’t get damaged.

Put away the kids’ toys and the adult ones too. Move deck or patio furniture to the lawn or another area where it won’t come into play. The same goes for the grill.

If you have flowers and bushes in window boxes or planters, move them well away. The power of the water from a pressure washer can cause damage.

Use the Right Equipment

If you are buying or renting a power washer, make sure you have the right equipment. You want one that is powerful enough to remove built up dirt, mold or mildew but not damage your exterior. Most pressure washers have different spray nozzles that can also affect the strength and shape of the stream. To avoid damage, take care not to place the nozzle too close or make the stream too direct.

It’s also very helpful to use an extension wand for the upper windows and siding. It will allow you to get the high areas clean without using a ladder.

Use Safe, Quality Detergent

For best results, us a quality detergent that is safe to use with plants and animals. Be sure to avoid anything with harmful chemicals. You also don’t want to use a low quality detergent will leave streaks and not remove all the dirt.

It’s a good idea to only apply a cleaning agent when you’ll be able to rinse promptly. Strong air or direct sunlight¬† may dry things very quickly and make it more difficult to remove when rinsing.

Pressure Wash from the Top Down

Lat but not least, avoid covering the same areas multiple times. Whenever possible, it’s best to wash from the top of the house down. By doing it this way, the soiled particles are washed downward to areas you haven’t yet cleaned. This means you don’t have to keep re-rinsing areas you’ve already washed.