How to Power/Pressure Wash a House

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If your home's exterior has started to look a little grimy and grungy, its time to spruce it up with a good pressure washing. Pressure washing, a powerful method of cleaning your home's siding, can give you as much as 50 times the power of a conventional washing with a garden hose. Pressure washing also gives you greater efficiency than a garden hose, as it uses up to 80 percent less water than conventional methods. In addition to a general cleaning, pressure washing is a good way to prepare you home's siding for a paint job.

Things You'll Need

  • Pressure washer and attachments
  • Garden hose
  • Cleaning agent
  • Safety goggles

Preparation

  • Turn off the electricity to any outdoor outlet. Cover all lighting fixtures, and close all the doors and windows of your house.

  • Take a garden hose and wet any plants along your house's foundation. This protects them from damage from any detergent used in the pressure washer.

  • Connect the pressure washer hose to the appropriate outlet on the machine. Connect one end of a garden hose to a faucet and the other end to the washer's water supply outlet. Add a cleaning agent to the pressure washer if your machine has a holding tank for this purpose.

  • Put a low pressure tip on the spray wand. Start the pressure washer.

Washing

  • Press the trigger on the spray washer, and start to wash the house from the bottom up to prevent the cleaning agent causing streaking. Use a consistent pace as you work. Spray the water from side to side rather than vertically.

  • Wash one side of the house at a time to avoid letting the detergent dry. Don't wash a side when it's in direct sunlight.

  • Wait five to ten the minutes after washing to allow the detergent to soak in.

Rinsing

  • Change the low pressure tip to a high pressure tip, such as a 25-degree or 45-degree tip, or set the nozzle for high pressure washing, depending on the type of pressure washer you have.

  • Remove any detergent in the line by pressing the trigger until the water runs clear.

  • Hold the tip about 1 foot from the house with both hands. Avoid spraying any windows. Start at the top of the siding and work down to the bottom.

  • Repeat the process with all the sides of the house.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear safety goggles and clothes that you don't mind getting wet. Get a telescoping extension for the spray wand when washing houses that are more than one story. Repair any damaged siding before pressure washing. Pressure wash only on days with little or no wind. Remove any furniture that is close to the house to a safe area.
  • Avoid pressure washing any exterior that contains lead paint. Lead paint typically only appears on homes built before 1978. Never point the spray wand at another person. Don't let the spray concentrate on one spot for an extended period of time. Avoid spraying under any horizontal boards.

References

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