Keeping the exterior surfaces of your home clean should be a top priority for any homeowner. Not only does a grime-free exterior create curb appeal, but diligent cleaning also preserves and protects the investments you’ve made into siding, masonry, concrete, decks, and other outdoor structures. Of all the methods available for home exterior cleaning, pressure washing reigns supreme in terms of effectiveness and efficiency.
Why Pressure Wash Your Home
Pressure washing your home is essential for maintaining cleanliness and preserving its overall appeal. This cleaning method, utilizing high-pressure water streams, effectively removes dirt, grime, and other contaminants from surfaces, contributing to an immediate enhancement of the home’s exterior.
By regularly incorporating pressure washing into your home maintenance routine, you not only ensure a pristine appearance but also prevent long-term damage to surfaces, ultimately extending the lifespan of your property. The semantic triple here comprises pressure washing, is essential for, and maintaining cleanliness and preserving appeal.
Evaluating the Need for Pressure Washing
Inspecting the exterior of your home at least twice per year allows you to evaluate if pressure washing is needed. Signs that indicate pressure washing would restore cleanliness include:
- Dirt or grime accumulation
- Mold, mildew, or algae growth
- Fading paint or visible chalkiness
- Splattering stains under overhangs
- Ground-in debris on horizontal surfaces
- Darkened concrete or discolored brick
Catching cleaning needs early maximizes the benefits of pressure washing. Surfaces become more porous as mold digs deeper and mildew spreads. The longer you wait, the more difficult thorough cleaning becomes.
How Does Pressure Washing Work
Pressure washers blast surfaces with highly pressurized water. The combinations of pressurized water and cleaning agents disrupt bonds between dirt, contaminants and exterior surfaces. Common types of pressure washers for home use include:
- Electric pressure washers: Affordable and portable while still generating up to 2000 PSI. Best for light-duty cleaning.
- Gas pressure washers: More powerful with 3000+ PSI. Needed for whole house washing. More expensive but worth the investment.
- Belt drive vs direct drive: Belt drive motors last longer. Direct drive models offer affordability.
Proper pressure washing technique matters. Rushing through cleaning risks surface damage while moving the wand too far from surfaces reduces effectiveness. Patience pays off with pristine end results.
Safety Considerations When Pressure Washing
While extremely useful, pressure washers involve safety considerations:
- Electrical outlets & cords: Use ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets. Check cords for frays or cracks before plugging in. Keep cords safely out of cleaning path.
- Chemical safety: Follow all chemical manufacturers precautions for safe use, transport, storage and disposal. Never mix cleaners. Wear gloves and eye protection.
- Surfaces & landscaping: Test pressure and nozzle distance on discrete areas first. Keep the pressure washer wand moving to avoid damage. Protect plants and grass with barriers when needed.
- Ladders, roofs, & fall protection: Set up ladders safely and wear fall protection harnesses when working from rooftops or other elevated locations. Clean safely from the ground whenever possible.
- Guard against injection injuries: Never point the wand at yourself or others. Injection injuries require immediate emergency medical attention to minimize tissue damage.
With responsible use, pressure washing is a highly safe and effective exterior cleaning method. Put safety first and the payoff will be a like-new home exterior.
Breaking Down Exterior Surfaces & Best Practices
Not all exterior surfaces stand up equally to the intense blast from a pressure washer. Reviewing surface-specific best practices helps ensure you get structures sparkling clean without inflicting damage along the way.
Fiber cement and vinyl hold up well against pressure washing. Take extra precautions when cleaning more delicate wood siding by using wider fan spray nozzles and keeping the pressure wand at least a foot away perpendicular to the facade. Avoid directing water behind siding joints or into crevices to prevent water intrusion issues.
Brick & Masonry
Use the appropriate washing agent for the type of stains or debris accumulated. Pre-soak heavily soiled areas first before pressure washing. Take care around aging or crumbling mortar which requires repointing. Wider angled nozzles prevent digging into mortar joints during cleaning.
Concrete & Asphalt
Degreasers help lift stubborn oil stains from driveways while masonry cleaners dissolve mineral deposits on walkways. A surface cleaner attachment on the wand simplifies cleaning broad horizontal concrete areas. Move steadily across the surface and overlap passes to prevent streaking.
Decks & Fences
Caked on dirt, mold and mildew stains come right off composites like Trex decking with pressure washing. Use a downstream injector to apply brightener and evenly distribute across the surface as you clean. When washing weathered wood, take extra precautions to avoid splintering by using the widest spray nozzle and lowest pressure setting.
Roof Shingles & Gutters
Reach areas like roof shingles and gutters with extension wands equipped with angled tips. Never use ladders without proper fall protection equipment. For roof cleaning, start from the top down methodically. Thoroughly rinse cleaned sections before moving downward to prevent streaking.
House Numbers & Decorative Features
Detail areas like address plaques and decorative accent stones benefit from careful hand cleaning. Use detail brushes and test small discrete sections first when washing embellished entry doors or ornamental trim areas.
Why DIY Home Pressure Washing
You may wonder if pressure washing your home yourself is worth the effort when you could hire a professional instead. However, DIY pressure washing offers compelling benefits:
Save Money – Professional pressure washing costs $200-$500 depending on home size and the services needed. The start-up cost of buying your own machine pays for itself after just a couple of uses. You’ll save more each time you clean the exterior yourself.
Clean on Your Schedule – Professionals often book out weeks in advance whereas owning your own efficient machine allows pressure washing whenever it suits your schedule.
Customized Cleaning – As you gain experience pressure washing, you’ll learn specialized techniques for each surface material around your home ensuring customized care. Professionals tend to use a one-size-fits-all rushed approach.
Satisfaction of Home Improvement – Join the over 70% of homeowners who tackle pressure washing their home exteriors themselves. Take pride in keeping your home’s aesthetics sparkling.
Protect Property Value – Keeping the exterior surfaces of your home pristine directly translates into preserved or boosted resale value. Consistent pressure washing protects your investments.
While professionals do provide quality services, DIY home pressure washing empowers homeowners with customized cleaning capabilities that best serve their home. Investing in your own pressure washer pays dividends for years to come.
We covered key considerations around effectively pressure washing the exterior of your home. To recap:
- Inspect home exterior surfaces at least twice yearly for cleaning needs
- Understand what type of pressure washer suits your requirements
- Always put safety first when handling pressure washing equipment
- Adjust technique based on the surface material being cleaned
- DIY home pressure washing offers customization and investment protection
Consistent exterior cleaning guard against lasting damage while preserving aesthetic appeal and property value. Pressure washing, when done methodically and safely, delivers unparalleled cleaning results. We hope these tips give you the confidence to keep all your home’s exterior surface materials spotless. Reach out anytime if we can answer additional questions about elevating your home’s curb appeal with DIY pressure washing. Here’s to many seasons of home exterior splendor ahead!
Contact Sullins Suds for expert and professional pressure washing services for your home!