Preventing damage while power washing your house is crucial to ensure that you don’t harm the exterior surfaces or cause other issues. Here are some tips to help you prevent damage before power washing your house:
- Inspect the Exterior: Before you start, thoroughly inspect the exterior of your house. Look for any loose or damaged siding, cracks, holes, or areas that may need repair. Fix any issues before power washing to prevent water from getting behind the siding or causing further damage.
- Know Your Materials: Different types of siding (vinyl, wood, brick, stucco, etc.) require different cleaning methods and pressures. Familiarize yourself with the specific needs of the material you’ll be cleaning.
- Choose the Right Pressure Washer: Ensure you have the appropriate pressure washer for the job. A medium-duty gas or electric pressure washer (typically 2,000-3,000 PSI) is suitable for most residential tasks. Using a high-pressure washer on delicate surfaces can lead to damage.
- Test on a Small Area: Before you begin cleaning the entire house, test the pressure washer on a small, inconspicuous area to determine the right pressure setting and nozzle tip for your specific surface. Start with lower pressure and gradually increase it as needed.
- Use the Correct Nozzle Tip: Pressure washers come with different nozzle tips, often color-coded. A wide-angle nozzle (usually white, 40 degrees) is a safe choice for most house exteriors. Avoid using narrow-angle nozzles (15 degrees or less) that can focus too much pressure on one spot.
- Maintain Proper Distance: Keep a safe distance from the surface you’re cleaning. Starting 2-3 feet away and moving closer as needed will help prevent damage. Holding the nozzle too close can cause harm.
- Protect Windows and Doors: Cover or tape over windows and doors to prevent water from infiltrating your home. Ensure that all windows and doors are securely closed.
- Remove Loose Paint or Stains: If there’s loose paint on the exterior, remove it before power washing. The high-pressure stream can further strip paint, so you want to control this process separately.
- Check Gutters and Downspouts: Before starting, make sure gutters and downspouts are clear and working properly. The high-pressure water can dislodge debris, potentially causing clogs or damage.
- Protect Plants and Objects: Cover or move outdoor furniture, plants, and objects that may be damaged by the high-pressure spray. Wetting down nearby plants before and after cleaning can also help protect them.
- Use Detergent Wisely: If you use a detergent, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid using bleach-based detergents if they could harm nearby plants or landscaping. Rinse thoroughly after applying detergent.
- Work from Top to Bottom: Start at the top of your house and work your way down. This ensures that dirt and debris flow downward, preventing streaks and residue on already cleaned areas.
- Avoid Lingering on One Spot: Keep the power washer moving to prevent streaks and damage. Lingering on one spot can erode the surface or strip paint.
- Maintain Consistent Pressure: Use a consistent and controlled spray pattern. Avoid abrupt changes in pressure or angle, which can cause damage.
- Proper Storage: After you’ve finished power washing, disconnect the hose, release pressure from the washer, and store it properly. Empty any remaining water from the pump to prevent freezing in cold weather.
Also watch here: UNDERSTANDING LOW, MEDIUM AND HIGH PRESSURE WASHING