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Mistakes to Avoid When Pressure Washing Your Home

Many homeowners choose to undergo renovation projects in the warmer months, and that often includes a fresh exterior. Cleaning the outside of a home is strenuous and time-intensive, especially when done by hand or with a regular hose. Instead, try using a pressure washer. It’s a quick and easy way to make your home look new again, no matter what type of siding you have. If you decide to pressure wash, you can avoid harmful practices with a little knowledge ahead of time. Follow these suggestions to prevent damage to your home or landscape.

Paint Removal 

Most pressure washers are powerful enough to take off paint. Make sure you are using the appropriate pressure to avoid paint stripping. One way to double check, is by testing a small and hidden area of siding before moving on to larger sections and adjust as needed.

Etching 

Under certain conditions, pressure washers can cut into the hardest surfaces, including concrete or brick. To avoid indentations, stand well back when aiming your sprayer. Depending on the washer’s PSI, the best distance is usually between 18 inches to 6 feet, but be sure to read your equipment’s instructions.  Second, use a fan-spray nozzle – the stream nozzle has a more directed spray that may leave lines in your surface, so a fan pattern is better.

Injecting

High pressure can drive water between the siding boards or panels. This results in soaking the sheathing and insulation under the siding. Never spray at an upward angle to the siding—only perpendicular or slightly downward. Before spraying, you should identify other openings as well, such as heating exhaust vents, air vents in the attic or crawlspace, and even cracks around windows and doors.

Damage to Landscape or Utilities 

If you aren’t careful, your prized landscape will suffer the consequences. Your greenery could sustain harm from cleaning solutions or from the forceful stream itself. Using a cleaner without bleach or other pollutants will help protect them from chemical destruction. Be sure to ask in our stores for the right cleaner for your project. Covering shrubs and plants with sheets of plastic can also prevent high pressure water from stripping ]leaves. Finally, cover air conditioner compressors and other electrical utilities with sheets of plastic for added protection.

As you prepare your spring cleaning to-do list, stop by your nearest Pressure Works location for any pressure washing equipment needs (including rentals), accessories and cleaning solutions. Our experts can offer professional advice to help you  get the most out of your pressure washing experience.