What You need to Know before Home Power Washing
Home power washing can improve its overall appearance and value. This is a great project to take on during the spring and summer months, and it’s not as difficult as you might think! We’ll walk you through the basics of power washing-from choosing the right equipment to avoiding common mistakes. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Prepare for Power Washing:
You’ll need a ladder and either an electric or gas-powered pressure washer to complete this project. An electric model is much less expensive than a gas-powered one, but it provides less cleaning power.
Step 2: Mix Your Cleaning Solution:
Mixing your own cleaning solution is very important because store-bought solutions are often diluted. Diluted solutions lead to less effective results and typically cost more money in comparison to mixing your own solution.
Step 3: Test for Surface pH:
A pH of 7 is considered neutral; most outdoor surfaces will have a slightly higher pH than this. Test the surface’s pH by placing litmus paper on it for at least 30 seconds, then comparing your results to various color charts.
Step 4: Prepare Your Pressure Washer:
Before attaching the water hose, read through customer reviews to see which features are important. The average cost of a reliable washer is $300-$500, but if you plan to use yours several times per year or more, it might be worth investing extra money into an industrial-grade model.
Step 5: Start Power Washing!
Starting from the bottom and moving upward ensures that excess water doesn’t run down onto surfaces you’ve already cleaned. Begin at the base of your home and work outward until you reach the eaves, windows, door frames, shutters, etc.
Step 6: Clean Windows and Siding:
Use a spray bottle for this step-you’ll need to fill it with water and a cleaner solution. Remember not to power wash any screens or window panes-if they’re dirty, clean them by hand first!
Step 7: Don’t Forget Your Roof!
Some people prefer to wait until fall before cleaning roof because autumn is typically windier, which aids in drying time. If you can’t wait, though, power wash your roof around the same time that you clean your siding and windows.
Step 8: Clean Those Outdoor Furniture Pieces:
Outdoor furniture takes quite a beating during winter, so give yours an extra deep clean this spring by adding some of your power washing solution to your garden hose.
Step 9: Rinse Thoroughly and Cover Your Lawn:
You’ll probably have a number of things on your lawn that you’ll need to move before using the garden hose. Finally, remember not to use this same water on any flowers or vegetables growing in your yard-only rinse dirt away!
One of the most important things to remember when power washing your home is to avoid making common mistakes. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Make sure you choose the right equipment for the job. If you’re not sure what to buy, consult a professional for advice.
- Always wear safety goggles and gloves when working with power washers.
- Be careful not to damage your home’s exterior by using too much pressure or pointed nozzles.
- Start at the top of your home and work your way down, using a slow and steady motion.
- Don’t forget to clean sidewalks, decks, and other outdoor areas-they can really benefit from a good power wash, too!
- Keep your garden hose handy to easily extend the reach of your power washer.
- Just because you’re using a power washer doesn’t mean all the dirt and grime will go away by itself-you’ll probably have to use a broom or a scrub brush afterwards for best results.
- Always read the instructions that come with your equipment before getting started!
- Don’t forget about parts of your home that are out of sight-eaves, gutters, downspouts, foundations, windowsills, etc.
- If you’re tackling a large job or if you have old, flaky paint on your home, consider renting an industrial-grade pressure washer instead of buying one.
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