Every new homeowner should ensure that regular Residential Pressure Washing is part of their home maintenance routine. Built-up dirt, mud, silt, grime, and other debris can eat away at brick, concrete, wood, and other exterior materials, and make even a new home look downright shabby.Residential Pressure Washing
requires the right machine and attachments as well as specific detergents designed for various surfaces. A new homeowner should also practice using the equipment on durable materials before washing their house and should avoid using too much pressure on exterior glass, patio stones, and other fragile surfaces.
A professional power washer is the best choice for any home, as he or she can ensure no surfaces on your property are damaged and that everything is cleaned thoroughly and adequately. However, if you do want to manage this job yourself, note some vital tips that will help ensure your success.
- Electric power wash equipment is lightweight and portable and won't produce fumes and emissions. However, an electric pressure washer cannot provide the amount of pressure as gas-powered engines, so they're not always a good choice for heavy-duty cleaning. Corded machines are cumbersome to use and might require long extension cords to reach an available outlet.
- The PSI of a machine refers to the pounds of pressure per square inch that it produces or the actual water pressure. Don't assume that you need the highest PSI available from a machine, as too much pressure can make the equipment challenging to control and might also damage a surface during the cleaning process.
- The GPM of pressure washers refers to gallons per minute, or how much water a machine can spray at one time. Trying to clean an extensive surface, such as long exterior walls or extensive decks, with low GPM will make the job take far longer than it should. The larger your house or deck, the more GPM you need from a machine.
What Can You Power Wash?
Most exterior home surfaces are safe for cleaning with a pressure washer, including brick, aluminum or vinyl siding, concrete and asphalt, wood decks and fences, metal railings and banisters, and glass fencing. There are surfaces and materials that a homeowner should avoid power washing, and should leave to a professional to clean, including:
- The pressure of a power washer can outright shred aluminum window and door screens and bend thin aluminum frames.
- Power washing can shatter exterior window glass, especially older glass that has become thin and brittle with age. Pressure washing can also smear abrasive grit, silt, sand, and other coarse debris across the exterior glass, leaving microscopic but damaging scratches.
- High-pressure cleaning can dislodge patio pavers, flagstones, and other lightweight pieces. Too much pressure can also crack brittle or thin stones.
Note, too, that residential pressure washing can shred peeling paint and even remove sealcoating and other topcoats from concrete, asphalt, and the like. If any surface on your property is not in good condition, it's best to leave your cleaning work to the pros, so that you don't cause more damage with your power wash techniques.
Should You Pressure Wash a House Before Painting?
It's good to pressure wash a house before painting, to remove as much dirt and dust as possible. Surface debris will eventually peel away from a home's exterior surface, taking that fresh paint with it! Dried dust, cobwebs, and other such residues will also make the paint look bumpy and uneven.
Flakes of paint, rust, and other debris from a home's exterior walls and surfaces will be removed with pressure cleaning. Mold and algae clinging to a home's foundation or siding can be killed with washing that includes a bleach or other such solution. The exterior surface of a home will then be clean and dry, and ready for new paint.
Even with a high-quality machine and a bit of know-how, it's still good to have an expert power wash a house when needed. Note when you want to search online for "pressure washing near me" rather than buying a machine and tackling this cleaning job yourself:
A homeowner might also invest in a lightweight power wash machine for regular residential pressure washing and then rely on a professional to give the home a more thorough, deep cleaning every year or as often as needed. A light cleaning in between professional visits will keep your home's exterior looking fresh and new, while a deep, professional clean will remove damaging mold, algae, grit, and other such grime.