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Nine Simple Steps for Great House Washing Results

Power Washing a House

Whether you are getting ready to repaint a house or just want to clean up your property, house washing is a critical step to making a home look great. Thanks to the size of the average house, the process can also be an involved one. It's a lot easier when you break it down into simple steps that will help you get great results.

1. Assess the Building Before House Washing
Your first step is one of the most important. You need to gather some facts about the property you are working on. Start with looking at how much cleaning needs to be done. More dirt and grime will require a more powerful pressure washer and stronger cleaners to restore the home. Next, check the maintenance rules for the materials on the exterior of your home. You can't use a pressure washer on certain types of stucco and siding, so if your house is made with those, you need another plan.

2. Gather Materials
Next, you will need to gather the following materials: a pressure washer, extension cord or generator, water supply, detergent or cleaning solution, safety glasses, gloves, and a ladder. Don't forget to get pressure washer detergent specifically designed for house washing and to carefully pick the right nozzle. These pressure washer tips can make the process a lot more effective.

3. Prepare the Area
When you think about how to pressure wash a house, your goal is to blast away dirt, not your landscaping or furniture. Move any outdoor items, potted plants, and other furniture away from the area you will be pressure washing. Cover any outdoor electrical outlets with plastic covers to protect them from getting wet. You should also put up a barrier to protect hedges or flowers that are close to the home. The spray from the pressure washer is strong enough to rip leaves and petals apart.

4. Test the Pressure Washer
Before you start, turn on the pressure washer and adjust the pressure and spray pattern to the appropriate setting for your house. Test it on an inconspicuous area of your house to make sure the pressure is not too high, so you don't damage the surface. This is also a good time to check for leaks.

5. Mix the Cleaning Solution
In a bucket, mix the detergent or cleaning solution according to the manufacturer's instructions. Some pressure washers come with a detergent tank, which makes it easy to apply the cleaning solution while pressure washing. Here are some bonus home tips and tricks: make sure your solution has mildewcide in it to keep mildew from reforming, and note the brand you use for future cleaning.

6. Start Spraying
Once you have your solution ready and you have safety goggles on, it's time to start house washing. Using the pressure washer, apply the cleaning solution to the surface of the house. Make sure to cover the entire surface, including corners, windowsills, and trim. Some debris may come off the house at this point, which is why it's important to have eye protection. Allow the cleaning solution to sit for 5-10 minutes, giving it time to penetrate and loosen any dirt and grime. You can also use a brush to scrub stubborn spots.

7. Blast Away the Dirt
This is the big moment when following all of those pressure washer tips pays off, and you get to start seeing results. Adjust the pressure washer to the appropriate setting and nozzle type and start to rinse the surface of the house. Start at the top and work your way down. Make sure to rinse thoroughly to remove all the cleaning solutions. After rinsing, check the surface of the house for any missed spots or areas that may still be dirty. Reapply the cleaning solution and rinse again as necessary.

8. Tidy Up the House
Pressure washing isn't the only house-washing task you need to make your home look great. Once you have finished rinsing the house, go back and clean the windows. Use a squeegee for the glass, and make sure to wipe away any cleaning solution around the edges of the windows. Clean the gutters on the house, using a ladder if necessary. Make sure to remove any debris, such as leaves or sticks, and rinse the gutters thoroughly. This is especially important if your house washing removed big chunks of moss or vines that could clog the gutters.

9. Clean and Store Your Pressure Washer
Once you've finished your cleaning and have double-checked that you didn't miss any spots, clean up the pressure washer. Disconnect it from the water supply and power supply as instructed in the manual. Check the nozzles to make sure they aren't clogged. Store all of the parts in a clean and dry area so they will be ready the next time you need to do some heavy-duty cleaning.

Questions About House Washing
Still, wondering if you're ready to get started with the pressure washing your house? Here are a few more things to keep in mind.

  • Some scrubbing is required. Pressure washers are great tools, but on a really tough project, you may want to scrub the house first for the best results.
  • Wait to paint. If you've cleaned the exterior to get ready for painting, plan a few days between the pressure washing and putting on the primer. Give the house at least two days to dry fully, so the paint adheres well.
  • Safety first. A pressure washer is a serious piece of equipment, so always handle it safely. The water stream can cause injuries, so never point it at yourself or anyone else. When using an electrical unit, keep a careful eye on how close cords get to pools of water to avoid a shock risk.

Make Your Home Shine With House Washing
When you're tired of pulling up to your home and seeing an eyesore, take the initiative and plan a day or two for house washing. With the right preparation and tools, you'll love the way your house looks again.

Read on for tips to make your pressure washer last.