If you are thinking about pressure washing your home for the first time, this is one DIY project that requires advanced planning and research,… not to mention safety precautions! Pressure washers can be very dangerous if not operated correctly. Not only can they damage property, but they can cause serious injury. You’ll need to take into consideration everything from the type of surface you’ll be washing to the size of engine needed for the job, protective measures for the surrounding areas, nozzle selection/spray patterns, and pressure settings. Here are some home pressure washing tips to help you determine if you should do it yourself or call a professional.
The first step is to walk around and survey the condition of your home’s exterior and outlying property. Look for any problem areas on the house. Is the siding intact? Are there any loose pieces or cracks? You’ll want to patch up or fix any problem areas before starting the job. Make sure all windows are shut and that any caulking or sealant is in good condition to protect from water from seeping in.
The next step is to safeguard the surrounding area. Cover any plants, outside furniture, or vehicles to prevent them from damage. If you’re not going to cover your plants and you’re using a chemical in your spray, give them a dose of water first to offer some protection. Once you have completed the survey and fixed any potential problems you can move on to…
Start by reading all safety precautions. Professionals recommend wearing eye and ear protection in addition to gloves, closed-toed shoes, and long-sleeved shirts. Be prepared to get wet. Check the weather conditions and wind direction. If it’s windy and you’re facing into the wind, it will blow right back at you. It’s also important to note the age of the paint. If you suspect that it has lead paint, contact a professional instead (typically, this applies to homes painted prior to 1978). Neither you nor your family or pet(s) want to be exposed to lead paint chips or dust.
Now that you’re safe to begin, it’s time to think about pressure settings.
Check the manual to find information on spray settings and how far the spray tip should be from the surface you’re cleaning. Select the correct spray pattern – keep in mind that settings vary depending on the type of surface and whether you’re applying detergent/bleach or in cleaning mode. Begin by testing the spray on an inconspicuous area to make sure the setting does not damage the surface. Remember that not every job requires the high-pressure setting! Be careful around windows, frames, doors, overhangs, and screen enclosures, as they can be vulnerable to damage from the stream.
Wash from the bottom upwards, then rinse from the top down. Always point the spray in a downward position to avoid getting water underneath your siding.
Know When to Get Help
Don’t be overly ambitious. If you begin the project and realize that you are in over your head, stop and call a professional to complete the job. As a novice, keep in mind that if you want to tackle anything more than one story or do any roof work, you should hire a professional. They will have all the proper safety equipment needed. The last thing you want to do is attempt this on an unstable surface like a ladder or rooftop. Don’t put yourself or your home in any unnecessary danger.
So – do you think you are ready to take on this project after reading these home pressure washing tips? We hope this has given you a better understanding of what the job will entail so you can determine whether to do it yourself or hire a professional service instead.