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The Ultimate Guide to Pressure Washing Your Home

Pressure washing is a great way to get your home clean if it has caked-on dirt or mold and mildew buildup. Even just one good wash from a pressure washer can make your home look like it's been freshly painted, especially if the paint is still in good condition. If you're not sure how to pressure wash your home, you should learn about the process before getting started. Why? Because pressure washing incorrectly can harm the home's siding.

Be sure to follow all manufacturer recommendations when using a pressure washer, and seek expert pressure washers if you're feeling uncertain. A professional exterior pressure washing service can get the job done quickly and with little trouble! Let’s take a look at what you need to pressure wash the outside of your home:

What You'll Need For Pressure Washing Your Home's Exterior

Residential local pressure washing machines are available for rent from home improvement centers and hardware stores. When you're buying a pressure washer for your home, pay attention to the following:

Water Pressure

Water pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). Softwood painted surfaces are best cleaned with 1,200 to 1,500 PSI, while materials like brick, vinyl, and stone are best cleaned with 2,500 to 3,000 PSI. Note that softer materials such as painted softwoods are best cleaned with a head that will disperse the water over a more comprehensive range with less pressure. Gallons per minute (GPM) and PSI can be related. Pressure washers with 2.3 GPM all have at least 2,600 PSI.

Power Source

Some pressure washers are gas-powered, while others are electric. Know which type of power source your pressure washer uses. Gas-powered pressure washers are more powerful and will finish the job faster, so if you're in a hurry and wondering how long it takes to pressure wash a house, make sure you're using a gas-powered model.

Residential vs. Commercial Pressure Washing

Residential pressure washers are smaller and less powerful than industrial-strength ones. Industrial pressure washers may be gas, or electric and have power up to 8,000 PSI. The additional capacity of an industrial-strength pressure washer makes it easier to get the job done quickly. Also, these units are generally more durable than residential strength pressure washer machines, so if you're thinking about purchasing a unit instead of renting, an industrial-strength washer may be an option for you to consider.

Safety Precautions

When you rent or buy a pressure washing unit, it should come with safety instructions. Read all directions before using a pressure washer. These devices spray a strong jet of water that can cut through skin and harm a person or pet in the path of the spray. To use a pressure washer safely, you should:

  1. Hold the wand in both hands. Keep the wand steady and away from people by holding it in both hands.
  2. Wear a face shield or safety glasses. Make you wear proper protective equipment when using a pressure washer.

How to Pressure Wash Your House

Follow all instructions provided with the pressure washing equipment when cleaning your house, and don't use a unit that doesn't come with proper direction. Pressure washing isn’t recommended for bottle-dash stucco, rock-dash stucco, and hardboard-sided homes. If you're not sure what kind of siding your home has, or if pressure washing is safe for use on your home, contact a professional!

To pressure wash your home, you need to:

  1. Gather pressure washer equipment. It costs about $100 to rent a piece of equipment for the day. Shop around until you find a unit that delivers the correct power and uses the proper power source for your job. Ask the rental’s customer service person to show you how to use the pressure washer, including how to change the nozzle.
  2. Prepare the exterior. Cover shrubs and landscaping with tarps to provide protection and any electrical outlets in the path of the spray.
  3. Use eco-friendly products. Pressure washers use chemicals to wash the dirt off surfaces. Choose eco-friendly products in your unit to protect your landscaping and soil.
  4. Hold at a 45-degree angle. Hold the pressure washer at a 45-degree angle, standing so the nozzle is approximately 3 feet away from the siding.
  5. Scrub away persistent dirt. For parts of the home where stubborn dirt is present, spray the house with a mildewcide, then scrub with the scrubbing brush before spraying with a pressure washer.
  6. Use chemicals carefully. Follow all instructions carefully when using chemicals to clean your home's exterior surfaces.
  7. Seal and paint. You might have been pressure washing your home to paint it. If so, then now is the time to get started!

Hire a Professional Grade Pressure Washing Service

Pressure washing is the first step before painting a house. Are you going to be repainting your home's exterior? If so, consider hiring a pressure wash service to get the job done right.

Contact C&M Painting and Home Improvements to discuss your next project! We provide services to towns all throughout Connecticut.