Thoroughly power washing is an excellent technique to clean filth off your home’s siding and gutters. Power washing is recommended every few years for routine upkeep and it is also required to prepare a home’s exterior before painting.  However, this process entails more than merely attaching your garden hose to a power washer and turning on the water. Power washing requires some skill as well because spraying too violently may damage siding or paint.

Power washing a home is dangerous if sufficient safety precautions are not taken, and it can be physically taxing. If you have not power washed your home for an extended period, you are probably in for a lot of scrubbing by hand and hours of reaching high and low on a vertical surface. If your home is more than one story tall and you are not comfortable standing on scaffolding, you might consider hiring a professional. Regardless, power washing is an optimal method at cleaning the exterior of your home. However, for single-story homes, the techniques below will show you how to pressure wash a home and improve its curb appeal and value.

Before you start

Check the weather forecast and select a mild day in the spring or fall for power washing. It is also best to avoid washing in the hot summer sun, which can cause the cleaning agents to dry before you can rinse them off. With the right cleaning products, scrubbing, good technique, and a thorough rinse, your home will be clean and add value to your home.

Safety tips before power washing your home 

When sprayed at eye level, power washers are powerful enough to tear skin or cause blindness. Never experiment with the equipment, such as spraying another person or using it to rinse your hands or feet. Additionally, water and electricity are a potentially lethal combination. To prevent water from getting inside, close any outdoor outlets or cover them with duct tape. Be aware of any overhead power lines that may be struck by the extension wand and take care to avoid them while working.

It is highly recommended to wear safety glasses as a  common hazard is projectiles of dirt, rock, wood, or anything else the water hits. When you need to reach higher areas never use a ladder in conjunction with a power washer. Even if you have someone holding the ladder, the washer recoil could knock you off. When you need to reach high areas like gutters you can use a wand extension to clean those tough to reach areas in conjunction with scaffolding that you could purchase, rent or borrow.

1. Close windows and doors, and cover nearby greenery

Drop cloths or plastic sheeting can be used to protect shrubbery, plants, gardens, and lawns. If your windows and doors are prone to leaking, close them and cover them with duct tape or plastic sheeting. Duct tape all sheeting/clothing to fully secure them when washing begins.

2. Prepare your washing solution 

In a bucket mix your washing solution with water according to the manufacturer’s directions. It may be best to add bleach at a volume of one part for every nine parts of your desired detergent solution. Then pour this solution into the garden sprayer. The garden spray will apply the cleaning solution first before power washing begins.

3. Place the appropriate nozzle 

Set up the power washer so that it is ready to use after you finish cleaning with the garden sprayer.  Use a 15-degree spray nozzle for tougher surfaces and greater pressure. Choose a 25- or 30-degree nozzle for softer surfaces and lower pressures. If you are washing a two-story building, start at the top and work your way down as you will most likely need to use an extension wand to reach the upper floor. A specific extension can also be used to reach the inside of your home’s gutter, which appears as a hook-like curved attachment. You can also set up scaffolding to reach the second story according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Position the scaffolding so that you have a 1.5- to 3-foot reach with the wand comfortably held in your hand. Before using the scaffolding, remember to lock the wheels in place before you begin to power wash a specific area.

4. Spray and scrub the siding in medium sections 

Spray a part of a single level of your home thoroughly with the cleaning solution you made. Scrub the siding gently but forcefully using a soft siding brush, beginning at the bottom of the section and working your way up. Working your way up is advised since suds will flow down the wall and it will be more difficult to notice dirt and debris that has to be wiped off if you start at the top.  If you are cleaning a two-storey house, start with the top level and work your way up from the scaffolding’s floor to the roof.

5. Power wash test on scrubbed area 

Put on your safety equipment like gloves and goggles after properly scrubbing the first section of your home. Turn on the power washer after ensuring a 3-foot nozzle-to-wall distance. Maintain this distance if it permits you to remove dirt without causing damage. If the dirt is not coming off, proceed closer in 4 to 6 inch increments, stopping each time to assess the cleaning power and check for damage. Continue to work from the most effective distance.

You can power wash and rinse the gutters as well. It may be advisable to start with the gutters first and move to rinsing the downspouts. The power washer’s water should be able to loosen and clean any material that has been lodged in the downspouts. Following that you can work on the remaining gutters.

6. Work from top to bottom, power washing the scrubbed section 

Begin power washing from the top of the scrubbed portion once you have established a sufficient distance from the siding. Start with the overhangs and gutters and work your way down. Reach up with both arms, as high as you can comfortably without the recoil knocking you off balance, and tilt the sprayer down at a 45-degree angle to keep water from going under the siding.

Why power washing is important 

Power washing eliminates dangerous contaminants that, if left untreated, can damage your home’s siding or gutters. Algae, mold, and mildew development can travel beneath the siding over time, resulting in costly replacements and serious health risks. Regularly power washing your home will prevent accumulation and result in a healthier, cleaner home.

Many homeowners report that their pride in ownership returns after having their property has been power washed. It is just nice to pull into your driveway and see a tidy, well-kept home. Power washing not only improves the curb appeal of your property, but it also does it in a measurable way. A clean home exterior adds a monetary value if you decide to sell your home or get it appraised.

You may have imagined that power washing is simple, but as you have found, cleaning the exterior of your home safely and successfully necessitates proper technique and a bit of elbow grease. Following the instructions precisely will ensure that your home is clear of filth and mildew once you have completed the task. Before you begin, make sure you have all of the essential tools, cover plants, entrances, and windows, scrape the siding, begin power washing, and clear any debris from either the siding or gutters.