When it comes to pressure washing your home, you want to be sure you’re doing it the right way every time. Whether you’re hosing down the driveway or cleaning your house’s exterior siding, there are a few things to consider so that neither you or your house get hurt or damaged. Here are five tips to ensure you’re always safely and efficiently pressure washing your home.
1. Consider the Type of Pressure Washer
A gas-powered, heavy-duty power washer is ideal for a big project like pressure washing your home. The higher the flow rate (GPM), the better it is for you. Having an electric washer can take up to two to three times longer than a pressure washer that is gas powered. You’ll need a washer with at least 2.3 GPM.
2. Use the Right Nozzle
Another factor for effectively pressure washing your home is the nozzle. When applying the detergent, use a black soaping nozzle. Then, to actually pressure wash, use either the 25 or 40 degree nozzle tip. You never want to use a ladder when pressure washing, so be sure to get an extension wand when cleaning areas that are higher up. For added cleanliness, use a brush attachment to help scrub away dirt.
3. Apply the Right Amount of Pressure
The PSI of your pressure washer is irrelevant when pressure washing your home. Instead, let your distance from the house determine the amount of pressure. A general rule is to start 3 feet away and move closer as needed to remove mildew and grime. The detergent should do most of the work here, so little pressure should be needed.
4. Always Use Detergent
As mentioned above, detergent is necessary when cleaning a house because it means less work from you and less pressure from the washer. Detergent helps to remove tough oils and grime and the minimized pressure will reduce the risk of causing damage to your house. There are specific detergents for different types of siding (stucco, wood, brick, or vinyl), so make sure to choose the right one.
5. Follow Every Safety Precaution
Remember: safety first, always. Keep each of these safety tips in mind when pressure washing your home:
- Eye Protection is Mandatory: Keep it simple with a pair of safety-rated sunglasses. Anything to prevent an eye injury.
- Never Use Ladders: The high pressure of the water will push you backwards and could cause you to fall. It’s easier (and safer!) to just get an extension wand.
- Be Aware of Power Lines: When working with an extension wand, be careful not to touch the wand to any power lines and risk electrocution.
- Clear the Area: Remove any furniture, toys, debris, etc. from the area before pressure washing. This will help you to get around and prevent tripping.
- Turn Off Outdoor Outlets: Go to your distribution board and turn off power to all outdoor electrical outlets. If water gets into these outlets, it can damage your home’s electrical system.
- Cover Vents or Openings: Use plastic and tape to cover any vents or openings. This will prevent water from getting inside your house.
Pressure washing your home is important for keeping your home looking shiny and new year-round. As long as you follow product and safety guidelines, it’s an easy DIY project for any homeowner! If you have questions about what type or brand of pressure washer works best for you, don’t hesitate to consult with a professional.