Learning how to pressure wash siding is an important step for many homeowners to take, and it can help you to keep your home clean and well-maintained. The fact is that all types of home exteriors may get dirty over time due to exposure to the elements, and some may even develop mildew growth or other issues. Pressure washing delivers a high-pressure stream of both soapy and clean water to the surface of your home to restore its look with gorgeous results. While the process of pressure washing siding is relatively fast and simple once you learn what you are doing, you do want to spend a few minutes educating yourself about the process, according to Lowe’s.
Getting Your Supplies and Equipment Ready
There are many different types of pressure washers available, and they can vary based on the type of nozzle used, how powerful the stream of water is, if different nozzle tips can be used with the machine and more. If you have a gas powered unit, you will need to fill the machine with gas. If you are using an electric unit, you may need to get an extension cord out. You should also review the different types of detergent and cleaning agents that are recommended for use with the pressure washer and research which of those cleaning agents are best for use with your siding. In addition, take time to prepare your work area. Close all of the doors and windows nearby, cover the vegetation nearby to avoid getting it damaged by the powerful stream of water. Tape electrical outlets and cover light fixtures as needed to prevent breakage and other issues. These basic steps will enable you to work freely once you begin the actual work.
Basic Safety Tips and Advice
A pressure washer can be loud, and the flow of the water can be damaging and even dangerous. With this in mind, you may need to wear protective eye wear and ear plugs. You may also need to ensure that your work area is flat and stable so that you can handle the force of the pressure washer hose. Ensure that people and pets will not walk into your work area. When using an electrical unit, take precautions to keep the cord connections dry and off of the ground. Do not touch the cord or connections with wet hands.
Test Your Surface
There are different types of siding that homeowners may need to clean with a pressure washer, and the condition of these different types of siding can vary. Some types of siding may be able to withstand a greater level of pressure than others. When siding is older or in lower quality condition, the power of the stream of water may peel or flake. In some cases, the siding itself may actually become damaged, and large chunks of the siding may be removed. To avoid causing damage to siding, it is important to carefully test the surface before you begin freely spraying the siding. Even when you have researched the right type of detergent to use with your siding and pressure washer, it is important to test the detergent on the siding as well. Be sure to test your surface in an inconspicuous area of the home so that the damage will not be obvious if you do damage your siding through this testing.
The Cleaning Process
Everything from the setting of your dial for the pressure washer’s stream to how far away you need to stand from the surface of your siding should be researched and verified up-front. When you begin the actual cleaning process for your home’s siding, you should feel confident with the scope of the work and the process. Essentially, you will need to work in small sections to apply the soapy detergent spray to the surface initially. It is a good idea to start from the bottom of the home and work your way upward. Keep in mind that the detergent should be allowed to remain on the home for several minutes, but you should not allow it to dry. With this in mind, you can clean a decently sized area with soapy water before you need to switch to the fresh water supply and rinse the surface. When you switch to a fresh water supply, point the nozzle at the ground and allow the pressure washer to run for a minute to clear the line of soapy water. When you clean the siding with fresh water, start from the top of the work area, and work your way downward. After a section of the siding has been cleaned, you will need to re-apply the connection for the soapy water to begin working on a new section. Keep in mind that you should not spray the nozzle at gaps close to windows, trim and doors, and you should not spray the lower edge of your siding panels.
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Pressure washing is a wonderful and rather easy way to keep your home looking great. Now that you know how to pressure wash siding, you can make this your next weekend home maintenance project to complete.