Power washing your home has many benefits. Creating a clean surface boosts your curb appeal, removes harmful contaminants and enhances your ownership pride. There are many ways to clean your home, but proper power washing techniques will most benefit your house. Review our complete guide to power washing to provide your home with the best treatment possible.
Why Get Your Home Power Washed?
- Removing contaminants: Power washers remove unsightly stains, dirt, debris, algae, mold, mildew and other substances. Removing these items creates a healthier family environment and a beautiful exterior.
- Keeping your home in the best condition: Your house needs maintenance and care, and power washing is one of several practices you should implement to keep it in good shape.
- Preparing for new paint: If you want to boost your home with a fresh coat of paint, removing all dirt and debris that could impact the surface is essential. Power washing removes these elements and creates a clean area for a new color.
- Boosting curb appeal: Power washing is an easy way to boost your curb appeal instantly. You can power wash your siding, patio, deck and railings to bring a new shine to your home.
- Protecting your home: Along with removing unsightly stains and contaminants for a more aesthetic look, eliminating these elements also protects your house. Algae, mildew and mold become embedded if you don’t treat them, potentially damaging underlying wood and siding and leading to costly replacements and repairs.
- Enhancing your ROI: Power washing your home before selling it boosts its value. This simple practice maintains your property’s value and ensures you get the most when it’s time to sell.
Understanding the Power Washing Process
Power washing requires pressurized water to clean algae, dirt and other contaminants from outdoor areas. There are several methods for power washing, as well as distinctions between this process and others, like soft washing and pressure washing.
Power washers work with a gas engine or electric motor. The pump pushes water through a hose, creating a narrow jet with high kinetic energy. This energy allows the stream to remove dust and dirt. As the washer works, filters prevent dirt and debris from entering the system to ensure you spray clean water.
The operator controls the pressure by using different attachments at the end of the hose. It is essential to use the appropriate pressure to avoid damaging any surfaces. Power washing pressure reaches between 1,300 and 4,400 psi. Operators can also opt for wide or narrow nozzles for adequate water coverage. Requesting a professional service is the best way to ensure you don’t damage vital structural components of your home and can maintain your warranties for elements such as siding and roofing.
What Are Pressure Washers?
Many people often refer to pressure washing and power washing interchangeably. Pressure washing uses high-pressure equipment and an average water temperature to clean surfaces. There are minimal differences between pressure washing and power washing — both reach pressure between 1,300 and 4,400 psi. Pressure washing works well on driveways and stone and cleans the same organic materials as power washers.
What Is Soft Washing?
Soft washing is different than power washing. This process involves a different amount of pressure and uses soap or cleansers to rinse or clean surfaces. Operators can soft wash with a standard power washer with the correct nozzle. Wide washer tips reduce the pressure to 500 psi, and operators can further reduce pressure by adjusting the psi on the device.
This technique is ideal for breaking down surface organisms and dirt. Soft washing does not require hot water and is an eco-friendly method of using less power to clean. It better preserves coatings on surfaces like vinyl or composite surfaces. However, you must still understand the proper techniques, making it important to contact a professional when you need to wash delicate surfaces and coatings to prevent damage.
Power Washing Your Home Do’s and Don’ts
It’s essential to recognize what surfaces you can power wash safely and which you should avoid. Power washing benefits many surfaces, but cleaning the wrong surfaces can result in damage. You can power wash materials and items like:
Power washing the wrong items damages them. It’s essential to avoid these surfaces and objects:
- Wood siding: High water pressures cause water to get under the siding, damaging electrical wiring or insulation. The excess water could also spur mold growth. To clean these elements, it’s best to contact Perfect Power Wash. Our team can clean your home and protect its integrity.
- Electrical meters and panels: Avoid electrical elements, including those on your home’s exterior or yard. Although these structures withstand rain, power washing results in cracks that could lead to costly repairs.
- Roofs: Shingles are very soft, and the pressure from your power washer could strip away protective elements. Too much pressure could loosen the granules on asphalt shingles, causing them to flow into your gutters. This could cause additional damage by creating blockages and adding weight. If you want to remove lichens, moss or algae, it is best to call a professional for soft washing to ensure you don’t damage your shingles and impact your roof’s integrity.
- Lead paint: Never remove lead paint by power washing. This material requires careful removal, and power washing could cause the paint to spread into the air and surrounding environments.
- Painted surfaces: If you have a paint color you love, avoid power washing the surface. The high pressure chips the paint. However, power washing can be an excellent method to remove paint.
- Gutters: Always remove debris in your gutters by hand. Power washers damage these essential fixtures, resulting in costly replacements. High pressure can cause the anchors securing the components to your home to loosen or break, creating a significant and costly problem for your home. Hire professional cleaners to avoid damaging your gutters.
- Light fixtures: High pressure on outdoor light fixtures could create cracks in protective elements. Additionally, water could seep into the fixture and ruin electrical components.
It is always best to request a professional power washing service to ensure you don’t damage items when washing them. Additionally, professional services can allow you to maintain any warranties in case you face problems later.
What Stains and Contaminants Will a Power Washer Remove?
Power washing is an ideal cleaning strategy for removing various substances. From those hard-to-reach spots to stubborn organic materials, these devices enhance your home and protect it from harmful contaminants. Power washing can remove the following:
- Mold and mildew: These organic substances damage your home and impact your health. Pressure washing is an effective way of removing these contaminants from pavers, siding, glass and concrete.
- Paint: When it’s time to remove peeling colors, a power washer will complete the job. Whether you want to remove paint from a brick surface, siding or fence, you can rely on this strategy.
- Fungus and moss: Power washing removes these green substances that can cause unsightly appearances in corners and on your exterior walls.
- Graffiti: Spray paint can be an eyesore on any structure and is often challenging to remove. Power washers remove these tough colors from concrete surfaces easily. You can also tackle graffiti on metal or brick with your washer and the appropriate cleanser.
- Stains, dirt and grime: You can add cleansers to remove deep stains. Appropriate soaps allow you to lift stains and debris from aluminum siding, walkways, paving stones, driveways, decks and other surfaces. Some tough stains may also require a stiff brush.
How Often Should Your Power Wash Your Home?
Generally, you should power wash your home once a year. Between March and November is a suitable time to clean, but be aware of freezing temperatures. Wash your home before winter weather arrives to prevent damage and limit your time outside.
You can power wash at any time of the day, but you may encounter challenges on cloudy days. For instance, shadows may make detecting spots on second stories difficult. You can wash your home in most weather conditions but should avoid washing during extreme weather.
You can also consider several factors to determine when to power wash your home. For example, you may experience more mildew and mold exposure in a humid and wet environment. This means you may need more frequent washes to keep your home free from these substances. Additionally, consider your personal preference for maintenance, current renovation projects and your family’s wellness and health. For the best results, contact a professional to wash your home. Experienced power washer operators will identify the best time and weather conditions to power wash your home and ensure every part of your property is clean and undamaged.
Preparing for the Power Washers
Learning how to power wash begins with preparation. A professional cleaning company will have all the necessary equipment, so you don’t need to worry about choosing a power washer. A professional service will complete the job efficiently and safely.
You will want to prep the space. Here’s how to prepare your home for power washing:
- Close and fasten all windows and doors.
- Repair broken elements to prevent water from seeping inside.
- Seal any weather-stripped elements, crack or gaps.
- Move items, such as planters and furniture, that you don’t want to get wet.
- Place tarps over any landscaping you want to stay dry.
- Pick up any equipment, toys or recreational items that could be a tripping hazard.
- Remove the screens from your windows to prevent damage.
- Cover all electrical outlets and remove appliances and extension cords.
Perfect Power Wash makes it easy to wash your home, so you can avoid unnecessary costs, items and time while preventing damage.
By requesting a professional service, you can ensure every wash has the proper equipment and your home receives the care it needs. A Perfect Power Wash team member will ensure all components are in working condition and can clean your home effectively, safely and quickly.
DIY vs. Professional Power Washing
Although power washing by yourself may seem simple, there are several advantages to hiring a professional. From the cost of the job to the quality of the finished project, you’ll want to weigh various factors before deciding between do-it-yourself solutions and professional services. Consider these elements:
- Cost: Renting a power washer for the day can be affordable, but buying a unit can be costly. Along with the initial purchase, you must consider the cost of used water, replacement components, repairs, cleansers and gas for some models. Professional services alleviate these costs and only require a one-time total.
- Control: Completing projects at home offers control. You can choose the best time of day or time of year to power wash when it’s convenient for you. However, a professional service will allow you to dedicate your efforts toward other projects while ensuring quality and safety.
- Time: Power washing is time-consuming. Depending on the size of your work area and complex removal needs, you may spend many hours or days working alone. Hiring a professional service empowers you to use this time more efficiently since they do the work for you. Additionally, Perfect Power Wash does not require homeowners to be at home during the time of service, giving you complete control over your day.
- Safety: Pressure washing can be risky. For instance, using a ladder can lead to falls due to the high pressure. Furthermore, high pressure can easily damage some materials, such as vinyl. If you’re unsure of the best practices, contacting a professional alleviates these risks.
- Results: Although you can achieve desirable results with DIY solutions, professionals have the industry knowledge and experience to handle each project with best practices for the best results. Many residential power washers won’t reach high areas or clean stubborn spots, but professional companies have the equipment to clean your space thoroughly. Additionally, companies have insurance in case an unforeseen issue arises.
Request Professional Power Washing
Perfect Power Wash has over 20 years of experience and more than 200,000 satisfied customers. We provide fast scheduling, best-in-class equipment, and expertly trained technicians. We rely on top equipment to maintain your home, including annual power washing. When it’s time to service your home, rely on the experts at Perfect Power Wash. Request a quote for a professional service, or reach out to our team by calling (833)-868-8873 for more information.