Summer is here, and that probably means you’ll be doing more outdoor entertaining. Will your home’s exterior make a good impression? To ensure that it does, you should keep up with things like mowing your lawn and pruning your landscaping and refreshing the stain on your deck. Perhaps even more importantly, you’ll want to get rid of dirt and oil on your driveway, remove mold and dirt from the exterior of your house, and clean your pool deck until it sparkles. The best tool for those jobs? A pressure washer.
Why should you use a pressure washer? It’s just about the closest thing you’ll find to a magic wand to clean up your exteriors. You can use it on fences, garage doors, siding, driveways, patios, swimming pools, and more. By cleaning the exterior of your home, you’ll increase its value and improve its curb appeal. What’s more, it’s a great form of preventive maintenance, protecting your home against harmful bacteria and removing the dirt and mildew that can deteriorate the wooden elements of your house. Pressure washing is also the best way to prepare the surfaces of your home for painting, staining, or refinishing.
Before you start pressure washing everything, though, you need to know how to properly use the pressure washer. If you get too aggressive with it, you can damage your siding or paint. Additionally, if you don’t take the proper safety precautions, you could sustain an injury. Follow these helpful tips for successful pressure washing:
- Choose the right pressure for the job. Different building materials require a different psi, so make sure you choose correctly. For painted soft-grain wood siding, stucco, or aluminum siding, use a 1,200 to 1,500 psi model with a 25-30 degree nozzle. For harder surfaces, like unpainted brick, stone, vinyl, or steel, a 2,500 to 3,000 psi pressure washer is a better choice, paired with a 15-degree spray nozzle.
- Gather your supplies. Set up your pressure washer and have it ready to go. You’ll also need drop cloths, duct tape, detergent, bleach, a mixing bucket, a siding brush, a stiff deck-cleaning brush, a garden sprayer, a garden hose, safety goggles, and a 6 to 12-foot extension wand for your pressure washer.
- Safety first. Wear eye protection and be careful never to spray a pressure washer in the direction of anyone’s skin. Close or cover any outdoor outlets with duct tape, to keep water from getting inside, and avoid hitting any overhead power lines with your extension wand. Never stand on a ladder to use a power washer, because the recoil of the washer could knock you off the ladder. If your home has a second story, use lockable-wheel scaffolding, or consider hiring a professional.
- Protect your landscaping. Use drop cloths secured with duct tape to protect your shrubbery, garden, and lawn.
- Start with some scrubbing. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for mixing the detergent in a mixing bucket, then add this to the sprayer. Spray a 6 to 10-foot section of a single floor with the cleaning solution, then gently but firmly scrub it with the brush, working from the bottom to the top.
- Spray methodically. Standing about three feet from the surface you’ll be spraying, begin spraying the scrubbed section, working from the top to the bottom. Repeat the scrubbing and spraying procedure, working in sections, until you’ve cleaned the entire surface of the house. If you intend to paint, allow the exterior at least two days to thoroughly dry before painting.
Pressure washing is a great way to improve the look of your house, but it’s not the only way to boost your property’s value. When you’re ready to improve your home’s exterior by adding a hot tub, swim spa, or swimming pool, call Aaron Pools. Established in 1972, this family-owned-and-operated business has a dedicated, award-winning team with over 400 years of combined experience. We love to help improve the quality of time that families spend together at home, and that’s why we’ve installed more than 2,000 swimming pools and hot tubs, from Cape Cod to Connecticut. For the best possible service from our highly experienced installation team, call 508-689-5042 or contact us today.