Pressure Washing 101
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Pressure washing your home is a great way to freshen up the exterior for a new season. A dry summer can leave your home dusty, and a wet season may leave unsightly mud splatters. No matter what, all homes could use a good sprucing up every now and then to maintain curb appeal.

Pressure washing uses water that is heavily pressurized, usually with detergent, making it a great choice to clean not only the exterior of your home, but also your driveway or even your deck. We have a few tips on making sure your pressure washing is done right.

Pressure Washing Driveways

Before beginning your pressure wash, make sure you sweep away debris and put up plastic sheeting over nearby walls or doors to help protect them from the spray. Also, Now you’re ready to dive in…

  1. Spray a degreaser over the concrete and scrub it in with a stiff brush.
  2. Install the soap or washing nozzle and hook up the pressure washing to your hose.
  3. Put on safety gloves and glasses.
  4. Ensure the detergent siphon tube is hooked up properly, and then apply the detergent. Spray between 8-18 inches away from the concrete itself. Work back and forth, with even sweeps of about 6-8 inches across.
  5. Replace your soap nozzle with the 25-degree nozzle, working back and forth like you did with the detergent, overlapping when you need to. Wash thoroughly.

For very tough stains, you may need to hold the water spray less than six inches from the concrete. If desired, apply a waterproof sealer after you’re finished. If you do choose to seal, do not use the driveway for 24 hours afterwards.

Wooden Decks

A very common problem with wood decks is their ability to collect dirt, mildew, or even mold when not constantly maintained. Pressure washing can take away the need to deal with sanding them over and over again, saving you time.

To pressure wash your deck, make sure you’re working with a washer with a minimum of 2400 PSI. Give the deck a quick spray to get rid of any leaves or larger debris that may have collected. Using the chemical tip of the spray wand, spray a solution specially formulated for fences and decks liberally around, allowing it to sit for at least five minutes. Then switch to the narrow spray meant for heavier cleaning. Work back and forth with overlapping strokes. Do not use the 0-degree nozzle for this, as it can cause permanent scarring/marks on the deck.

Once you’re finished, rinse the deck one more time and then allow 48 hours for it to dry before using again.

Home Exteriors

When your home exterior starts looking dingy or like it’s seen better days, that’s usually a sign that it could use a good pressure washing. Before you dive in, use plastic sheeting and tape to cover the areas of the exterior that need protection from the intense water pressure. You’ll want to cover things like porch lights or landscaping.

  1. Begin by scrubbing areas of mildew with a stiff brush by hand to loosen their grip on your home’s exterior before you pull out the pressure washer.
  2. Combine a cleaning solution, using a ratio of 1 pound of non-phosphate cleaning concentrate to 4 gallons of wash water.
  3. Fill the machine’s detergent dispenser with your cleaning solution.
  4. Connect your garden hose to the pressure washer and turn on the water. Start from 3 feet away, holding the wand with both hands while you spray the house. Move closer gradually, until you find the perfect distance for the pressure washer to work well without causing any damage to your home’s exterior. Start spraying at the top and work your way to the bottom.
  5. After you’ve finished, rinse the exterior with water from a plain garden house. Allow two days for it to dry before painting.

If you don’t own a pressure washer, they can be found for affordable prices (or to rent) from local home improvement stores. With the help of blogs like this and others, you’ll be able to keep your home looking great all year long.

Five Star Construction builds custom homes in Upstate South Carolina. We pride ourselves on staying with you from those first floor plans all the way through moving day and beyond. Looking into building your very own custom-designed house? We’d love to hear from you! You can reach us at (864) 303-9143 or contact us online today!

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