Homeowners want to keep their homes clean and looking their best. A freshly cleaned exterior boosts your curb appeal and refreshes your home’s beauty. But power washing, also called pressure washing, takes practice and some skill. Spraying too aggressively could harm siding or even result in injuries. Below are some things homeowners should avoid when power washing.
Using Too Much Water Pressure
When power washing, it is important to avoid using too much pressure. High pressure can cause damage to the surfaces being cleaned. Using the lowest pressure possible to get the job done is best. Power washers come with several different nozzles. Test the pressure on a surface that won’t be harmed until you have found the proper nozzle for the task.
Improper Use Of Chemicals Or Detergents
It’s important to avoid using harsh chemicals and detergents when pressure washing. These cleaning agents can damage the surface being cleaned and also be hazardous to your health. It is best to use a mild detergent made for the specific job. Choose the type of cleaner for the surface and buildup being treated. Read and follow the directions for use and disposal closely.
Skipping Safety Gear
When power washing, it is vital to use proper safety gear. Power washing can be dangerous, and it is essential to wear the appropriate safety gear to protect yourself. When power washing, it is best to wear protective eyewear, gloves, long sleeves, and long pants and shoes.
Cleaning On A Blistery Hot Day
It’s a good idea to avoid washing your home in the intense summer sun. Choose a mild day in the spring or fall for the best power washing results. The sun’s heat will cause cleaning agents to dry before you can rinse them off, leaving streaks and stains.
Not Following All Safety Precautions
- Power washers are powerful and can easily tear off skin or cause blindness if sprayed into unprotected eyes. Never play around with the equipment or use it to rinse hands or feet.
- Wear high-quality eye protection. The high pressure of water will make dirt, rock, wood, or anything the water hits a projectile that can cause permanent damage to the eyes.
- Water and electricity are a dangerous combination. Close any outdoor electrical outlets or cover them with duct tape to help keep water from getting inside. Stay aware of any power lines that the extension wand could strike. Avoid the risks of electrical shocks and avoid these areas as you work.
- Never use a ladder while using a power washer. You can quickly be propelled off the ladder, even if a helper is holding your ladder. Pros use scaffolding because of the threat of recoil from a ladder. If your home is taller than a single-story home, use a 6-foot rolling, lockable-wheel scaffold. With a 12-foot extension wand, you can reach higher and be safer on a secure work platform.
Voiding Their Siding Warranty
One of the biggest pitfalls homeowners can make is using too high of a pressure setting when washing their home’s siding. Using the incorrect setting for the surface can damage the siding on your home and void any warranty you have. Some types of siding don’t require pressure washing to keep them clean. It’s best to read and understand your siding’s warranty and care instructions before pressure washing.
Not Using The Right Pressure Washer
If you plan to buy or rent a pressure washer, the salesperson or rental agent will recommend a suitable pressure washer for your job. Pressure washers generate a high-pressure water spray that’s great for cleaning various surfaces, including sidewalks, decks, patios, and homes. Their power is measured in pounds per square inch (psi), the amount of pressure the liquid contents put on the walls of the container. You can use gas or electric models. Gas models can create greater psi and are advised for more challenging jobs and sturdier material. Gas pressure washers are also more mobile, making them better suited for hard-to-reach areas.
Not Asking For Help
It’s also smart to ask for a demonstration on how to properly attach and detach nozzles from the spraying wand and how to connect an extension wand. Pressure washers are awkward and heavy, with some weighing more than 100 pounds. Having a helper and a truck to get the pressure washer home and unloaded is a good idea.
Pressure washing your home is risky if you don’t follow the proper safety measures. It can also be quite physically challenging. If it has been a long time since your home was last pressure washed, it will most likely require a lot of scrubbing by hand and hours of reaching up high. Consider hiring a pro if your home is taller than one story and you’re uncomfortable working on scaffolding.
Go With The Professionals
Routine home exterior cleaning can be tedious and time-consuming for homeowners. Leaving the power washing to a professional before new paint is applied for optimal results is a smart decision. The Painting Pros have the skills, experience, and equipment to complete these tasks safely and efficiently. The Painting Pros, Inc. is a high-quality, award-winning painting contractor. Since 1978, we’ve served homeowners, business owners, and property managers across the San Jose area. We can help you get your home looking new again! Call us at 408-418-9912 to discuss your needs. Our team of painting professionals handles jobs of all sizes, and we’re ready to help you transform your property.