Dirt, grime, mildew, soot... they can all build up on the side of your home and make it look far less attractive than it once did - and older or more worn than it should. Pressure washing is a great way to get rid of all of that. It’s also the perfect way to prepare your home to be painted. But if you’ve ever seen someone with a pressure washer, and it looked a little like simple magic anyone could perform, you may want to keep reading.
The dangers of pressure washing the outside of your home are numerous, and the consequences include property damage and risk of injury, so make certain you know what you’re doing before you ever pick up that wand!
Why Pressure Washing Can Be Dangerous
Wondering what could be so dangerous about a “glorified hose”? Do not make the mistake that thinking that a pressure washer is just a more energetic garden house. Pressure washers take the water and shoot it out at a much higher pressure. If that pressure is too high, it could damage your home’s siding. Even the mortar on a brick house could literally get washed away, resulting in an expensive fix. Used at full capacity, a pressure washer could force the water into the walls of your home, resulting in wet carpet, a soggy attic, and a recipe for mold.
Your home isn’t the only thing that could be damaged by a pressure washer, though. Misdirected, the stream of a pressure washer could literally cut your skin open. It can create punctures, eye injuries, and even force bacteria into your skin which could lead to an infection.
You’ve heard it before: safety first. Don’t neglect proper safety steps as you prepare to pressure wash your home. Wear proper closed-toed shoes (no flip-flops; get out the work shoes or boots), pants, long-sleeves, and protective glasses (and no, your sunglasses won’t cut it).
Tips You Need to Get It Right
If, despite the risk, you decide to pressure wash your house anyway, there are a few things you can do to prevent serious problems. These tips can help.
Prepare the Area: The first step is to make sure your area is completely clear. Remember that vents and openings can let water into your home, so you’ll want to cover those with plastic and heavy-duty tape. Water and electricity don’t play nicely together, so if possible, cut the power to all of your outdoor outlets. Cover them (if they don’t already have covers on them).
Also, if you have power lines running along the edge of your property, be careful when you’re pressure washing that area. Finally, clear the area as completely as possible. Make sure there aren’t any toys or bikes in the way and try to move potted plants away from the house so you can clean the bottom areas of your home.
Use the Right Nozzle: Selecting the right nozzle to wash your home is of the utmost importance. The nozzles move from the red tip, which is a zero degree angle to the black tip which offers a spray angle of 65 degrees. The black tip likely won’t remove dirt or stains from your home. The red tip will damage everything in sight if you have never used a pressure washer before. You likely want to use the white tip, the one that offers a 40-degree angle, on your home, as it will produce a solid spray, but it won’t damage anything.
It is important to use the right nozzle and pressure for the job. Pressure washing siding, for example, is a very different task than pressure washing a deck, outdoor furniture, or lawn equipment. You want a deep clean - without the damage.
Start Two Feet From the Surface: Many people start pressure washing when they’re right next to the surface. That is a recipe for disaster. Instead, start when you’re about two feet away from the surface. If you need to get a bit closer, you certainly can, but two feet is a good place to start.
Add Chemicals and a Brush: It may take a bit more than the pressure washer itself to clean your house. You may want to add a pressure washing broom that will help give you a deeper level of clean and some type of chemical detergent for added power. Together, these additions will help make the job a bit easier. Again, use caution: the wrong cleanser can cause more harm than good for your surfaces.
Consider Some Help
If pressure washing your home sounds like a necessary but tough task, let us help. At Mobile Magic, we not only have the equipment to get the job done right but the experience to make it happen safely as well. In a matter of hours, you could be looking at a cleaner house without the dangers of handling it yourself. If you want a bit of pressure washing help, give us a call today.
You’ve likely long heard about the benefits of pressure washing around your home and property. It could mean cleaner siding, easy to clean gutters and eaves, a cleaner driveway surface, and a sparkling deck or patio. If you’re headed to the hardware store to invest in a pressure washer, though, you may want to rethink that move. Hiring a professional pressure washer is a better way to go for five key reasons.
Wind, rain, and hail erode rocks and scar trees. How is patio furniture supposed to stand a chance? In the heat of summer, you want to be outside. Yet if your outdoor furniture is beaten up, it may not be as enjoyable. How can you make your seats and tables look new? It's easier than you might think.
Are smoky ribs slathered in your famous secret sauce calling your name? What about a few sizzling steaks or juicy burgers for family and friends? A few sides of buttery corn on the cob, Grandma’s potato salad, and you’re good to go. If you’re drooling at this point… us too. But before you fire up the grill or smoker, take a look around at your deck and patio. Is it grimy? Dirty? A little unkempt? You don’t want anything to detract from your delicious food - or your company’s enjoyment - so take a little bit of time to give it a good, thorough clean.