How to Properly Wash your Home’s Exterior Siding
The inside of your home is not the only place that gets dirty. Over time, its exterior or siding will also get dingy. It can accumulate plenty of grime, dust, and often, mildew. There are houses that gather more dirt naturally than others such as those located on dusty roads. If you live in a place like this, expect a blast of grime and dirt on a daily basis. On top of that, there’s peeling paint or textured siding that adds up to the problem.
Fortunately, you can bring back the beauty of your home by cleaning it using a pressure washer with a gasoline engine such as Kärcher gas-powered pressure washers. It’s an indispensable tool that can make the daunting task simpler, manageable, and saves you time. It can blast away mold, grime, and dirt easily.
How Does a Pressure Washer Work?
Pressure washers are also called pressure cleaners, power washers or outdoor cleaners. But whatever you want to call them, they all work the same way.
At low pressure, water will enter the electric or gas-powered pressure washers. Its motor will then pump the water through its hose and spray nozzle at high pressure. These cleaning machines are great at delivering effective cleaning power you want that a garden hose cannot provide.
Electric vs. Gas Pressure Washers
Compared to gas pressure washers, electric power washers cost less. They work by simply flipping its switch. They also tend to be quieter, weigh less, and cleaner. However, they are less mobile and powerful than gas-powered pressure washers. They are ideal for cleaning your vehicles, grills, patio furniture, and other light-cleaning jobs.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a sturdy and powerful machine that you can easily move around, a gas pressure washer is what you need. It’s great at cleaning exterior siding, sidewalks, patios, decks, and other larger jobs. While some models come with a manual pull-start, there are newer ones that feature an electric starter push-button.
Pressure Washing Preparation
Not all pressure washers are not created equally, and their cleaning abilities differ. Before tackling the job and powering up your equipment, make sure to read the manufacturer’s manual first to confirm that the model is the right one for the cleaning task.
It is also essential to determine how to set it up and choose the spray pattern correctly. Settings may vary depending on factors like detergent application, surface type or whether you’ll use it for high-pressure cleaning.
Aside from these, here are the things you need to remember before pressure washing your home’s exterior:
- Safety first. Make sure to protect yourself by wearing necessary safety gears like a pair of gloves, boots, and a facemask. There should be a barrier in place over your mouth and nose since there’s a high chance that you’ll encounter algae, mildew, and mold. You should also wear a pair of goggles to protect your eyes and prevent water from splattering and splashing back into them.
- Nearby objects should be covered or removed. Pieces of furniture around the area you’re about to clean should be placed in storage temporarily so that it will be protected from dirt particles and water that will inevitably fly around. It is also recommended to cover your outdoor fixtures and plants with a tarp to prevent damaging them.
- Cover all electrical components that are exposed. Ensure that moisture will not enter the outdoor electrical ports or outlets, light fixtures, and external wiring you have outdoors to prevent mishaps like a short circuit.
- Mildew and molds should be scrubbed by hand. In a spray bottle, combine ten parts water with one part regular household bleach. Simply mist those areas with discoloration and heavy buildups, and then use a sponge or soft cloth to wipe them. Rinse the whole surface when you’re done with clean, fresh water from your hose.
- Use the right cleaning solution. When it comes to pressure washing the exterior siding of your home, it is recommended to use a cleaning solution even if you’ve previously used bleach to treat it. There are some pressure washers that feature a separate compartment where you can put detergents and soaps. Once you’ve filled it up, the water and soap will be mixed together by its internal injector into a single stream that can get rid of stains while disinfecting the surface as well.
Pressure Wash Efficiently
Follow these tips on how to effectively pressure wash the exterior of your house:
- When starting, set your setting at low-pressure. It is ideal to set the pounds per square inch or PSI of your equipment at about 1,300 to 1,600 so that you can first observe the effect it’ll have on the surface you’re cleaning. You may also consider using a 25-degree nozzle spray tip for a lesser concentrated stream. Moreover, you should stay a little further away on the surface you’re working on so that it will not get hit with the part of the stream’s that’s most powerful.
- Gradually increase pressure. If the sidings are not getting cleaned sufficiently, increase the force of the stream slowly. You can do this by adjusting the angle of the nozzle or you can just move closer to the exterior.
- Start with a small portion of the exterior siding. Begin in a corner and fixed the machine’s nozzle in one area. Steadily hold it while the discoloration and accumulated dirt chips away. Deliberately move on to the area surrounding it in a slow manner. Continue this until the entire surface you’re targeting is completely residue-free.
- Clean the surface with sweeping but smooth movements. Start from the bottom all the way up, and from left to right. The nozzle should be kept moving at all times while letting the water gradually strip away grime.
- Working in sections. Once you’ve cleaned a siding of about two to three feet, tackle the next strip. It will be more well-organized and faster if you will go over one part of the exterior at a time compared to spraying aimlessly.
- The nozzle should be held at a slight downward angle all the time. Water will get pushed straight up into the areas within the overlapping sections when spraying in an upward manner.
- Let your cleaning detergent sit for a few minutes. This will soften stubborn stains. Letting the solution dry completely can leave scummy residue or ugly streaks behind.
- Rinse from the top to bottom. Working your way from the top downwards will wash down the soap and prevent leaving streaks. Do this one section at a time as well. Rinse until you see the water running is clear and without any traces of soap.