Your home siding, decks, and porches take a constant weather beating from exposure to the elements. This includes the windows, gutters, and soffits outside of the house. Part of home maintenance chores includes cleaning these structural parts of your home.
You can spend an enormous amount of time when with cleaning these areas outside of your house. Homeowners always ask many types of questions when the time comes for exterior cleaning maintenance. How do I do this? What type of chemicals do I need to use? What tools will I need?
Gas Pressure Washer Or Electric?
Gasoline pressure washers have much more power than electric. They are the way to go for greasy jobs. The Pounds per square inch (PSI) is the amount of pressure the machine can produce. The gallons per minute (GPM) refer to the amount of water coming out of the nozzle of the pressure washer. Both are important in how much dirt and grime they can strip away.
The greatest advantage of a gasoline-powered washer is that you can use them in almost any outdoor situation. They have a few disadvantages. These machines use a combustible engine that must be serviced. The engine will need spark plugs and oil changes. It may need fuel additives inside the engine when stored. You can’t use one inside a structure without proper ventilation because of carbon monoxide.
For lighter duties, an electric power washer will do a good job. A few examples of use for these machines would be for pressure washing vinyl siding on the house exterior. You can use it to wash the exterior windows. These machines are good for use around decks when cleaning them but the job will take longer.
Engine size is important for various cleaning uses. Pressure washers with smaller engines are excellent for general cleaning jobs. A professional-grade pressure washer is the way to go for delivering the power you need to clean heavy grease and oil buildup from concrete surfaces. They are great at stripping paint from metal outdoor tables and chairs.
You must use caution when operating pressure washers. Always wear safety equipment when operating a machine. Safety glasses, hearing protection, rubber gloves and boots are important to keep you safe. Make sure children and pets are out of the area being cleaned during use.
Pressure nozzles control the force and direction it sprays water. White tip nozzles are best for use with windows or exterior siding. Green tip nozzles put more force on the water being sprayed. Yellow and Red tip nozzles work well on concrete surfaces and stripping buildup away from exterior wood structures. Be careful when using when you use the red or yellow tip nozzles. They can cut you from the powerful force they create.
How To Clean A Deck With Home Pressure Washing
Start by removing any outdoor furnishings or plants away from the area. Sweep away loose dirt and leaves from the decking. The best way to remove stains or other problem spots on the wood is to apply a cleaning product with a sprayer according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the solution to soak into the wood exterior to penetrate stubborn stains.
Use a stiff wire brush with a long handle to scrub bad spots first. This helps remove the stains from the wood. Fill the reservoir tank with the cleaning solution according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Attach the correct washer nozzle to the hose of the machine. Turn the pressure washer on and make sure you’re wearing safety protection.
Start slowly, working your way from one end to the other. Never let the washer tip sit in one spot. You want to keep moving across the deck in a slow pattern. You may want to adjust the length from twelve to twenty-four inches from where the mixture of cleaner and water leaves the nozzle to clean the surface.
Turn the pressure washer off to release the built-up spray from the pressure tip handle to drain the line. If you’re satisfied with the results, allow the porch to dry out completely after you’re done washing. You can apply a wood sealer or stain to the deck at any time after the exterior wood is dried. Pressure washing exterior wood surfaces can bring back the original color quickly with an afternoon’s work.
Cleaning Concrete Surfaces
Applying a grease-removing product first can clean stubborn areas on concrete surfaces easier. Use a sprayer with the manufacturer’s instructions on mixing the product. Allow the solution to penetrate the surface. A stiff wire brush can help remove grease and oil buildup. Allow the solution time to do the job. Always wear safety protection when using harsh chemicals.
A professional grade pressure washer makes this job easier to handle. Use a yellow or red tip nozzle for the best results. For the dirtiest spots, you may need to do them over a few times to wash away the grease accumulations. Work one area at a time until you have the results you were expecting. Allow the area to dry out before applying a concrete sealer to help protect it.
Pressure Washing Exterior Home Siding
Cleaning vinyl siding isn’t as intimidating as it might seem. Make sure you cover all shrubbery and vegetation surrounding the area with plastic to protect it. Use a pressure washing cleaner designed for exterior house siding. Discuss what brand to use with your local home center.
Mix the solution according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Adjust the pressure washer settings on the lowest when you begin. Lower is better because you can damage the siding with too much force. You can increase the pressure if you need it to reach the highest spots. You might need a tripod attachment to lengthen your handle to reach areas for second story houses.
Be careful around windows using high settings on a pressure washer. You can blow out loose window panes that will cause you to have other maintenance problems to worry about. Always use a white tip nozzle when cleaning vinyl siding. It doesn’t take that much force to wash away pollen and dirt. Remember to work your way from top to bottom for the best results.
Wear safety protection and be aware of your surroundings when working outdoors. You need to watch out for where the electrical lines feed into your home when home pressure washing. Be aware of where you walk as you’re cleaning. Try to avoid ladders when using pressure-washing equipment. With the right attachments, you shouldn’t need them.
After you gain experience from cleaning with a pressure washer, the results you accomplish from your efforts will become better. Remember to always work safely when using any powered equipment.