Get Ready for Pressure Washing

Pressure or power washing can remove the worst of peeling paint, dust, chalk, and mildew from your home’s exterior. Good results start with a good check over of your pressure washer. Ideal Tool & Equipment Service can help you with maintenance, and, if necessary, with pressure washer repair. 



Your Home’s Exterior

What impression does your home’s exterior make on visitors?  Maintaining your home’s curb appeal shows you have pride in your home - even if you’re not in the market to sell.  Exterior home projects are a good return on investment.  Realtor.org provides some interesting statistics on the topic:

  • Eight out of ten of the top return-on-investment (ROI) home projects focus on a home’s exterior, according to a 2014 study.
  • Installing fiberglass-cement siding brings an 87% ROI nationally.
  • Vinyl siding installation returns 79.2% in cost-value.
  • Window replacements are also high on the list of exterior home projects with good ROI.  Wood replacements maintain 79.3% of their value; vinyl window replacement gives on average 78.7% ROI.

 

Of course, if your siding and window exteriors are filthy, your curb appeal suffers.

What’s the best method to clean your house’s exterior? Pressure washing is a popular method. Always consult your owner’s manual for instructions first, but here are some general rules-of-thumb:

  • Wood siding or your outdoor deck can be easily damaged if pressure washer settings are too high.  If you are cleaning wood, start out with the lowest pressure - about 800 p.s.i.  (pounds per square inch).  Consult your owner’s manual.
  • Vinyl siding can be damaged with a pressure washer, however, it is more durable than wood. You may expect to use a low or medium p.s.i. setting on vinyl, with a green, 25-degree nozzle.
  • Brick and mortar can be damaged if your pressure washer settings are too high. Start low, and use a fan nozzle so that the force of the water is not so concentrated.


Prepare for the Cleaning

Planning is important. Follow all the safety procedures and checks recommended by the manufacturer of your pressure washer. Get the exterior area of your house ready, and make sure:

  • Close all windows.
  • Secure items which could fly away are removed (patio furniture, flags, flower pots).
  • Continue only if there is little wind, and no rain.
  • Use eye protection and protective clothing.
  • Plan the project. Will you need a cleaning fluid?
  • Inspect the pressure washer and make sure it is working correctly.
  • Practice operating the pressure washer, adjusting the nozzle, and using the wand until you are comfortable.


Pressure Washing Your Home’s Exterior

As you begin to pressure wash your home, the dirt and grime should start to loosen and reveal the beauty that it’s hidden. You’re on your way to having a clean exterior.  Stay sharp and focused as you continue washing each section of your home. 

  • Avoid getting any electricity source wet - including outside lights and your meter box.
  • Do not point the pressure washer wand toward any person or animal.
  • Be aware that the stronger the washer’s setting, the more “kickback” there will be.
  • Maintain movement of the wand. Focusing the water too long in one spot can cause damage to your home’s exterior.
  • Exercise caution. The force of the water can easily kick up gravel or loose dirt. 

After finishing the job, your house should have a crisp, clean look. Be proud of the job you’ve done.



Your Pressure Washer

You house looks clean and fresh now, but there’s still a little more work to do before you relax. What should you do before storing your pressure washer? If you are not going to use it for a while, check your manual and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Generally, for most pressure washers, you will need to:

  • Remove the hose from the pressure washer, and clear it.
  • Loosely loop the power cord and/or pressure hose for storage.
  • Treat connections to prevent rust.
  • Keep the washer in a dry place.
  • Prevent your pressure washer from exposure to freezing temperatures.

If you follow your manufacturer’s instruction for maintenance, storage, and winterization you are likely to enjoy a long-lasting pressure washer. However, if things go wrong - and they sometimes do - let Ideal Tool & Equipment Service take care of the pressure washer repair you need.


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