Power Washing Tips Step By Step Instructions

Power Washing Step By Step

If you plan on pressure cleaning your house on your own, there are a few things you need to know. Using the right machine makes a big difference in the amount of time you will spend and how clean the job will turn out. If you don't own a pressure washing machine, there are several places you could rent one from. In most cases they will ask for a deposit, usually cash or a credit card will work and the fee is often around the same amount as the rental charge for a day.

Get the appropriate size machine to do the job right the first time. A 2500 psi machine or better will be the pressure washer you want. Any smaller and the pressure and gallons per minute dispersed will not be enough to clean the surface properly. You will also need a quality garden hose to run water through the machine. I am not saying you will need to buy a new hose just make sure there are no leaks or holes.

Included:

  • Pressure cleaning a house
  • Pressure cleaning roofs
  • How to pressure clean siding
  • How to pressure clean driveways
  • Tips on using pressure cleaning machines


Setting Up The Job

In order to pressure clean a house you need to spend a few moments getting set up. These tips should help things move along without any major problems.

A important thing to do when first getting out the high pressure hoses is to stretch them out. Take each hose and walk with them until they ate completely unwound and straight. This will help you from having to fight the hose when you start cleaning. When you are done use the same method and the pull the hose back into a coil just like a garden hose. More people have trouble with this then most other parts of presure cleaning so make sure you straighten the hose before and after starting your job. Dont fight the way the hose coils, just move with it and the hose will naturally coil in the direction it always does.

After hooking up the pressure washer with the appropriate hoses make sure the water is on and all air is out by squeezing the trigger on the pressure gun before starting the machine. This will help avoid burning out the pump and causing damage to the machine. Keep trigger pulled and point gun away from house or people when starting it. By keeping the trigger pulled this will allow for an easier start with less pressure when you pull the ignition cord.

Decide where a good starting point on the house, roof, or deck will be and then move around from top to bottom or side to side until you have completed a section.Keep your eyes on starting and stopping points to reduce the chance of missing areas while cleaning.

Pressure Cleaning House Siding

Stucco siding and vinyl siding is some of the easiest to clean. In The case of white siding even using bleach to spray on with the chemical attactchment can give you a cleaner and brighter job. You will have to be careful using this method as you may need to cover plants and make sure other parts of the home do not recieve bleach before you are able to rinse.

When pressure washing stucco and any other siding you would start at the top using and extension piece with the gun if needed or ladder and work your way down to the bottom cleaning sections and rinsing before moving on. Be careful when using pressure around windows especially older ones as seals can break and cause leaking inside of the home.

Tips For Pressure Cleaning A Driveway And Decks

When pressure cleaning a driveway it is a good idea to treat problem areas before you get started. A good degreaser using a soft brissel brush to scrub a little should be sufficient. Let it sit for a few moments before starting to pressure wash. If you are planning to rent a pressure washer then consider asking if they will also rent a surface cleaner. This machine is designed for flat surfaces and will speed up the process of cleaning the driveway by cleaning larger areas in one smooth movement. This machine also will cut down on streaking which is common on flat surfaces using the pressure washer and wand. If you end up using the standard gun wand to clean the driveway, cut in the edges around garage and driveway then start at the top cleaning sections at a time and then rinsing before the dirt settles back in.

You can also get a chemical supply hook up to the machine if this is available. This is good for spraying bleach and other products to brighten the driveway when you are finished cleaning and rinsing. A special tip (usually black) is used when spraying chemicals.

You have to be careful when pressure washing a deck so you dont strip off the paint or stain. Of course if your plan is to strip it bare so you can repaint this will not matter. Otherwise using a scrub brush and soap to loosen tough areas first is reccommended. Use the white tips with the widest fan spray to clean decks and cut in the edges as usual first. Then a side to side or back and forth motion to complete sections to rinse.

If the deck is not coming as clean as needed switch to the yellow fan tip and continue. The yellow tip has a slightly smaller fan and will provide more pressure in a concentrated area. Try to clean in the same direction as the grain of wood so you do not cause damage to the surface of the deck.

Pressure Cleaning Roofs

Different types of roofs require different methods to clean them. If you have a very steep or high pitched roof you might want to reconsider and just hire a professional pressure cleaning business to do the job. If you still insist on doing it yourself you will need ropes and a harness to secure yourself from falling off the roof.

Tile roofs have many different designs but the most common are the flat tile roofs and the barrel tile roofs. On a do it yourself roof pressure cleaning job I would suggest never using chemicals to break down the dirt and mildew as this will cause the roof to become very slippery and dangerous. High pressure should be adequate as you have a variety of pressure gun tips to choose from. They are usually color coated with white spraying the widest fan and red being the smallest or straight stream. The yellow tips is normally in the middle and provides a nice fan spray but still plenty of pressure in a concentrated area. I would suggest using the white first then moving to the yellow if the grime is not coming off.

Complete sections at a time moving down from the top to the bottom Keep the water and dirty tiles below you and also rinse each area as you complete it. Remember to spry in between the cracks and edges of each tile and when you have completed a side you will most likely need to finish the lowest set of tile edges from the ground to make the job look right. This is also a good time to rinse off the gutters or drip edges and siding where debris runnof may have happened.

Composite shingle roofs youi can follow the same plan. Just make sure you never spray pressure upwards on the shingles as this may cause damage and potential leaks from the roof.

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Comments 4 comments

mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida

Some good info here. I voted it UP and useful. I live in a house that is 100 years old, and the first time I pressure cleaned it, when I came inside I saw water all over the floors! Evidently, the windows and doors leaked. Too bad I didn't read your tips about that subject before I started, huh?


LucidDreams profile image

LucidDreams 5 years ago from St Petersburg, Florida Author

Thanks Mary

That happens a lot with old homes. Especially considering most have wood windows and do not seal correctly.


maxie 4 years ago

A pressure washer is the perfect device to clean vinyl siding by blasting away dirt, mold and grime.

Pressure washing service NJ- http://waterbasementnj.info/


LucidDreams profile image

LucidDreams 4 years ago from St Petersburg, Florida Author

Your right maxie but pressure is not the only key. In some cases the proper safe chemicals can be used to make your pressure cleaning job go smoother and turn out better.

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