Pressure washing your home may seem simple, but there are actually some mistakes many make during this process. Knowing what to avoid could not only make the job easier for you, but could also save time and prevent damage to your home.
1. Applying too much pressure. You may not know it, but pressure washers have limitations, one being the ability to control the water pressure coming out of the spray. Too much pressure will result in marks similar to a “Z” pattern, created by the back and forth motion of the wand when high pressure etches concrete and wood, strips paint, and/or cracks glass. If your machine has a high PSI, hold the wand away from the surface to prevent damage.
2. Cleaning with only water. If you use only water to clean your home, you’ll find the job way more difficult than if you mixed water with a chemical cleaner. Cold water breaks the dirt barrier, but a chemical component will get the area clean and rid your home of bacteria such as spores, which water can spread and further the growth of without a chemical cleaner.
3. Washing areas that are sensitive to water. Believe it or not, there are some areas of your home you should avoid cleaning with a pressure washing. These include:
a. Door frames, Don’t forget that your doors have gaps underneath them, which can allow water and dirt inside your home.
b. Drywall ceilings on sheltered patios. While the patio ceiling may look like it could use a good pressure wash, you’ll more than likely end up with a cracked and sagging ceiling. This results from builders failing to pay attention to the drywall that’s being installed in the home and indoor drywalling ends up being installed outside. Determine what type of ceiling your outdoor patio has before choosing your method of cleaning it.
c. Loose window frames. You’ll want to make sure all windows are sealed and locked tight to prevent water and debris from spraying into your home. You’re also at risk of wood rot if it gets inside without you noticing.
4. Cleaning in a random order. To prevent dirt from other areas of your home from landing onto areas you’ve already cleaned, follow a pattern during pressure washing. Start with the roof, and then clean the house. Next, clean your patio or porches, followed by your flat surfaces and ending with your windows.
5. Using the wrong equipment for your home. While a pressure washing company has a wide variety of options when it comes to cleaning businesses and homes, a homeowner will be limited in the equipment available to them. The average homeowner will need a pressure washer that can handle higher volumes of water and a lower pressure (such as 3 gallons per minute or higher and 3000psi or lower).