Power-washing your home is one of the most important maintenance steps a homeowner should take on a regular basis. Besides ensuring that your home looks its very best, power-washing is also an essential part of protecting the value of your home by preventing the buildup of contaminants that can degrade and weaken its structure over time.
Power washing uses a high-pressure stream of water, usually hot, to strip away dirt and stains that build upon the exterior of your home. The jet of water can allow cleaning of hard-to-reach places, without labor-intensive scrubbing or balancing on a ladder. It can actually be one of the more satisfying home maintenance projects because you can easily and immediately see the difference between the cleaned and dirty areas.
How often do you need to power-wash your home? Generally speaking, a home should be power-washed once or twice each year, depending on your climate and other conditions. Once a year may be enough if you live in a drier climate, with mild temperatures, or if your home does not have many pollen- or sap-producing trees nearby. For most homes, however, twice a year is ideal: once before winter, and again after winter.
During the spring and summer months, pollen deposits can build up on your home’s surfaces. Rainstorms can add to the debris that collects on your roof and siding, which can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew. This is particularly true if you live in a region with a humid climate. In the fall, wet leaves and other organic materials tend to settle in crevices and gutters, which can decay if not cleared away, and lead to rot. Scheduling a professional power-washing before the winter season arrives will eliminate these hazards and prevent a small problem from becoming a larger one.
When winter ends, it’s a good idea to schedule a second power-wash treatment, to refresh your home’s exterior after months of inclement weather. In spring, you’ll probably devote time to sprucing up your yard and garden beds, so it’s also a good time to remove any unsightly dark streaks and grime from the surface of the home that’s being showcased by your garden.
Be sure not to overlook your decking, driveway, and fencing when you have your home power-washed. These areas also benefit greatly from eliminating debris and dirt build-up, and it can extend their life span. If you’re planning to seal an aggregate driveway, paint a fence, or re-stain a deck, it’s particularly important to power-wash as a first step.
Including power-washing once or twice a year as part of your regular home maintenance schedule can help to prevent damage to your home and protect the value of your largest investment.