It's not just the inside of your house that you have to worry about getting dirty–the exterior can also accumulate a lot of dust and grime, sometimes even mildew. Whether you're simply wanting to clean your siding, or you're prepping your home for a fresh coat of paint, a pressure wash will help restore your home's curb appeal. This guide will show you how to pressure wash your house both safely and efficiently.

1. Carefully Inspect Your Home

Do a quick walk-around of your home's exterior to map out your cleaning process and prevent damage. If you notice any cracks or broken spots on your siding, repair them as you're able, or make sure you stay away from these spots when pressure washing.

If you notice any spots of your siding that are particularly dirty, check to see if there are any obvious causes–such as a leaking or broken gutter, be sure to fix the issue before you continue. Not fixing the issue before pressure washing could make it much worse.

2. Choose a Pressure Washer

Different exteriors have different needs when it comes to pressure levels. You might need a certain type of pressure washer for your housing materials.

  • Vinyl siding can withstand the most pressure, therefore, a gas pressure washer (5,000-3,000 psi) is likely the right choice.
  • Aluminum, soft-grain wood, or stucco homes should be washed with less pressure to protect the exterior (about 1,200-1,500 psi).

Some other considerations:

  • Do you want to rent or buy a pressure washer?
  • Do you need any additional accessories such as extension wands or telescoping wands (helpful for hard-to-reach areas or multiple-story homes)?

3. Prep the Area and Put on Safety Gear

Once you've decided on a pressure washer, it's time to prep the area and gear up.

  • Before you start, cover or remove items such as light fixtures and air conditioner compressors so they don't get damaged.
  • Cover shrubs and garden plants with a tarp or plastic covering and secure the coverings in place with duct tape.
  • Do not stand on a ladder while using a pressure washer as the pressure could cause you to lose your balance.
  • Pre-scrub the exterior of your home with a scrub brush or garden hose.

4. Watch Out for These Areas

These are the more sensitive areas of your home to either avoid completely or be cautious around:

  • Screens (window or door)
  • Windows
  • Painted surfaces
  • Any damaged spots

5. Start From a Safe Distance

Pressure washers are specifically designed to have a kick, so be sure to start at a safe distance and with a low-pressure spray. Starting too close or with too much pressure could damage your siding or get water into the walls of your home–creating the perfect breeding ground for mold. Hold the wand about five feet from the surface you're cleaning and gradually step closer if more cleaning power is needed.

As you spray your siding clean, be sure to avoid the areas we mentioned before, and keep the wand angled downwards for vinyl siding. This will help you avoid spraying up under the siding laps and protect your siding from buckling under pressure.

Keep in mind that different types of siding require different pressure levels and care so be sure to research specifics for your siding type before spraying away!

Need Help with Your Siding?

Our team of experts at Tacheny Exteriors would love to answer any questions you have regarding siding care. Perhaps your siding needs a little more than a pressure wash–old siding is not only hurting your home's curb appeal but cracked and warped siding also allows moisture and insects to get inside which can cause further damage over time.

Get your siding updated sooner rather than later by one of the most trusted siding companies around–with the largest range of siding options available. Contact us today for a free cost estimate from a Tacheny siding contractor. Just fill out our online form or give us a call at (651) 565-1792 .