Are You Pressure Washing The House In The Right Order?

Your home's exterior battles the sun's glare, microbes in the air, and dirt and dust regularly. While it never succumbs to these elements, it does accumulate a thick layer — of dirt, dust, mold, and algae, on the roof, the windows, the porch, and/or patio over time. But some TLC in the form of pressure washing can help you easily get rid of this grime buildup. However, when you do use this cleaning method on the outside of your home, it's important you do so in a particular order to ensure your pressure-washing efforts don't go to waste.

In short, you'll want to begin with your roof, then move down to your porch and windows. Moving from top to bottom when pressure washing will prevent you from having to do any areas more than once. If you start lower, like with your windows or patio, and then move on to your roof, the dirty water from your rooftop will simply fall to the areas below — negating what you had just cleaned prior. To avoid this happening, be sure to pressure wash the exterior of your home starting at the top.

How to pressure wash your home

Before you begin pressure washing your home, ascertain that your roof, windows, walls, and patio/porch material can withstand its force. For instance, vinyl siding can tolerate pressure up to 2,500 to 3,000 psi (pound per square inch), while aluminum, stucco, or soft-grain wood can withstand approximately 1,200 to 1,500 psi. Moreover, pressure washing might not be the right choice for your fiber cement and rock dash stucco as it can damage them.

You can rent or purchase a pressure-washing machine and get extension wands to reach any hard-to-clean surfaces. As part of your prep, cover your garden, light fixtures, air-conditioner compressors, and electrical outlets with a tarp and add duct tape to secure them. Also, before you begin washing, change into protective cleaning gear and don some safety goggles.

Once your pressure washer is ready with detergent, step back and maintain an optimal distance from your home to begin spraying. As noted, when pressure washing your house, the order you'll want to clean is by starting with your roof and slowly working your way down to the walls and sidings, then the patio and porch, before finally moving on to the windows, eliminating mold and built-up dirt as you go.

Mistakes to avoid while pressure washing

As said, it's important to follow the right order when pressure washing: Always start at the top. Moreover, try cleaning your house between March and November, as winter isn't an ideal time to do any kind of outdoor maintenance, especially a big project like pressure washing.

When pressure washing, stay wary of common mistakes and take precautions to avoid hurting yourself and damaging your exteriors. First of all, don't play around with the pressure washer or use it to rinse yourself, as the force is enough to tear off your skin. Secondly, don't use a ladder to reach hard-to-clean spaces, as the recoil could disturb your balance and throw you off.

Further, don't use a pressure washer on damaged areas of your house; repair them first. You must also take care not to use too much pressure as it could cause water to build up inside your home's walls and even peel the paint off the walls. Finally, ensure the sections you power wash can have time to dry completely to prevent mold growth.