If the siding on your home is looking dingy, it's time to clean it up and make your home look like new again. The easiest way to clean your siding is with a pressure washer. While using industrial pressure washers is fairly easy, there are some basic rules and safety tips that you should follow to get the job done safely and efficiently. Here are 7 tips for properly pressure washing your home.
Use soap with the water
While the pressure from the water itself is enough to get a lot of the dirt and grime off, it won't clean it as well or as quickly. Different pressure washers have different types of soap attachments. Some will have an attachment with a separate reservoir for soap. Others will have a siphon tool to siphon the soap out of a spare bucket full of soapy water that you need to have with your pressure washer. Whichever you use, it will work as long as you get soap on your siding.
Be careful around electricity
Everyone knows that water and electricity don't mix. While power lines are tucked safely inside outer barriers to protect against rain and against people if they fall, you never know if one has too much wear and tear. It's better to be safe than sorry, so it's best to shut off the electricity to your home before you begin pressure washing. The power lines outside will still be live, so pay attention to where they are while you're up on ladders and aiming your pressure washer. If you're using an extension cord to run your pressure washer, make sure it's an outdoor cord approved for wet use.
Start with a lower pressure
When you begin pressure washing, start with a lower water pressure and work your way up. You don't want to use too much pressure and knock some of your siding loose. If you home is painted, especially if it is old paint, you could loosen the paint and knock some paint chips off, leaving your home looking worse than when you started. If the lower pressure isn't quite doing the job, turn the pressure up gradually until you find one that is just strong enough to clean your home efficiently.
Start from the top
When you pressure wash your home, start from the top and work your way down. You don't want to get the whole bottom level done, just to pressure wash the top and have the dirt and grime drip down the side of your home. This can also be a safety issue if you are spraying around your ladder that is already set up and soaking it before you climb up.
Cover you assets
If you have a car in your driveway, put it in the garage. Flower beds around your home should be covered loosely with tarp. If you accidentally hit flowers with the pressure washer, the power is enough to kill the plants. Even if you don't directly hit them, the chemical run-off from your home can eventually kill them. It's important to think about what you have around your home that could possibly become damaged and protect them before you begin.
Use a wide nozzle
If you turn up the power and use a wide nozzle, you can clean your home in a fraction of the time. The wide nozzle will clean a few feet at a time, instead of just a few inches.
Don't spray yourself or animals
When using a hose, you might tease the dog by spraying it with the hose. If you get dirt on your arm, you might aim the hose at your arm to rinse it. With a pressure washer, you can't do that. The water pressure is strong enough to penetrate skin and could seriously injure you or your pet.
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