Maintaining your property is part of owning a home. One great way to keep it looking new is pressure washing away dirt and mildew. Doing it right means avoiding 5 common mistakes that could cause more harm than good to your home.
1. Pressure washing with too much pressure
Too much pressure is probably the most common mistake when pressure washing. Most machines have a common limitation: controlling the pressure coming out. This can result in zebra or zorro marks caused by high pressure etching into a concrete surface.
“You can wind up blasting the joints out of brick,” says Doug Rucker of our pressure washing HomeShow Pros, Clean and Green Solutions. “You’re blasting the paint off of surfaces, stucco, EFIS all that kind of stuff.”
The best way to avoid this mistake when pressure washing is to give yourself some distance. Hold the wand off the surface area. You may still get some marks, but they’ll be easier to correct.
2. Water Only Power Washing
Using water only increases the difficulty of cleaning some areas. Using water pressure alone to get under and remove dirt is working harder than you need to. This is where it’s common to use more pressure than is prudent.
Diluted chlorine helps break mold barriers and dirt ahead of washing. This soft washing helps limit the levels of pressure washing to follow.
“We use a cleaning process and a cleaning mixture that has a little bit of bleach in it, that’s to kill the algae, and it’s diluted with water so that it’s safe,” adds Doug. “We also use a special soap that helps to keep the surface wet longer, helping pull algae off surfaces so we can gently rinse without high pressure.”
3. Pressure washing out of order
If you start with your driveway and walkways before doing the house, you’ll create more rinsing work for yourself later. After all, that dirt that comes off your house is just going to land on the ground.
Think top to bottom. Start with the roof, house, flat surfaces and windows last.
4. Beware water sensitive areas
This may seem obvious, but pressure washing near openings invites leaks into your home. The same goes for pressure-sensitive surfaces outside. Here are some areas to avoid:
Non-Water Tight Windows: If you spend too much time cleaning those window frames, you might find yourself with water stains on the inside and possible wood damage.
Door Openings: There’s a small opening at the bottom of every door. Remember that when you start cleaning. Block the opening to stop stray sprays, but generally avoid these areas.
Patio Ceilings: Drywall doesn’t respond well to power washing. Unless you’re certain that exterior drywall and tape were used, it’s best to wash these areas lightly by hand.
5. Protecting landscaping
Pressure washing can easily damage plants, grass and other landscaping. Be sure to cover plants, trees and shrubs with drop cloths before beginning your washing project.
Pros are ready to help
Properly washing your home helps keep it looking fresh, new and algae free. If that’s a job you’d prefer leaving to a professional, call Tom Tynan’s Certified HomeShow Pros at Clean and Green Solutions.