Clean Your Home Fast with a Pressure Washer
Using a pressure washer is perhaps the quickest and most efficient way of cleaning your house’s exterior wall and yard. It’s useful in removing stubborn dirt and grime or stripping down old paint, which is an excellent preparatory step for repainting. Whatever your cleaning goal is, you are assured that power washing can boost your home’s curb appeal in no time.
This blog, along with an article written by Alex Woodward, will show you how to use an electric pressure washer. Keep reading for awesome tips!
Pressure Washing Safety
Different pressure washers have different capabilities. You must read the user guide that came with your machine. That leaflet will teach you how to set up the device correctly and choose the spray pattern depending on your needs. It will also tell you whether you need a detergent or perform high-pressure cleaning, as well as the type of cleaning mode you need based on the surface you’re cleaning.
Before you even turn the pressure washer on, you first need to get the work area ready. Take out obstacles that can trip you off or snag the hose. Turn off the electrical outlets outside and tape them down to prevent water from penetrating in. Trim back plants that touch the wall or remove them first if they are potted. Close all the windows and doors.
As shown in this instructional video, we don’t recommend that you use a ladder to clean high parts. Leave this to the experts. Instead, invest in accessories, such as spray tips and extensions, to clean upper stories.
Here are other pressure washer safety tips:
- Stand on a sturdy surface to keep you in good balance.
- Wear goggles and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) suggested by the manufacturer. Wearing any or all of these gears depends on how powerful the cleaning mode you will use. Refer to the manual for more details.
- NEVER use a gasoline-powered pressure washer indoors.
- Keep electrical connections dry and off the ground. Don’t touch the plug with wet hands.
- NEVER leave the spray gun unattended when the machine is on.
- NEVER aim the nozzle into any living thing.
How to Use a Pressure Wash
Before start cleaning, it’s important to get yourself familiar with these basic concepts:
Amount of pressure: There are two ways to gauge the pressure level: Pounds per Square Inch, or PSI, and Gallons Per Minute, or GPM. When choosing the pressure level, always remember that the higher the number is, the stronger the pressure becomes.
When setting up the pressure level, you have to consider the surface’s material and whether you’re rinsing or cleansing. For example, softer materials such as wood might be damaged if you use forceful water. Also, use less pressure if the water is mixed with a detergent. There are three ways to adjust the water pressure: through the machine, moving closer or farther away from the surface, and the spray nozzle.
Spray nozzles: Another way to adjust the pressure setting is through the nozzle and the degree of the angle it is aimed at. Nozzles come in various colors: red: 0° (don’t use on the siding); yellow: 15°; green: 25°; white: 40°; and black:65°. In general, you use the black nozzle when you use a detergent and the green or white nozzles when rinsing.
If you need to remove the old paint, pressure washing might not be enough. You need to scrape and sand the surface before washing.
You also have to replace damaged areas and nails that have come out or woods that are already rotten. Again, make sure that you are wearing the recommended protective gears and the electric outlets and wires are all kept away from the water stream.
2. Rinse first
The second step in power washing is to rinse using the machine and clean water. This step can pre-clean the surface by taking out mold and large debris. Stand approximately 10 feet away from the wall, then move closer for stronger pressure if needed. Aim the water from side to side at a 45° angle, going from top to bottom.
3. Apply detergent
Add detergent to the pressure washer and apply it to the wall using the technique in step #2. When applying detergent, you can use either the black or white nozzles for a wide-angle spray effect. Leave the solution on for 10 minutes.
4. Rinse again
Rinse the wall thoroughly with clean water, from top to bottom. Use a high-pressure spray to remove the detergent, grime, and dirt.
With these four steps, you can successfully operate power washing and clean the exterior wall and your yard. You also use it to clean the siding, wooden deck, patio, and walkway. You just have to ensure that you use the right water pressure and angle to safely and efficiently clean a specific surface.
Need more information on how to pressure wash your house? Check out this step-by-step guide.