Should You Pressure Wash Your House?
When it comes to keeping a home’s exterior looking clean and flawless, many people choose to pressure wash their homes. While it may be tempting to pressure wash your house to get that clean finish, it could do more harm than good and isn’t right for every home. Whether you’re prepping for a new paint job, or simply want it to look fresh, it’s important to know everything there is to know about pressure washing your house before making a decision.
What is Pressure Washing
A pressure washer is a tool that uses high-pressure jets of water to clean surfaces at a quick speed. It’s typically used to clean cars, decks, and patio furniture and can remove dirt and built-up gunk efficiently. If not used correctly or on the wrong surfaces, a pressure washer can cause unwanted damage.
There are also different levels of pressure offered by different pressure washers. This changes how effective a washer is, but also increases the risk of damage.
Why You Should Pressure Wash Your House
There are plenty of benefits that can come from pressure washing your house when done correctly. These are the top reasons why many people choose to pressure wash the exterior of their homes.
Maintenance Saves Money
Pressure washing your home can be the preventative maintenance measure you need to save you time and money in the future. By consistently pressure washing your home, you can keep it clean, and even make an older home look new by cleaning the exterior. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to keep your home clean and can save you from having to re-paint your home, which can be pricey.
Pressure Washing is Quick
Not only does pressure washing your home save money, but it saves time as well. Rather than having to hand wash your home by hand while using ladders and large amounts of cleaning solution — which could take many hours to finish, you can pressure wash your entire home in just a few minutes.
It Can Prevent Damage
When done correctly, pressure washing can prevent damage to your home. Built-up moisture, mold, stains, and grime on the exterior of your home can lead to permanent damage to the surface over time which can be costly to fix.
Dirt, grime, mildew, and algae can grow and accumulate on the surface and within the crevices of your house, which will eventually wear away at the paint of your house if left untreated. Not only can mold and mildew affect the exterior of your house, but it can also have negative effects on your and your family’s health.
It Primes Your Home
Thinking about repainting or refinishing your house? Pressure washing is the necessary step to prime your exterior. Pressure washing your house’s exterior removes all of the mildew, dirt, and grime that has built up, giving it a clean and smooth surface to paint on. This will also help the paint stick to the surface more easily and prevents it from falling off, chipping, or cracking in the future.
Pitfalls To Watch Out For
While many benefits come with pressure washing your house, if done incorrectly, it may lead to damage to your house’s siding and exterior. Here are the pitfalls to watch out for when deciding whether to pressure wash your house.
It Can Remove Paint
If you’re not repainting your home, a pressure washer could remove the paint off of the exterior of your home. It’s common to use a pressure washer to lift paint and prime the exterior walls and siding of a house before painting, but if you’re not giving your home a new paint job, this could lead to more expenses and work than you intended for.
A lot of pressure is used in a pressure washer but if there is too much force and pressure, the water could penetrate the siding and concrete of your home. Water buildup is a serious problem that can lead to even more issues down the road, including mold and mildew.
Unwanted Mold and Mildew
If water penetrates the siding and walls of your home and turns into water buildup, your home will be susceptible to mold and mildew. It can be very time-consuming and costly to properly remove mold and mildew once it’s begun to grow and thrive in the walls and crevices of your home.
Damage to Surfaces
When pressure washing your house, there are surfaces and areas you need to avoid to prevent damage. If you pressure wash your windows, window screens, plants, or garden accidentally, it can cause severe damage and leave you with pricey repairs. Pressure washing can also dent aluminium or vinyl siding and penetrate wood siding which may cause damage to the electrical wiring and insulation. Avoid pressure washing electrical panels, meters, air conditioners, mortar, and asphalt shingles to avoid any damage.
DIY Vs Professional Pressure Washing
Hiring a professional pressure-washing contractor to pressure wash your house is no cheap task. It can cost anywhere from $150 to $2,500, depending on the size of your home. You can opt to pressure wash your house on your own, and can typically rent a pressure washer for $35 to $175 a day. While this is a much more inexpensive option, you’re much more likely to cause damage or make a mistake that can lead to expensive repairs in the future.
Is It Worth Pressure Washing Your House?
Pressure washing the exterior of your home can give you that shiny, glossy finish that gives your house that newly cleaned feel, but it can also cause damage when not done correctly. Consider the size and surface material of your home before going forward with the task. If you’re thinking about pressure washing your home, it’s best to consult a professional contractor who can help you clean your house while keeping it in good shape.
What is the best tool to use to pressure wash a house?
The tool you use to pressure wash your house’s exterior will depend on what it’s made of. If you have vinyl siding, you can safely use a gas-pressure washer. For a soft-grain wood, stucco, or aluminium house, use a less powerful washer that is between 1,200 – 1,500 psi.
How long does it take to pressure wash a home?
While the total amount of time it takes to pressure wash a home is based on the size of the home, and whether you’ve hired a professional contractor, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours, or more to pressure wash an entire house. If you have a 2,500-square-foot home that’s only one story tall, it will take about an hour to complete.
Can I put bleach in my pressure washer?
Bleach is an effective cleaning solution that kills mildew, algae, mold, and dirt, but you shouldn’t put bleach in your pressure washer. It can corrode the house nozzle and pump seals, ultimately destroying your pressure washer.