How To Pressure Wash A House? [“Must Read Master Guide”]

how to pressure wash a house

The following guide is designed to educate people on how to pressure wash their house to clean the gutters and the siding. To that end, we will first explain which materials and pressure washing tools are necessary. 

Then how to prepare yourself for the job so that you are useful, don't get any injury, and don't cause any damage to the house. That should provide a pretty good insight into how to pressure wash a house like a pro.

Detergents, attachments, top pressure washer, and other things you need

The secret of professional pressure washers is that they know about selecting the most suitable pressure washer for the job, the right detergents, and attachments. That way they are very effective in what they do. That is precisely what you should do. Let's check how that goes:

1. When should you choose electric Or a gas powered pressure washer?

Professional pressure washers almost always choose a heavy-duty gas powered pressure washer. The reason for doing so is because these machines have a higher flow rate and get the job done faster. An electric pressure washer will get the job done as well, but it will take two or three times longer.

2. The significance of GPM and PSI?

Professionals always use machines with a minimum of 2.3 GPM. That also means the pressure washer’s PSI is at least 2.600. But the PSI is not that important as it depends on how far is the surface from the wand and the nozzle. You can check out this PSI chart for more info.

3. How to choose an appropriate nozzle?

First, you will need a black soaping nozzle to apply the detergent. Then to do the actual pressure washing you will need a twenty-five or forty-degree nozzle tip.

To reach the higher parts of the house, you will need to use an extension wand. Using a ladder is not recommended when pressure washing a house. The pressure wand needs to be held some three feet from the surface of the house.

You can bring it a bit closer if needed. One foot is the closest you should get to the surface.

4. Is the detergent necessary?

There are specially designed formulas for cleaning houses. They are suitable for stucco, wood, brick, or vinyl. Also, the best ones out there are environment-friendly.

Pressure washing the house without any detergent brings way bigger risk because that requires more water force to remove the grime and the dirt.

Therefore, if you want things to go smoothly always use detergent. All professional pressure washers recommend using detergents regularly. For more info on the types of detergent, check out our guide.

5. How about an extension wand and a brush attachment?

The extension wand is absolutely necessary as it makes pressure washing way easier and safer. Especially if you have a two storey house, then you may even need a telescoping extension wand to reach the highest part of the house while you stand firm on the ground.

The brush attachment is not a necessary item, but it can definitely make your job easier. A brush attachment will effectively scrub and push any grime and dirt from the house.

Most brushes cost less than $40 and can be used for other purposes as well. It can be used to clean cars, garbage bins, wheelies, and boats.

Things to do before you begin pressure washing the house

So, getting the job done is not what all is about. What’s more important than that is to stay safe and not to cause any damage to the house. Here are a few practical pieces of advice on how to get the job done without any injury.

1. Protect your eyes

This is one of those must do things. We are used to seeing machine operators and construction workers with safety glasses, but never DIY people.

Pressure washing can have debris flying all over the place, and you don't want some of it to end up in your eyes.

Therefore, get yourself some safety glasses if you don't want something like that to happen to you.

2. Don’t use a ladder

The pressure from the machine can push you back, and you can easily fall from the ladder. Because of that, you will never see a professional pressure washer using a ladder on the job.

It is a serious risk and must be avoided at any cost. Instead, professional pressure washers use elevated work platforms or extension wands.

3. Pay close attention to power lines

There are still some houses that are connected to the electrical power grid with power lines above the ground.

If that’s the case, make sure that you don’t touch any of the powerlines with your extension wand. This is the case where you have a big house, and you are utilizing the extension want. 

4. Be careful with houses built before 1970

The thing with houses built before 1970 is that they might have asbestos. Asbestos was banned after 1970, so you don’t have to worry about houses built after that. 

If it's your house, then you must know whether you have asbestos in your walls. If not, ask the owner or check for yourself.

5. Cut off the power and place waterproof covers over outdoor electrical outlets

Electricity and water don't mix, and that's a well-known fact. By turning off the power and covering all the outdoor outlets, you make sure that doesn't happen. By not doing so, you directly put yourself in danger.

6. Close All Openings and Vents

You can try avoiding them, but covering all openings and cover vents is the safest thing to do. You can use tape and plastic to temporary cover them. Plus, it's super easy to remove them after you are done.

7. Close your windows

This goes beyond obvious, but somehow many DIYers forget to do so. As a result, there are a couple of dozens of hilarious YouTube videos in which people fill their living rooms with water. 

There are even those that try to pressure wash their front door and forget the fact that it's not fully closed. Again, that's another section of bloopers.

If you don't want to find yourself in one of those situations, make sure that all windows and doors are fully closed before you pressure wash your house.

Pressure washing for different types of house siding

In most cases, the only real difference is which detergent to use. There is a specially formulated solution for each type of siding.

Besides, here are some practical tips on how to effectively pressure wash your house siding.

  • Stone and Brick Siding
    Make sure to repair and patch all damaged joints before you start pressure washing the house. Spray the bricks with some water from your garden hose before you apply the detergent. That way you will stop the detergent from getting deep in the bricks.
  • Stucco Siding
    Check if there are any cracks and repair them before you begin. The best way to avoid causing any damage to the surface is to keep the pressure washer two feet from the siding. Also, it is best if you use twenty-five or forty-degree nozzle.
  • Wood siding
    Repair any damaged or cracked wood panels before you start. Also, spray the wooden panels with a mild mist of water before adding the detergent.
  • Cement Fibre Siding
    No need to spray any water. Just repair any damaged areas you can find.
  • Aluminum Siding
    The trick with Aluminum siding is to avoid spraying under or up the panels. Simply avoid angling it, and you won't have any problem so ever.
  • Vinyl Siding
    Same as with any of the previously mentioned sidings you need to make sure that there are no cracks and damages. And if there are any, you need to take care of them before starting. Other than that make sure to avoid areas where panels overlap like window frames and the door.

Pressure Washing the Gutters

It is essential to pressure wash your gutters every season. That way the rainwater can run freely through them and into the storm drains. In case the gutter is clogged, then the water will be everywhere, and it will even flood your yard.

The best way to clean the gutters is with a special attachment that is a bit bent on the top. That way you can direct the pressure directly on the gutter and clean it thoroughly. 

Otherwise, you will need to go on top of your roof and clean the gutter from there. Standing on top with a pressure washer is no easy thing because of the push back that the machine creates.

Therefore, getting the mentioned attachment with the right pole is your best bet to get the job done fast and effectively.

A Quick Recap

  • 1
    First and most important is to find a heavy-duty gas pressure washer. Don’t fall for an electric one or any other as they are not as effective as a heavy-duty gas pressure washer. In addition to that, grab any extensions and accessories that you may need to get the job done.
  • 2
    Protect yourself. Protective sunglasses are a must when pressure washing. Also, in no situation use a ladder when pressure washing. A pressure washing machine and a ladder make the perfect recipe for disaster.
  • 3
    Inspect your house for cracks and damages. Fix and repair everything that requires repair. Also, make sure that you cover all vents and openings. Pay particular attention to the outside electrical outlets. Place them under waterproof covers.
  • 4
    Grab your garden hose and spray your siding. That's important if you have a brick and stone, wooden, or stucco siding. After you are done spraying apply the detergent on the siding. Make sure that you use the right formula that is suitable for your house siding. Apply the detergent from the bottom up and start with one side. After you are done, let it stay like that for five to ten minutes.
  • 5
    Start pressure washing the house from the top and work your way downwards. Keep your distance and try not to angle the water jet. Use telescope extension wand if you need. In the process don’t forget to clean your gutter as well.
  • 6
    That's it. Next, let it dry for several hours before you start admiring your work. Pressure washing it no rocket science, nor is intended to be. Just follow the process, don't miss any steps, and you will have your house glowing as the day you bought it.

Conclusion

That's how pressure washing is done, and it shouldn't be a daunting task. However, there are always some things that professionals like to keep for themselves. However, what you’ve learned here about how to pressure wash a house is already a pretty good coverage.

And before we wrap up with this mini-guide, here is why pressure washing is so important:

  • You increase the value of your house. According to some estimates, a pressure washed house can increase its value for almost $10.000. If your house is on the market, then there is no point ignoring that.
  • You extend the life of your house.
  • By getting rid of all the mold and mildew, you eliminate not just a hazard for your house, but your and your family’s health as well. If the mold continues to grow it may grow within the walls. That way even the interior can be affected as well. And that’s a new set of troubles.
  • Pressure washing is a must if you want to re-paint your house.
  • Pressure washing can effectively remove allergens. With the arrival of spring, allergen levels tend to rise. Pressure washing can make things much easier for you or your family. That’s especially if you got family members with allergies.
  • You don’t want your house to be the ugly duck in your neighborhood. A pressure washer can bring back its appeal and make it look as good as new.

There are a bunch of other reasons why pressure washing is beneficial to your house. But the ones above should do the job. Therefore, stop wasting time and start planning!

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    Verner Ellen

    Hi, my name is Verner Ellen. I am a homebody whose interest is in getting the best home tools and equipments to help with the the everyday house chores. I also love fitness, cooking and grilling. Maintaining a clean and comfortable home is my lifelong passion.

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