Preventing Damage When Pressure Washing Your Home
If you tell someone that you plan on pressure washing your home, they will typically respond in one of two ways. They may tell you how exciting that is and what great results you can get with pressure washing. Or, they may warn you that pressure washing will damage your home. The truth is that pressure washing can cause some damage when precautionary measures aren't taken. But there are definitely ways to prevent that damage. As such, you should not let those warnings keep you from enjoying the wonders of pressure washing! Just follow the tips below to keep your home safe throughout the process.
Use the lowest effective setting.
Power washers generally come with a variety of tips, which deliver water at different pressures. If you just blast everything on the highest power possible, then you might, in fact, have some issues with loose concrete and other damage. This is why you should use the lowest-pressure tip that is effective. Start cleaning with a lower pressure tip, and if that is removing the grime, stick with it. Only increase the pressure if you need to do so, and even then, don't go straight to the highest-pressure tip.
Don't aim upward when pressure washing siding.
Pressure washing can be a great way to clean your home's siding, but you do need to be careful about the angle at which you pressure wash. You never want to point the wand up, as this can allow water to seep under the siding, leading to moisture damage over time. Instead, always maintain a slight, downward angle when washing the siding. This is easier to do if you are up on a ladder to reach the higher spots. (Have someone hold the base of the ladder; your safety is important, too.)
Use plant-friendly cleaners.
One common concern with pressure washing is that the cleaners used will kill or damage plants. Some cleaning solutions can be harsh on your landscaping, but there are plenty of plant-friendly options to choose from. Read the label before buying a pressure washing solution, and make sure that the label explicitly says the product is safe for plants. Also make sure you use the cleaner at the proper, recommended dilution. Putting it on too strong could be hard on plants, even if the solution is advertised as plant-friendly.
Residential pressure washing does not have to cause damage if you go about it in the right way. Keep the advice above in mind for the best results.