If you own or have access to a pressure washer, chances are you won’t think of anything else when it comes to cleaning your home’s exterior. If you need to prep your exteriors ahead of a paint job, getting busy with a pressure washer can be uniquely effective…not to mention rather satisfying at the same time!
But here’s the thing – get it wrong and you risk doing more harm than good. Pressure washers these days tend to be relatively fool-proof, but this doesn’t mean they can’t make a fool out of you, if you get carried away.
So with this in mind, what follows is a quick overview of six of the most important tips for successfully and safely pressure-washing your home’s exterior:
Choose the Right Machine
First of all, it’s worth bearing in mind that you do not need a particularly powerful pressure washer to get the job done sufficiently. Most pressure washers brag about their PSI ratings, but what you also need to look at is water flow measured in gallons per minute. Which, quite obviously, determines how much water the thing blasts out in any unit of time. Aim for something more powerful if you intend to use it for other purposes. But if it is primarily or exclusively for the purpose of cleaning your home’s exterior, you really don’t need anything beyond the generic.
Pressure washers across the board will only ever be as safe as the individuals using them. In the case of the most powerful machines available, the high-pressure water jet they emit has the potential to cause serious injury or damage to property. This is particularly true when it comes to some of the newer models on the market, which simply for the sake of added marketing prowess are made to be unnecessarily powerful. To such an extent that they can quite literally rip the paint off your house and perhaps even break some of your windows. For obvious reasons therefore, these kinds of machines should not be used as toys. They should also never be pointed in the direction of another person, not to mention yourself. And when it comes to fitting any nozzles or accessories, do be aware of the fact that should they not be properly secured, they can fire off the end with no warning like a bullet out of a gun!
Don’t Overdo It
Quite a lot of people – most if they’re being honest – cannot resist the temptation to play with their new pressure washers and see what they can do. Which usually involves turning them up to the highest possible setting, simply to see what happens. By contrast, you might find the lower settings somewhat boring. Nevertheless, cleaning the exterior of your home does not and will not require a particularly high-pressure setting – unless you are out to do some serious damage. Exactly what level of pressure is required will be determined by both the machine in question and the nozzle you use at the time. As such, you need to read the manufacturer’s instructions in full, before going ahead.
Care with Chemicals
A lot of people add various cleaning chemicals into the mix when using pressure washers – some recommended by the manufacturer, others quite the opposite. But the one thing to remember when blasting your home with anything but water is that the stuff is going to get everywhere. All over your garden, all over your property and all over you. Not to mention, quite a way inside you if you happen to be breathing at the time. For obvious reasons therefore, you need to take a lot of care when using any chemicals or cleaning products with your pressure washer.
Know Your Limits
Last but not least, even if you have armed yourself with the best pressure washer money can buy, this doesn’t mean you cannot end up well and truly out of your depth. Depending on the size, complexity and condition of your home’s exterior, it may be in your best interests to consider bringing in the professionals to tackle things for you. A good pressure washer can certainly simplify exterior cleaning jobs, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re within your capabilities. If in doubt, it’s not worth taking the risk – make the call and arrange for a free quotation.