Did you know that home remodeling projects increased by 58% in 2020? Work completed on patios and deck doubled in the last year as well.
The increase in equity in over 15 million homes in 2020 shows that homeowners are investing in their homes the more time they spend there. New surveys suggest that 75% of homeowners will start a new home project in 2021.
Home renovation can include anything from planting a new garden to pressure washing your home. If you’re interested in using a pressure washer follow these pressure washing tips before starting. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Be Aware of Which Machine Works Best
Different kinds of machines work better depending on the job. A power washer uses hot water and works best for harder jobs like built-up grease on your driveway. A power washer is the better option for areas with a large build-up of moss or mold.
A pressure washer is always safer for small decks or driveways. It works better on soft surfaces like wood, siding, and tile. It’s also the better option for concrete.
You also need to decide between a gas pressure washer which has more power and cleans faster and an electric one which doesn’t require you to change the oil.
Depending on the work you need to complete you can use a lighter duty machine with less water pressure or a heavier duty one with extra water pressure.
2. Do Some Preparation First
In preparation for using your pressure washer, you need to check if you have a good water supply first. Use your water hose to fill five gallons. If this takes about two minutes then you have an adequate water flow and the pressure washer will work fine.
Make sure all attachments are securely in place before using them as well. Other steps for pressure washing include setting your spray wand on the lowest level and squeezing the trigger with the machine off.
This will remove any air and prepare the pump to power the machine. After you’ve completed these steps you can turn on your machine to start pressure washing.
3. Make Sure You Use the Appropriate Nozzle
When you purchase your pressure washer you’ll notice that it comes with a few nozzles that come in different colors. These nozzles are used for different kinds of jobs.
You’ll have to change out the nozzle and adjust the angle at which you spray depending on what you’re cleaning. The strongest nozzle, the red one, sprays at a zero-degree angle and provides the most force for hard-to-clean stains.
The yellow-colored nozzle works at 15 degrees and can be used for removing old paint. The 25-degree, green nozzle works best for clearing dirt from your driveway. The 40-degree, white nozzle is best for soft surfaces like decks and patios.
4. Make the Work Easier With an Extension Hose
Some key tips for pressure washing include using an extension hose. Whether you use an electric or gas-powered machine, if the hose isn’t long enough you’ll have to move it as you work so it can reach the areas that require cleaning.
This will make completing the job harder and it’ll take more of your time as well. Make things easier by purchasing an extension hose that’s at least 50 ft. long. With this hose, you can leave the machine in a central spot and complete the job in half the time.
5. Safety Tips for Beginners
When you first start using a pressure washer, and each time after that, you should follow certain safety precautions. These tips will help you get the job done and prevent any injury.
Protect your eyes since these machines spray back debris from the pressure of the water. They’re also loud so it’s important to protect your hearing as well.
Use both hands to grip the wand as you get accustomed to holding it so the force won’t make it slip out of your hand. You should also stand at a small distance from the area you’re cleaning to prevent damage.
Start slowly and at the lowest pressure to get used to the force of the machine.
6. Use the Right Cleaning Solutions
When learning how to pressure wash you should also learn about the appropriate cleaning solutions to use. Only put cleaning solutions into your machine that are meant for use with a pressure washer.
Cleaners are used to remove debris and dirt. The sanitizing solution kills bacteria while disinfectant will kill all kinds of organisms.
Different cleaning solutions are made for driveways, decks, and siding. Make sure you’re buying the right one for each area to prevent damage.
7. Certain Things Can’t Be Washed With a Pressure Washer
Knowing what kinds of things can and can’t be washed using a pressure washer is an important thing to learn before using a machine. Pressure washers can exert a powerful force even at the lowest setting so there’s a risk of damage if used on a sensitive surface.
To prevent damage to your car’s paint don’t use a pressure washer to clean its exterior. Pressure washers don’t work to clean your home’s windows either. The force can break them and create a bigger problem than you anticipated.
8. Make Sure Your Plants Are Protected
Homeowners love gardening, especially in the spring. If you’ll be pressure washing areas around your home you should keep in mind that the force from the machine and the cleaning solutions can damage the delicate flowers in your garden.
This can be avoided by placing tarps on top of your garden while you work. You should also consider using tarps when washing off peeling paint.
Instead of these paint chips falling into your yard they’ll collect into the tarp. This will make disposal of the old paint a lot easier.
9. Use Lubricant When Necessary
The O-rings used to keep your nozzles and hose connected and secured in place can start to develop wear and tear over time. The rings will stop working quicker when they start tearing.
You can make these O-rings last longer by applying lubricant after a couple of uses. Keeping the rings lubricated will keep them from tearing each time you connect the hose.
10. Tips for Pressure Washing a Fence
Each pressure washing job requires different techniques to complete the job. You can follow some of these tips to pressure wash a wood fence and make it look brand new.
A green, 25-degree nozzle will work best to remove the buildup of dirt while preventing damage. Start spraying at the bottom of the fence and work your way up. Try not to keep the water spraying in one section for too long.
11. Take Weather Into Consideration
Other tips for pressure washing that many people don’t think too much of include considering the weather. Most power washing should take place during the warm weather in the spring or summer.
This isn’t just because you want to work outside when it’s warm but spraying water into cracks in the sides of your home before cold weather can cause these cracks to freeze and expand creating unnecessary damage.
12. Learn Good Techniques
Turning on your pressure washer and spraying a dirty surface isn’t enough to get areas outside your home looking shiny and new. To clean a dirty surface thoroughly you should first let it soak with water and a cleaning solution before washing it off.
Start spraying from bottom to top in a horizontal direction and rinse once more from top to bottom to make sure the dirt and soap are washed away completely.
13. Tips for Pressure Washing Concrete
To clean a concrete driveway you can use a pressure washer with higher power but make sure to use a yellow-colored, 15-degree nozzle. Always use a cleaning solution that’s made for concrete and use a scrubbing style brush to make removing grime easier.
Soaking the concrete for some time before starting your pressure washer will help with removing tough oil stains. You might need to spray the area a few times, however.
14. Take a Few Breaks
Using a pressure washer can tire you out faster than you thought. If you’re working alone you can take a few breaks along the way. If you have a partner take turns to finish the work quickly without tiring yourself out too much.
Concentrate on small sections and work in one direction to keep track of what you’ve cleaned.
15. Some Siding Cleaning Tips
With siding, you have to be careful to use the most gentle setting. The white-colored nozzle works best. This will get your home clean without any damage.
Apply cleaning solution intended for siding and leave for a few minutes to make mold or mildew growth easier to remove. A soft wash is crucial for this area of the home.
Pressure Washing Tips You Should Follow
The pressure washing tips in this guide should help you get the job done without any issues. Remember that a soft wash is important for delicate surfaces and using the right cleaning solutions is crucial.
Make sure to check out some of our other home improvement blogs to learn more.