What is the Right Way to Do Residential Pressure Washing?
When performing your regular home maintenance, consider when was the last time you cleaned the exterior of you home. As with any part of your home, proper upkeep is essential for longevity. Regular pressure washing is the best option for siding, driveways, sidewalks and more. Not only does it remove built-up dirt and grime that can be hazardous to your health, but it will boost curbside appeal of the property. Keep reading to learn how to properly power wash your home, including safety measures.
How to Protect Yourself
Improper use of a pressure washer puts you at risk for serious personal injury. Water at such a high pressure is powerful enough to tear off skin and even cause blindness. Playing with a pressure washer is no joke, and they should strictly be used for outdoor cleaning. Take the following precautions to avoid injuries.
- Wear proper protection - First and foremost, you need eye protection. High water pressure can fling dirt and debris in every direction, including your face. To prevent the washer from slipping out of your hands, you should also wear gloves that provide a solid grip.
- Take note of your surroundings - Any sources of electricity are a serious risk. Before you start pressure washing, close or cover outdoor outlets. Similarly, cover vents. Take stock of any overhead power lines. If you are using an extension wand, you should be very careful to avoid them.
- Never use a ladder - This common mistake can lead to injuries and fatalities. If you find it necessary to access a high area (as in the case of a two-story home), use scaffolding. Recoil from the washer is strong enough to pull you off a ladder, or pull a ladder over, even with someone holding the base. If you can’t rent scaffolding, hire a professional pressure washing service.
- Clean up the space - Any tripping hazards should be cleared prior to cleaning. This includes any toys, lawn furniture and/or vehicles.
- Check for lead and asbestos - Both of these materials can be found in homes built prior to the 1970s. Lead is a highly toxic metal that was used in paint. It can cause a range of health problems, such as damage to the brain and other vital organs, like the kidneys, nerves and blood. Exposure to asbestos can cause lung disease and lung cancer. Pressure washing can dislodge lead and asbestos, allowing them to be inhaled. If you are concerned that either may have been used in your home, contact a professional before power washing. Removing either substance is NOT a DIY job.
What You Will Need
There is nothing worse than starting a project, only to realize you have to run back to the store. Make sure you have all of the right tools and attachments to start pressure washing. To begin, you will have to choose a gas or electric powered pressure washer. Both will get the job done, but with a higher gallon per minute (GPM), gas will do the work faster.
For various tasks, you will also need a set of nozzles. One will be a soaping nozzle, used to apply a detergent. A detergent is necessary in order to remove dirt and grime without requiring excess water pressure that may cause damage. We recommend an environmentally safe option that is suited to the specific building materials of your home. The second nozzle should be a 24- or 45-degree tip for pressure washing. You can also purchase a brush attachment and extension wand. While these tools are not required, both can save you a little elbow grease.
When You Should Send in the Pros
An important part of home maintenance is knowing when to pass the job to a professional. One reason is when your safety is compromised. If you do not have all of the proper tools or equipment, you could easily cause injury or damage to your property. If you need more time to study up, our blog post – “Seven Mistakes to Avoid While Pressure Washing Your House” – covers the basics.
If you feel unsure of your DIY ability, call Daniel’s Lawn Service & Pressure Washing. From pressure washing to lawn service or maintenance, to landscape design, we handle it all! We have the experience and high-quality professional equipment, to ensure your home gets the proper attention it needs to hold up against the unpredictable Florida weather for years to come. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.