After reading through all of the comments and suggestions regarding cleaning the exterior of your house, I am curious. How much money did you save taking into consideration your time spent to acquire the needed tools and supplies, the cost of the supplies and the rental, and the time spent for the actual cleaning?
I don't know the best way, but you want to be careful not to spray the water up under your siding. The insulation behind the siding is not supposed to get soaked and the pressure from a power washer can force the water up and under the siding. It can cause a mold problem later. You want to spray directly at the house, not up on an angle which may force the water under the siding.
These are lots of good Answers to my Questions and I thank you all.
So just to be sure, let me put in one place what I need to do as per your suggestions and please let me know if I am right or any if you have different suggestions.
So to Power Wash our House I need do:
1- Apply Soap/Detergent via the Pressure Washing machine to one section of the House from bottom to the Top of the House.
2- Then change the nozzle head to a much more powerful pressure and then Wash with Water only from Top to bottom.
3- Repeat the process in the next section of the House.
My Questions then are:
1- What should be the width of the House that I Soap & Wash one a time?
2- What about the 2nd Floor? Do I change the head for each Soap & Wash cycle as I go from lower floor to 2nd floor?
3- What about irregular surfaces such as the ceiling of the enclosed Deck?
I would wash with the TSP the one side at a time . Rinse with clear water as you finish each 20-foot section. as for the 2nd floor, if you're spraying from ground level just increase the pressure on the Power washer. Keep in mind that if you do use a Ladder the start-up can possibly knock you off the ladder,You should always spray horizontally (3-4 feet wide area) Never let the detergent sit on the surface for more than 10 minutes.and the ceiling spray on an angle so that you do not get sprayed
Make sure you cover all electric outlets and always avoid lights since water can create a short circuit. Before you pressure wash black spots and clean top corners, identify whether you are dealing with fungus or just extremely dirty areas. Use more focused nozzle for areas with heavy mildew, dirt or fungus. You're Welcome
Don't use a ladder if you're not sure . spray the second floor diagonally to be safe and if necessary use a more focused nozzle. just be careful not to get sprayed yourself...(Spraying horizontally keeps the solution from going in in window and door Frames and between glass.) but if you're not experienced, Stick to doing it from the ground and Power Spray Diagonally.
TSP is.TRISODIUM PHOSPHATE... just uttering the name sends chills down the spine, doesn't it? For those of you who don't know, trisodium phosphate was a synonym for pure cleaning power!! For many years, compounds similar to this were used in clothes and dishwashing detergents. These compounds could get any stain out of your custom sweatshirts and get all the grime off of those dirty dishes...
Rent one that is adjustable and start with a low setting and as I mentioned test first and adjust or increase the pressure till it cleans as you want....there should be a Knob and by turning it Clockwise - that should increase the pressure.. explain to the clerk at the rent - all that you want to rent one that is adjustable...most of the are.. but the cheaper ones aren't...good Luck!!
Well Vince & everyone else who answer me here, thanks to you all I did my 1st Power Wash today and it well pretty well. The outside of our House is spanking clean!
Thank you all. And thanks to this Anoox for giving us all such a useful site!
Well I'm happy for You...I told you it wouldn't be that hard,, Plus you saved yourself a lot of money....Good for you!!!!! You've got my site. Feel free to log on and contact me if you ever need more Help.. It was My Pleasure.........Vince
It depends if your home has Aluminum siding, Stucco, Brick or if its painted. Don't power wash your home if you think its been painted with lead paint (before 1978). It depends on what is being removed. I would rent a pressure washer from a tool rental center or even at Home Depot. A good pressure washer will make it easy to reach second story of a home without the use of scaffolds or ladders and I think a 2500psi minimum would be enough. You can use a number of industrial strength materials but for small jobs I would use KRUD KUTTER Concentrated Multipurpose Cleaner ($11 to 13) or KARCHER Concentrated Multipurpose cleaner which you spray on and leave for 5-10 minutes to penetrate and then wash off. It is recommended for use on aluminum, vinyl and wood siding, awnings, gutters, porch screens, driveways, pool areas etc... and is safe for people, pets and plants. Any tool rental center or representative at a Home Depot or Lowes Store will be knowledgeable and willing to help.
If you don't own a Power washer, You need to go to a rent al store and rent one. make sure it has detergent spraying capabilities and that it has a high power jet spray.
Use a ladder and start at the top of the House and work your way down . now if the material you're washing is wood that's painted be very careful as the power washer can also remove the Paint...if it colored vinyl you should be OK...test a small out of the way area first. keeping in mind that a power washer can remove paint from a car. so if its material that's been painted don't spend to much time on one spot. if you can turn down the force then do so.. but test a small area first. Any hard to remove dirt clean by Hand.
Vince, yes I will be renting.
So Question is what machine or machine spec should I insist on?
And what Detergent should insist on?
Also I was told by many to apply the Detergent not from the top of the House but from bottom to the Top. And when power washing with water then go Top to Down. And not to use a ladder but an extender to reach 2nd floor.
Rent a Power washer with at least 2500 psi and if the house isn't too high, an extender may be sufficient, I prefer to use ladders as it will give you a closer view and with an extender, the pressure depletes as you reach for the top. as for detergent TSP ( TRISODIUM PHOSPHATE) Is a great cleaner. if you have a lot of mildew add some bleach The TSP and bleach act in concert to both kill the mildew and remove its characteristic stains. TSP is a strong cleaner make sure you Read the Instruction
As I mentioned in earlier comments ALWAYS test an out of the way area or a piece prior to doing anything. TSP is a strong base and can cause severe eye damage and can burn unprotected skin.Wear suitable clothing and eye protection. Keep away from skin and out of gloves....as far as starting from the bottom up (the Idea is that way the Detergent has more time to work before being rinsed off. If the home has a lot of dirt and mildew, then I would agree. Just make sure you rinse from the TOP DOWN
I believe that the exact procedure is going to depend upon several factors:
What is the surface material that you are going to wash- (Wood, Concrete, Stuco, etc.)
How high is the house-
What is being removed - (Mold, Dirt, Rust, Moss, etc.)
Since you have not done this before, I assume that you will need to either rent or purchase a Power Washer ..The rental agency or dealer should be knowledgable and able to provide you with the details that you require.
allbrands, In reply to your answer:
1- Hardy Plank mainly, plus Wood
2- What is being removed is normal dirt & mildu
3- And yes, I have not done this before, my 1st time! Fingers crossed :)
And yes, I want to rent a machine since I am selling this House and moving into a High Rise Apt.
I am not an expert in power washing but I would think that you need a machine that will generate 2500 to 3000 psi & probably plain old TSP as a detergent. As posted above testing a small not highly visible area is extremely important for determining the pressure
required and evuating the sucess of the process. I still also strongly suggest obtaining
the advise of the dealer or rental store ! Good Luck !
this would depend on the external facade of the property as there are different technic's one where using high pressure jet washing or wet and dry grit blasting however this is not our main field of business but hope the info helps