Pressure washing or power washing siding is a controversial topic, mostly because it can be one of the most effective ways to clean siding. It can also be one of the most destructive things you can do to your siding. If you aren’t experienced with pressure washing, you may be causing more damage than good. If the pressure from the power washer is too high, or if you hold the wand too close to the surface of your siding, it can cause damage to the siding, including chipping or cracking the paint, denting the surface, or causing water to get behind the siding and potentially causing rot or mold. Power washing can also force water into areas where it doesn’t belong, such as around windows or under doors, potentially causing water damage to the interior of your home. The cleaning solutions can also be damaging, ruining the finish, or causing etching to occur on the siding surface.
What is Pressure Washing?
Pressure washing, also known as power washing, is a cleaning method that uses a high-pressure water spray to remove dirt, grime, and other contaminants from a variety of surfaces. Pressure washing machines are usually equipped with a motorized pump that pressurizes water from a garden hose or other water source and delivers it through a high-pressure spray wand or nozzle. The water pressure can range from 1,500 to 4,000 pounds per square inch (psi), depending on the machine and the cleaning task at hand. Power washing can be used to clean a wide range of surfaces. It is often used to remove dirt, mold, mildew, and other stains that can be difficult to clean using other methods.
How Do I Pressure Wash Siding?
Still want to pressure wash your siding? Here are some tips for safe power washing:
- Test an inconspicuous area of siding first: Before you start, test a small, inconspicuous area of your siding to make sure that the pressure from the pressure washer won’t damage the surface or strip off any paint or finish.
- Use the right power washing equipment: Make sure you have a pressure washer with the appropriate pressure and nozzle for your type of siding. A low-pressure setting of around 1,500 to 2,000 PSI is generally the highest you want to use for most types of siding.
- Use the right technique to wash your siding: Hold the wand at a 45-degree angle and use broad, sweeping motions to avoid causing damage. Keep the wand moving constantly to prevent any streaking or uneven cleaning.
- Use cleaning solutions sparingly: Some cleaning solutions can be used to help remove tough stains, but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and rinse the siding thoroughly after using them.
- Protect your plants and other surfaces: Cover any nearby plants, outdoor furniture, or other surfaces that could be damaged by the power washer or cleaning solution.
- Be cautious around windows and doors: Be careful when spraying around windows and doors to avoid causing any water damage to the windows, doors, or the inside of your home. Like your siding, any exposed cracks or crevices in windows or doors can allow water to get inside and cause rot or mold.
Do I Need a Professional to Power Wash My Siding?
Incorrectly cleaning your siding can cause considerable damage. If you are nervous or worried about damaging your siding, if you’re not comfortable or experienced with power washing, or if you have a particularly large or difficult job, it may be best to hire a professional to do the work for you. A power washing company will have the necessary tools, experience, and knowledge to safely and effectively clean your home. Additionally, a professional service may be able to identify issues with your siding such as cracks and leaks that could become more serious with pressure washing.
What Do I Do If I’ve Damaged My Siding?
Damaged siding can quickly become a whole home issue, so don’t wait. The professionals at Volpe Enterprises can assess any damage and provide you with a free estimate for siding repairs or replacement.