Lurking beneath your home's ugly-duckling facade may be a beautiful swan. But years of dirt and grime may have built up on your home's exterior, causing it to look dingy and dated. The barrier preventing your home from unleashing its hidden beauty may simply be its need for a power washing.
If done correctly, this type of exterior cleaning, also known as pressure washing, can strip years off your home's perceived age. But if you wield a power washing wand without being armed with a few simple tips and techniques, you can do more harm than good. The Grounds Guys® can help you become a power washing expert so you can transform your house into a sparkling gem again.
Before You Start Your Power Washing Project:
- Turn off electricity to outside outlets. Electricity and water aren't a good mix, so keep things safe by turning off the power to outside receptacles. Cover them as an added precaution.
- Cover exterior lamp fixtures with plastic and tape the plastic closed. Some fixtures are too delicate to handle the power behind a direct jet of water without breaking.
- Remove furniture from the porch or deck. Clear any decorations, too, so you have unobstructed cleaning access to your house.
- Close all windows and doors. An obvious suggestion; nonetheless, double-check to make sure the water and cleaner you're going to aim at your house doesn't find its way inside.
- Cover foundation shrubs, nearby trees and flower beds against your house with plastic. Weight the ends down with bricks, or wrap plastic around shrubs and secure with tape. Using a rolling dispenser loaded with packing tape.
Tips For Power Washing:
- Wash your home's exterior every two years, or as needed.
- Use an extension pole or telescoping wand if your house is taller than one story; don't power wash while standing on a ladder.
- Use a commercially packaged cleaning solution specifically for power washing. Bleach on vinyl siding can remove its UV protection.
- Wash from the bottom up to prevent dirt from running onto dry areas, which can cause streaking.
- Rinse from the top down so the cleaner can't drip onto already-rinsed areas.
- Clean one side of your house at a time, when that side is not in direct sun
- Don't spray underneath horizontal siding.
- Don't spray windows or screens -- the pressure may cause damage.
- Don't blast your home with the highest pressure setting; use a lower setting so it doesn't damage the house and remove paint.
A Two-For-One Tip
Before you start your power washing project, this is a good time to prune overgrown shrubs that are too close to the outside walls of your house. Shrubs are healthier when they have good air circulation around them, which is impossible if they've grown against your house. Also, the lack of air circulation keeps moisture against the walls, which provides a breeding ground for mold and mildew to grow. So get out those pruning shears and shape your foundation shrubs before power washing for an extra boost to your home's curb appeal.
Don't Forget Sidewalks and the Driveway
Part of your home's curb appeal is what leads to it -- your driveway and sidewalks. Over time, they become dirty and dingy, too. Use the power washer to clean ground-in dirt, caked mud, and bird droppings from these hard surfaces. Be aware of the runoff from the cleaner into your flower beds; so keep them covered with a tarp and secure the ends with bricks or stones to divert the runoff away from your prized plants.
Call The Grounds Guys if you hit a snag -- we're here to help!