Power washing your home and driveway is a great way to restore luster to your home after a particularly dirty winter. Although power washing and pressure washing the home is something that more people are doing themselves, there are still some best practices to adhere to in ensuring a great job is done.
1.A Tip On Tips
The key to good power washing is efficiency. That means having the right tool for the job. And no, having a power washer alone does not mean you have the right tool just yet. Efficient homeowners with power washers know their tips and different nozzle options before starting a job. You don’t need to be a tech guru to know which ones to use.
Most power washers come with interchangeable spray tips that are made to a) lower the water pressure and allow for the flow of detergent and b) generate a high-pressure stream for rinsing. These tips also allow for a variety of angles, which give you versatility in your project.
Generally, the smallest angle gives the most powerful stream, and the largest angle allows for a wider, lighter stream. The lower angles are great for dealing with stubborn stains and gunk, while the higher angles are great for light rinsing or soaking.
Knowing which tip to use when is a crucial component of doing a stellar job on your power-washing project.
2.Finding Good Chemistry
Proper use of cleaning chemicals can make for a powerful pressure washing experience, and the end results can be stunning. Power washing chemicals are specially formulated and specifically designed for use with a power washer. They cut through grime, kill mold and other organisms, making it easier to clean the designated area to be washed.
Make sure you only use chemicals made specifically for use with power washers. If you’re not sure, ask your local hardware store.
3.Have a Power Plan
An hour of planning your work will save you two doing it. Looking to power wash your entire home? Do you have planter boxes? Lattice? What kind of wood are your decks made from? Scout out your project and see what tips to use where. Also take note of the places you will be using chemicals and ensure you’ve got enough space and a proper path for water to flow in rinsing. Plan it before you power wash it!
4.Feel the Power With a Prep Run
Being familiar with the tool you’re working with is an advantage that can’t be overstated. Test your power washer out, with all the different tips, and see how it feels when you’re holding back that trigger. Read the safety instructions for your power washer to understand proper gripping techniques, and test out the distance to spray from for each type of smudge, stain, or mess you will be working on during your project. Preparation leaves less of a window for problems down the road.
5.Patience and Precision
When you’re out there power-washing, stick to your plan! Take your time and make deliberate, completely consistent movements left to right to ensure you get every inch of your target area cleaned. Don’t rush your movements – if you’ve planned out the project and know where you are starting, you’ll have already saved yourself some time. Consistent movements make for more precise sprays, and you’ll be amazed at how fast you can knock out a job.
After applying the appropriate chemicals, be patient in allowing them to sink in and work on the areas you’ve sprayed them. Give anywhere from five to fifteen minutes before spraying again and rinsing. This will ensure a great finish.
Take your time and make deliberate, completely consistent movements left to right to ensure you get every inch of your target area cleaned.