What you’ll need
- Pressure washer
- Rags or plastic covers
- Scotch tape
- Cleaning solution or a cleaner without phosphate
- Garden hose
- Water source
- Safety glasses
Pressure-washing a house includes using a high-pressure washer used by pressure washing services to clean dirt and debris from the outside of the home.
This type of cleaning is best done by residential power washing companies, except in a case where you have the items needed for it and you’d love to go DIY.
Pressure-washing is an important preparatory step before you start painting your house. During this process, windows, slides and roof cleaning is made.
A clean surface allows the new paint to last longer. You can use pressure washing equipment on most of the materials a house is made of once you have learned how to do it.
10 steps to power washing a house
- Choose a pressure washer that is best for the job. The different construction materials in a house can withstand different water pressures. You have to select a pressure washer that has a detergent dispenser if you plan to use it as a cleaning solution.
- Protect accessories such as lights, garden shrubs and plants outside your home from harmful water pressure.
- Cover them with rags or plastic coverings, and secure with tape.
- Manually carve over any visible mold on the surface with a brush.
- Mix the cleaning solution and fill the detergent dispenser of the washing machine. Combine approximately 1 pound (.455 kilos) of a concentrated, phosphate-free cleaner for every 4 gallons (15.4 liters) of water.
- Connect a garden hose to your water supply to the pressure washer. When ready, open the water passage.
- Try how to wash a house under pressure by holding the washer nozzle with both hands at a distance of 3 feet (121.92 cm) from the wall.
- Move the nozzle closer until you feel that the jet is strong enough to remove dirt but not too strong to cause damage.
- Start at the top of the house and proceed downwards.
- Rinse from top to bottom with a garden hose. Let it dry at least two days before painting.
Pressure washers are available for rent or purchase from mechanical equipment dealers or at home maintenance stores.
- Be careful when operating with a pressure washer. The high speed of the water can erode softwoods, a stucco finish or the mortar between the bricks if you keep it in one place for too long. Never approach less than 12 feet from the surface of the wall. Never point it straight up, or towards windows, window frames, door frames, electrical units or people.
- Never pressure a wood siding, as it will damage the surface.
- Do not wash your house under pressure if the exterior has lead-based paint. Houses painted before 1978 are likely to have lead-based paint. If you are not sure, contact your public health department to determine if your home has lead-based paint.