HOW-TO: Pressure Washing Your House In The Tampa Bay Area
16 February 2019
Pressure washing your Florida home will give it an instant makeover. When Grant from Land O' Lakes was trying to sell his home, he noted interest really spiked when he took the time to use a pressure washer on his exterior walls, gutter, roof and sidewalk. With a little bit of maintenance his property looked almost new again, and he was able to secure the sale!
Pressure washing isn't as simple as pointing a hose at your brickwork, as a pressure washer is a powerful tool that needs to be handled correctly. But, as Grant discovered it is well worth the effort. In the following how to, we will tell you everything you need to know before pressure washing your house:
The Benefits of Pressure Washing
Pressure washing has numerous benefits and is something which you should consider doing once per year. This could be more often for high traffic areas including walkways, decks, and gutters. If you integrate this into your home maintenance routine the process will be quicker and less messy each time you do it. The most common reasons why people choose to pressure wash their home are:
- To spruce up their home as part of their spring cleaning routine
- Preparing their home for sale to create a good first impression
- Prior to painting the exterior to remove any dirt
- To give their home a fresh new look for their own satisfaction
When your home is well maintained, it will increase the value which is ideal if you are ever planning to sell in the future. Pressure washing doesn't have to be only limited to walls, it can be used on windows, sidewalks, decks, roofs, driveways, and gutters. You may be suprised at how much difference this can make!
Keeping your house clean will be good for the health of your family, as you can easily remove any dust, debris, bird droppings, algae, mold, cobwebs, and dirt.
When is the Best Time to Pressure Wash Your House?
For this to be effective, you should plan your schedule to allow for at least 3 hours. The time it will take will vary depending on the size and complexity of the job. Remember, you will be using water so it will need time to dry.
The Florida climate can be fickle, and you should wait for a forecast which predicts at least a week of sunshine. This will give it a chance to dry neatly, without any streaks or marks. It is generally a good idea to avoid summer, as this is the peak time for both rain and humidity. If your tool is electric it won't be safe for use in the rain as it could cause a shock, which is another reason you should wait for a dry period.
Before You Get Started
Before you get started it is important to read the instructions. This is a step people generally like to skip over, but a pressure washer should always be handled with care. Proper usage will vary between models, and you want to get it right the first time. Once you have the confidence to begin, the step by step should be something like this:
Step 1: Close the Windows
As this job is going to use high-pressure water, the first thing on your list should be to close all of those windows and doors. You don't want water leaking onto your indoor flooring, so make sure there are no gaps for it to seep through. Move any outdoor furniture, kids toys or accessories to give yourself a clear workspace.
Step 2: Be Careful of Additives
If you plan to mix your water with any chemicals, proceed with caution. Follow the manufacturer's instructions as using the wrong additive could void your warranty. Sometimes, a dash of household detergent could be enough to make your home sparkle. Adding anything extra to your water could cause discoloration or damage to the surface being sprayed, and we recommend doing some research on how it might react to different materials.
Step 3: Setting It Up
Now that you have done your preparation, it is time for the fun to begin. We suggest dressing appropriately for the job, and this includes wearing long boots because the pressure from the water can be painful on your feet. Of course, with our hot weather in Florida, sunscreen is always recommended when spending time outdoors. Attach the pressure washer to your garden hose as directed, and plug into the power if required for your specific tool.
Step 4: Start Off Slowly
If it your first time you should take a few minutes to become familiar with your machine. Start off slowly and choose a setting which is on the lower end of the scale until you get the hang of it. Pressure washing your house doesn't always need to be done on full power, experiment with the different modes to decide what works best. Do a spot test to ensure there is no damage before proceeding to the rest of the house.
Step 5: Use The Right Technique
Stand back at a distance and work your way in until you get the right amount of pressure on your walls. Hold the pressure washer with two hands, working either horizontally or on a downward angle. Begin at the top of the structure and work your way down, otherwise, any dirt from the top will run, creating more work for yourself. Start from one corner and work your way around, making sure you don't miss any spots.
Follow Safety Precautions
A pressure washer should be treated as a power tool and not a kid's water pistol. While it may look like a toy you should never point it at another person because it could lead to injury. We should also note that there is a risk your existing paintwork could chip, and this is why a patch test is so important. Our best advice is to take your time until you gain confidence with your machine.
The Final Word
Pressure washing your house can turn a building which is old and dirty into something which looks fresh and clean again. If you want the results, without the effort then you might like to call in a professional. This way you can sit back with a cup of tea and watch your home transform before your eyes. Whether you call in an expert or follow the above step by step instructions and do it yourself, pressure washing is something which will only take a few hours and the improvement will be well worth it!
Need professiona help? Contact us Edwins Pressure Washing Land O'Lakes today for a FREE Quote!