Wednesday, March 23, 2016

March Power Washing

The Power in the Power Wash

            Cars go to the car wash for those high pressure water streams that shoot soapy water, then rinse water and let you drive away with a sparkling clean vehicle, hubcaps and all. Well, you can't take your house to the car wash, but you can power wash it to remove dirt, grime, mildew and the last storm's residue. Be advised that using a pressure washer is serious work with safety concerns that begin with the note that a powerful burst of water can take off a finger, cause one to fall from a ladder or cause serious body harm. It's not fast like driving through the car wash, and it's not simple like waving a magic wand, but your house can sparkle too!

            That said and warnings aside, every house should be power washed at least once a year to keep the exterior free from dirt and mildew, especially. This applies to brick and stucco as well as aluminum and vinyl siding. Wood should probably only be power washed before re-priming and painting, allowing it to fully dry in between. There are three ways to approach power washing:

§  Hire an expert power washer contractor List of power washers companies
§  Buy a small electric power washer Small Electric Power Washer Reviews
§  Invest in a gas engine-powered power washer Gas Engine Power Washer Reviews

(1)       Experts. These contractors are not only experienced, but also have the best equipment and training. To avoid getting hurt with a power washer, which operates at a high psi (pounds per square inch) flow or seriously damage your house, an expert is a good idea. The professionals are trained in handling power washing equipment, angling it away from windows and crevices, using appropriate cleaning solutions, setting up scaffolding for stability and preserving your exterior material. Many contractors also use low pressure washers and specially formulated cleaning products so there is minimal risk in property damage or worker accidents.

(2)       Electric power washer. These little machines are great for a small house, boat, deck furniture or car. They will work well for light jobs, just spraying off dirt and mildew that's accumulated over a short period of time. You may still need to scrub sections first to release the gunk, and always exercise caution when electricity and water are near one other -- they're not good friends.

(3)       Gas engine power washer. This can give the best results, but you'll still need to do some cleaning by hand. One suggestion is to pre-treat mildew stains caused by nearby tree coverings or from not having washed the house in a while. Be cautious around doors and windows and especially vigilant with vinyl siding where slats meet. You don't want to power wash the house and accidentally injected moisture under the siding to breed something worse than what you are cleaning.

            There is an array of pressure nozzles for different spray ranges and uses. Practice with each one in a small section to be sure you are getting the desired results. Some models have different colors for various spray ranges. Others offer something like a rotary nozzle which adds some scrubbing power to the spray. If you buy your own equipment, read all the directions and use only the recommended cleaning solutions. Lastly, clean or have the gutters and downspouts washed at the same time and rent a Bin There Dump That dumpster for raking up leaves, fronds, nests, twigs and whatever else you manage to power wash to the ground. Like driving your car away, knowing the outside is all freshly cleaned, you can enjoy your coffee or afternoon beverage in your house, happily knowing your house looks great and is well-maintained, thereby preserving your investment.