pressure washing housePressure washing is a quick and effective way to remove pesky dirt and grime from a surface or prep a surface for finishing or painting.  With the aid of the high-power jets from a pressure washer, you can reduce the amount of elbow grease you have to expend when preparing your surface, allowing the powerful water jets to do all the work for you.  To ensure that your attempt at pressure washing is a success, regardless of how little prior experience, keep some simple tips in mind.

Try Different Nozzles

Most power washers come equipped with several different nozzles.  Each one will produce a different type of water jet.  Before you jump right into the power washing process, test out some of these nozzles, attaching each to the washer and shooting some water through it to gauge which stream will prove most useful for your purposes.

Be Careful With Chemicals

Particularly if you are simply trying to prep a surface for exterior painting, you likely don’t need any chemicals to achieve the desired result.  The water pressure alone should remove chipped paint or pesky dirt.  If you do feel the need to use chemicals, take care to only use chemicals approved specifically for use in a power washer.  Also, use a standard garden hose to carefully wash the surface and remove any chemical residue that may remain prior to tackling the painting process.

pressure washingStart Far Away

The power of the water that shoots from your pressure washer can be impressively strong.  If you apply this jet of water to surface prone to marring, such as wood, you run the risk of damaging the material.  To reduce the risk of causing this type of damage, start at least 4 feet back from the surface, testing out the pressure before moving closer.  If the water pressure is strong enough to have the desired result at this distance, stay back while washing.  If not, gradually move closer until you achieve the desired pressure level.

Begin at the Top

To get the most bang for your pressure washing buck, start at the top of the wall you are washing or at one edge of your deck or other horizontal surface.  If you don’t move through the pressure washing process systematically, this task will take you much longer as you will have to continually re-clean areas you have already cleaned before when dirty water hits them.

Archie Deese