If your vinyl siding is starting to look dirty, it’s to pull out the pressure washer!
Even low-maintenance siding needs a good cleaning once or twice a year. Whether you rent a pressure washer or hire a professional, there is no need to be intimidated by the power of a pressure washer.
If you’re ready to tackle this cleaning project by yourself, we’ve compiled a list of the best tips and practices you’ll need to get the job done.
Esseniantally, there are two types of pressure washers – gas and electric. Depending on the type, gas pressure washers are 2-3 times faster than electric ones. If you are cleaning your one-story home, a reliable electrical model will usually do the trick. On the other hand, if you have a larger home with a lot of square footage, a gas pressure washer may be your best option.
Before you get started, set yourself up for success by making sure the exterior of your home is protected and safe to move around. Tape off any vents and openings that shouldn’t get wet with cardboard and duct tape. Take a walk around the perimeter and move any tripping hazards out of the way. Finally, close all your windows and cover anything that you don’t want to get wet or damaged.
There are a few safety concerns you should keep in mind during this cleaning process. We recommend that always wear safety glasses, as the dirt and debris can easily get into your eyes. Do not use a ladder, since the power washer can get the rings of the ladder wet. Instead, invest in an extender nozzle for your power washer. Obviously, water and electricity do not mix, so be aware of outdoor electrical outlets and power lines.
Pressure washer detergent is essential to getting the job done, and many pressure washers come with an injector to mix cleaning solutions. Only use solvents that say “Approved for pressure washer use” on the label. Unapproved solvents can be harmful for the environment, your siding, and could damage your machine. Follow the instructions in your machine’s owner manual to correctly add the detergent to the tank.
Start at a distance and use a low-pressure spray. Hold the wand at least five feet from the surface and gradually move closer if additional cleaning power is needed. Once you have the right distance, work from the top of your home to the bottom, since the dirty water will run down your siding.