How to Use a Power Washer How to Use a Power Washer

With the combination of spring thaws, summer’s heat, and fall’s musty weather, our homes can collect a grimy cocktail of dirt and mildew along the vinyl siding and brickwork. While you can go out there and scrub away at this, using a bucket of hot soapy water and a garden hose, a pressure washer can definitely save you time and a lot of elbow grease. Never used a power washer before? Read on for some nifty tips to make this chore seem like a walk in the park.

What is a Pressure Washer?

A pressure washer is a nifty hand-held device that pressurizes the water, sending it out of the nozzle in a powerful spray designed to blast away grit and grime. There are many different varieties that are available, but their general job is simply to clean things, using this powerful jet of water. Their most common use is for blasting the dirt off of homes but they are also used for cleaning driveways, porches, and occasionally for vehicles, such as the undersides of boats, etc.

Before You Wash

Before you wash anything, it is highly suggested that you first take the time to read through your user’s manual, to familiarize yourself with the product, and learn its uses and limitations. Make sure that you learn, not only proper and safe use of your device, but also take the time to read about clean up and storage of the product, and be sure to save and/or fill out any required warranty information.

The next step is to do a routine examination of your house. Check to ensure there are no pieces of siding that have come loose or areas that could be damaged if they got wet. Pay attention to where power boxes are and move any garden ornaments or other items that may be in your way. It’s much easier to pick it all up and move it now, rather than trying to do it while you’re in the middle of washing.

If you’re using any kind of cleaning chemicals or soaps on the side of your home, check to ensure that they will not damage your siding. Additionally, you will want to check to ensure they are not harmful to plants or animals, if you have either nearby. Otherwise, you will have to take the necessary steps in order to ensure your pet does not come into contact with any of the chemicals until they’ve all been rinsed away. Bleach is very commonly used to clean mildew away, but you must be very careful to rinse it thoroughly or it can make pets and plants sick.

For best results, you may want to find an inconspicuous area of your house to try out your new power washer. Not only will this allow you to ensure that it won’t cause any damage to your home, but it will also allow you to familiarize yourself with it and ensure you know how to use it, so it won’t pull anything loose. This also provides a good opportunity to check and see what nozzle you’re using on your pressure washer and test to see how well it will work for you.

Power Washing is Easy

Power washing is easy and fun, once you get the hang of it. Starting up at the top of your house (remember gravity works and will carry all that dirt downwards as you wash), stand back approximately 10-12 feet from your home and spray the sides of your home at a downward angle. Be careful not to spray upwards or too close into cracks and crevices, as you risk blasting your siding loose and damaging your home. Also, if you spray upwards or straight into cracks, you run the risk of causing your water to seep into the walls, which can cause electrical problems, as well as causing rot, mold and mildew.

If you’ve decided to use any kind of cleaning solution, always be sure to rinse it thoroughly; not only can leaving it on cause damage to your home, it also will tend to make it look dull and dirty. A good rinse will brighten everything up, not to mention that it will wash potentially harmful chemicals, like bleach, away.

When washing your home, be sure not to direct your spray into electrical boxes, at power cords, or in against windows. It is also highly adviseable that, when using your pressure washer, you also put on safety glasses or goggles, in order to protect your eyes from any flying debris which may be loosened up while your spraying. Following these basic steps will help keep your power washing experience a safe one.

Power washing your home will save you time and energy, allowing you to quickly blast the dirt away. In no time, your home will be the cleanest on the block. Just be careful - You’re sure to have all the neighbors knocking on the door and asking how you got your house so clean, so quickly!

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