Many homeowners in the Chicagoland area use power washers to clean the exteriors of their homes, particularly when they want to maximize curb-appeal prior to selling. Power washers can be very effective but, as their name suggests, they are also quite powerful. It is important that you know what you are doing when you use a power-washer so that you do not damage your home or injure yourself or others.

This is the subject of an article by Cris Carl of Networx entitled, Tips for Power Washing. In this article, Carl recommends that if you are going to use this type of cool to clean your home’s exterior that you rent one rather than purchase it. Gas or kerosene powered washers offer better mobility, but they are very loud. Electric power washers are quieter, but you must have access to a power outlet no matter where you are standing. 

Carl also provides advice about safety, what you can and cannot wash, and how to use a power washer:

  • Safety: Gearing up with safety glasses and gloves is important when using one of these washers. It is also important that you stay on the ground when using them. Standing on a ladder while using a power-washer is a recipe for a disaster. Also, bear in mind that while cold water washers are great for simple dirt-cleaning jobs, hot water power washers are better for tackling oily, greasy or sticky stains. However, the water can reach temperatures as high as 200 degrees, so it is important that you use caution when spraying it. 
  • What You Can and Cannot Wash: Power washers work great for cleaning grime, mold, mildew and cobwebs off of surfaces such as vinyl sidingfiber-cement siding, concrete, asphalt and wood, though you do need to exercise caution when power washing wood. “With a fine-point nozzle,” states contractor Matt McMillian, “you can basically write your name in the wood with it.”  You should avoid spraying windows and shrubberies with your power washer. Vinyl can also be susceptible to damage if you use too powerful a stream.
  • How to Use a Power Washer:  Most power washers offer four different sizes of nozzles, and these affect how powerful the water stream is.  Carl recommends that you start with the least powerful and work your way up to discover which nozzle is best for the job you are doing.  You can also add detergents to the water that you are spraying. A weak bleach solution is also effective.

You can learn more by reading the full article here.

If your siding is looking shabby, even after a power-wash, or your roof is in poor repair, you can contact the local experts at Baltic Home Improvements for help. We have been offering home improvement services including roof, siding and window installation since 2004. Contact us by phone or through our convenient Web form to learn more and discover why so many of our past customers recommend us to their friends and families.