How to Clean Your Siding with a Pressure Washer

It’s hard to imagine cleaning your home’s siding by hand with a brush and water. Thankfully, pressure washers make this chore much easier, but it’s crucial that you follow a few important steps to ensure you stay safe and get the job done right.

Before you begin to pressure wash siding, keep in mind that it’s always best to begin with your pressure washer on a lower setting and then increase the power gradually as needed. In addition, you should ensure you aren’t using any corrosive cleaning solutions, such as those that contain bleach, polishes, or degreasers. These will damage your home’s siding. Depending on the size of your home, different types of pressure washers might be more effective. If your home is one story, you’ll likely be able to use a standard pressure washer at a low setting. If your home is more than one story, you’ll want to consider investing in a gas powered machine, which is more powerful. You may even want to look into purchasing an extension wand or other tools to extend your reach as far as possible.

Keeping these tips in mind, follow these steps when pressure washing your home to avoid damage and ensure your siding looks its best when all is said and done.

Step 1) Find Pressure Washing Detergent

Similar to the way that soap cleans things better than water alone, using a pressure washing detergent will get your home’s siding cleaner than if you just sprayed water on it. A lot of pressure washers come equipped with an injector that will mix this cleaning solution into the machine so you can spray it directly on your siding. Make sure you’re only using a detergent that indicates it’s approved for use in a pressure washer. Any detergents that are not approved could cause damage to your siding or your pressure washer. They may also not be incredibly environmentally friendly.

Step 2) Apply Pressure Washing Detergent

Once you’ve loaded your pressure washer with the detergent, you may begin applying it at a low pressure. Be sure to go slow and overlap your strokes as if you were painting a wall so no sections are missed. To avoid any streaking, it’s a good idea to start applying the solution from the bottom of your home and work your way up.

Step 3) Break Out the Brush for Bad Spots

If your home’s siding hasn’t been cleaned in a while or has several areas of thick dirt, you can use a rotating brush to help loosen the grime. This type of brush snaps on to the end of your pressure washer’s wand and most will spray out detergent as you scrub. If you don’t have access to this type of brush, a utility brush will work fine as well.

Step 4) Let the Detergent Sit

Before you rinse the detergent off your home, let it sit for about five to ten minutes to break down all of the dirt and grime. If the section of the siding you’re working on is in direct sunlight, keep a close eye on things to ensure the solution doesn’t dry completely before you rinse it off. The solution won’t work as well if it has dried before it’s rinsed.

Step 5) Prepare to Pressure Wash Siding From a Distance

Pressure washers can be very powerful, so prepare to rinse off your home from a distance and start with a low pressure setting. If you start spraying water on your siding too closely or with too much power, you could cause damage to your siding or spray water into your home’s walls, which can lead to mold growth. Start by standing five feet away from your home and move closer or increase pressure as more power is needed.

Step 6) Spray Your Siding Until It’s Clean

Keep spraying your siding until all the dirt is gone. Make sure you avoid spraying directly at vents, eaves, or any exterior light fixtures. It’s also important to remember to keep your wand pointing downward as you spray. This will help you avoid spraying underneath the laps of horizontal siding, which can cause it to buckle under the intense pressure. When you’re rinsing, work from the top of your home to the bottom to make certain no soap is left behind.

Pressure washers are a fast and handy tool to use when cleaning the exterior of your home. If your siding is still looking rough after a thorough clean, it may be time to consult with a siding contractor to get it replaced completely. At Crossover Roofing of the Triad region of North Carolina, our experienced siding contractor works with local residents to replace their siding. If you’re a homeowner near the Triad region of North Carolina, contact us today for a free estimate.