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Whether it is for general cleaning or paint preparation, pressure washing is a job that is probably on many lists this spring.  In this article, we will discuss some of the pros and cons of using a pressure washer on your home.
When used properly through the hands of a seasoned professional, pressure washing can greatly improve the appearance of your home.  Whether you are interested in selling your home or just maintaining it, having your home look its best is always desirable.

Besides the cosmetic improvement, pressure washing can also prevent or at least delay some major projects such as painting, installing siding or restaining or resealing your deck.  If done correctly and regularly, pressure washing can extend the life of many outdoor features of your home.  And when comparing the cost of hiring someone to pressure wash as opposed to the cost of residing your house, the reduction in cost is significant.  That’s not to say that pressure washing will prevent you from having to put new siding on your home, it certainly won’t.  But it can extend the life of your current siding so that you have more time to prepare for replacement.  Same for the surface of your driveway, the paint on your soffit and fascia and the finish on your deck.

Pressure washing is also desirable because it is efficient.  It is exponentially faster than hand washing in nearly any application.  And if you are comfortable with doing it yourself, renting a pressure washer has become quite economical.  But alas, the affordability and easy access to pressure washing equipment can put your home exterior at risk.

 

Cons

 

Many of the potential downsides to pressure washing are linked to the expertise of who is using the pressure washer.  While a pressure washer is not an extremely complicated piece of equipment, there are facets of its operation that when not executed properly can quickly cause damage to your home or the operator.

First and foremost, if you are entertaining the idea of buying or renting a pressure washer and using it yourself, be extremely aware of the power of the water exiting the nozzle of the pressure washer.  While it may seem like a glorified garden hose, a pressure washer can tear into flesh at close range.  So if you go the DIY route, use extreme caution and take your time as you learn the ins and outs of the pressure washer.

Along those same lines, be aware of the power of the water when you are washing siding.  It is generally best to work from the top down to avoid loosening any of your siding.  Do not spray windows and try to avoid using a pressure washer on wood siding and brick.  The pressure of the water can saturate the wood and extend drying time and for brick you run the risk of removing mortar between bricks and also removing part of the brick faces.  Stucco and hard board siding should also be avoided.

Finally, be aware of the chemicals that are being used to aid in the cleaning process.  Depending on the material you are washing, you will need a certain combination of chemicals and the proper concentrations to get the best results.  If you use too strong of a solution, you could damage the material that you are intending to clean.  So do your research if you decide to do-it-yourself, or check with whoever you hire and make sure they have a plan.  Also consider the potential impact of the chemicals you use on your shrubs, flowers, lawn and yourself!