Is Power Washing the Best Method for Cleaning Siding?

power-wash-siding

If you’ve never checked out a power washing video on the internet, it’s worth checking out. There’s something so satisfying about watching that powerful sprayer removing every ounce of dirt and grime from a surface. A side-by-side of a surface that has been power washed can look lost like a completely different surface. You can see true color and texture once again. Power washing is popular for decks, roofs, siding, brick, sheds, and other outdoor surfaces because it can clean a surface that is difficult to reach, and often without any soap or chemicals. But is it the best way to go if you need to clean your siding?

Siding will accumulate grime and dirt over time, just like anything else. Because you are often looking at your siding from a distance it can be difficult to see how dirty it is becoming. Around this time every year homeowners start to realize how dirty their siding is when they get near it to plant flowers, pull weeds, fix sprinkler systems, or do other spring and summer yard maintenance. It can be tempting to rent or pull out a power washer when you notice coated dirt or miles of spiderwebs all over your siding, but make sure you assess what you actually need.

When NOT to Use Power Washing

  • On brand new siding. If your siding it totally new you probably don’t need that much pressure. Use a hose and sponge instead.
  • On damaged siding. If you notice holes, cracks, or other issues with your siding then a pressure washer can actually make the damage worse. The pressure and water forcing its way in can cause a lot of problems. Spot clean or use a low flow garden hose in place of a power washer.
  • On Paints or Stains. Unless the surface is properly sealed, using a power washer on painted or stained surfaces will make paint chip and flake, and can even wash away some of the stain. Check the recommendations for your paint or stain, but you’re probably better off with a lower impact choice.

When to Use Power Washing

  • On a clear day. Washing on a warm and relatively clear day will help your siding to dry fast and spotless.
  • When you can’t reach it all. Power washing is particularly effective if you need to clean high and low and don’t want to use a ladder. Power washers will usually feature an extension which will allow you to reach roofs and eaves.
  • For mud, weather, and nature. Power washers can take care of caked on mud, grass clippings, spider webs, and even hornets’ nests. Just be careful!

With some careful power washing your siding can look brand new! Good luck!

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