DIY: How to Clean Your Siding with a Pressure Washer
Giving your siding a deep clean can do wonders for your home's appearance. Unlike homes with brick or wood exteriors, vinyl-sided houses are very easy to take care of. With a pressure washer and the right gear, your abode can go from grimy to glorious all in one afternoon.
What You'll Need:
Step 1. Find the Right Pressure Washer & Gear
You'll need a power washer that's appropriate for your home. Electric power washers are great for smaller homes, while a heavy-duty gas power washer can reach higher and wash further when there is more siding to cover.
Also, be sure you're stocked with the right accessories. Find a soap or cleaning solution that not only breaks down dirt and grime, but one that also is appropriate for the type of siding. Check the label for more details.
Step 2. Inspect Your Siding
Before you get started, take a walk around your property and inspect the siding for damage. Try looking from multiple angles for a better perspective. From far away you'll be able to see any sheets that are coming loose, while an up close view will let you get hands-on to check that the sheets are firmly in place and aren't cracked.
Step 3. Shut Your Windows and Doors
Make sure all your windows or doors are closed. Any opening can cause damage or allow water to sneak inside your home.
Step 4. Fill 'Er Up
It's totally possible to do a thorough clean with just water, but for better results it's best to use some specially formulated detergent. Follow the directions on your cleaning solution to get it ready for the washer. Some soaps need to be diluted with water, while others may be ready to go.
Step 5. Go Slow & Steady
As you apply the water or cleaning solution using the power washer, be sure to work slowly and methodically. If you notice any especially tough, ground-in stains, take a second to stop and switch out your hose extension for a brush attachment to loosen up the staining and send debris on their way.
Step 6. Rinse & Repeat (Next Year)
Let the soap soak in for a little bit before going back over the whole thing again with just water. Work your way from the top to the bottom so that the soap moves down the siding instead of just being pushed around and drying to leave a residue. Once you're sure you've covered the whole thing, then that's it until next year.
Feel free to pack up and admire your work from your hammock in the backyard. Or you can always tackle that next project on the honey-do list. Your choice, of course...