A DIY Guide to Pressure Clean Your House’s Siding and Gutters
Your home is your image. The way your home looks is a reflection of how your neighbors perceive you. Needless to say, dirty siding and clogged gutters paint a very negative picture of yourself but luckily for you, we have the perfect solution to these problems.
The solution is pressure cleaning. It is the quickest, easiest and most effective way to restore your home’s exterior look to its original status. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about pressure washing your home’s siding and gutters.
Let’s begin with the tools, accessories, and detergent you’ll need to complete this job:
Things You’ll Need to Clean Your House’s Siding and Gutters
Pressure washing your home’s exterior is an afternoon’s job provided you have the right tools, attachments, and detergents. Here is a breakdown of all the things you’ll need:
1. Pressure Washer
It goes without saying that a pressure washer is the most important tool to have when cleaning your home’s exterior. This section will cover the type of pressure cleaner you need, its ideal GPM and PSI rating and whether you should buy or rent it.
Type of Cleaner:
You’ll need a powerful gas pressure washer to effectively clean the vast sides of your home and gutters. Electric cleaners are less powerful and, therefore, less effective. Here is a look at our top 3 heavy-duty cleaners.
PSI and GPM:
In case you’re not sure about the PSI and GPM rating, most heavy-duty cleaners generate at least 2.3 GPM and 2,600 PSI. However, less powerful models can be used with the addition of an extension wand.
Rent or Buy:
This depends on your needs. Renting a unit from Home Depot costs about $100 a day while buying a brand new unit costs about anywhere from $300. If you are a one-time user, renting is the cheapest option but if you’re planning to use the washer regularly, then it makes sense to buy a brand new unit.
Here are the attachments you’ll need to have to make your job easier:
There are seven types of pressure washer nozzles. Luckily, most pressure washers come equipped with either four or five nozzles so you don’t need to go back to your pocket to buy them. The nozzles provide different spray angles. Freshwater nozzles range between 0 and 40-degrees (0◦, 15◦, 25◦, and 40◦) while the black soap nozzle has a 65-degree spray angle.
Adjustable nozzles and rotary/turbo nozzles make up the other types of nozzles. You will require a black soap nozzle to blast grime-removing detergent onto home’s side profiles and the gutters. You will also require a 25 or 40-degree fresh water nozzle to rinse off the sides. This is because these wider-angle nozzles produce a gentle spray that won’t damage the surfaces.
2.2 Extension Wands
You will need to buy a telescoping extension wand if your cleaner doesn’t offer one. This is because they promote safety and provide more reach on buildings that have two or more stories. Extension wands promote safety by removing the need to use unstable ladders, tables or stools to reach high surfaces.
Remember, you might damage the sides if you hold the wand too close or clean ineffectively if you hold the wand too far away. The ideal distance when cleaning flat surfaces is between one and three feet away when using 25 or 40-degree nozzles.
2.3 Extension Wands for Gutters
On the other hand, when cleaning gutters you need to have a special extension wand. Gutter-cleaning extension wands are long and have a hooked edge to provide better reach inside the narrow opening of gutters. Their long length and hooked design make them safe and efficient to use while standing on the ground. You won’t need to step on unstable ladders and stools or climb up the roof to remove leaves, dirt, and other forms of filth.
2.4 Brush Attachments
You need to buy a brush attachment depending on the state of your home’s siding. Fit a brush attachment to your washer’s wand to complement your washer’s cleaning power. The bristles on the brush will allow you to scrub stubborn grime and filth if your walls are super dirty. Brush attachments are cheap and can also be used to scrub filthy vehicle tires, garbage bins, boat sides, etc.
The last material you will need to buy is an environmentally-friendly detergent. Soapy water plays a huge role in loosening grime and dirt particles off surfaces. Without the cleaning power of detergents, you will be required to use more pressure which could easily damage wooden walls. Damaged sides pose a great danger to the structural integrity of your house.
Things You Ought to Know Before You Start Cleaning Your Home’s Sides and Gutters
Now that you’ve gathered all the materials and tools required, here are a few things you need to know before you start cleaning your home’s siding:
Type of House Siding
There are different types of house siding. You need to familiarize yourself with the type of your home’s siding as different materials react differently to detergent. The first and most important tip is to repair the material on all surface types. Here are other tips to handle the various types of materials on house siding:
Wet the surface before applying detergent. Use a soft-bristle brush and low-pressure water to prevent damage.
Wet the surface before applying detergent to prevent it from seeping in too deep. Use a brush attachment and high-pressure for the best results.
Avoid spraying water on overlap channels such as window and door frames to prevent damage and leakage. Use 25 or 40-degree nozzles for a gentle spray.
Avoid spraying water on overlap panels to prevent damage and leakage. Feel free to use an attachment brush to remove those stubborn stains.
Ensure the spray wand is about two to three feet away and use wide-angle nozzles to avoid damaging this sensitive material.
Safety Tips While Washing
Operating a pressure washer can be dangerous, especially for novices. And because safety is our first priority, we compiled the tips below to help you prevent avoidable injuries:
Avoid Standing on Uneven Surfaces
If you’ve never used a pressure washer before you should know that they generate a push-back that’s similar to firing a gun. Avoid standing on ladders, stools, and even tables if you are using a commercial-grade unit or other powerful cleaners as the push-back may cause you to stumble and fall. If you fall holding a powered cleaner, you risk sustaining an injury from the fall and if the high-pressure water comes into contact with your skin.
Wear Protective Gear
High-pressure water can cause serious damage when exposed to bare skin. As such, you need to wear protective gloves, high-density boots, and overalls or high-density trousers and long-sleeved shirts. It is also important to wear protective goggles to protect your eyes.
Stay Far Away From Electricity
Shut off the power to all outdoor electric outlets and cover them with waterproof covers to avoid the risk of electrocution. Also, cover all electrical lines and outlets with waterproof covers so as not to damage them.
Benefits of Cleaning the Siding and Gutters of a House
Whether it is dust, rain, snow, strong winds, and even direct sunlight, the exterior of a house is exposed to so many environmental factors. These factors play a huge role in dirtying and degrading the exterior surfaces. As such, it is important to clean the exterior at least once every two years regardless of the type of material used. Here are the benefits of cleaning the siding and gutters of a house:
- As stated earlier, the exterior appearance of your home affects how your neighbors see you. A clean house siding portrays you in a positive image in the eyes of your neighbors and friends.
- A home with a clean side profile increases its appeal. As such, it can fetch a lot more money on the real estate market if you decide to sell it or rent it.
- Cleaning gutters is the best way to improve the drainage of your home. It unblocks the drainage path of rainwater.
- Cleaning your gutters ensures they last longer than clogged gutters.
- Lastly, the best way to get your home’s exterior ready for a fresh coat of paint is by cleaning its siding.
Final Preparations Before Cleaning
Now that you’ve sorted your safety, the next step is to make final preparations before you begin cleaning. Here are some final preparation tips to consider:
Clear All Working Areas
The first thing to do is to remove all toys, garbage cans, bikes and other equipment cluttering the sides of your home. Also, don’t forget to trim shrubs and bushes growing nearby. This will give you more access to clean the bottom parts of your siding and clear your path to prevent you from tripping on clutter.
Waterproof All Openings
Cover all windows, doors, side vents and other openings with waterproof covers then seal them with tape to prevent water from getting into your home.
You can use your pressure washers to strip paint off curbs and surfaces or to prepare the sides without peeling away the paint. All you need to do is to calibrate your washer’s settings correctly and use the right nozzle to achieve your goal. If you don’t wish to repaint the sides of your home, use the power of your washer to scrap off chalk from aging paintwork. This will make the surface bond better with water and detergent.
Let’s See In The Video That How We Power Wash Our Home Exterior Without Damaging It.
Step by Step Guide To Pressure Clean Your House Siding
This is the moment you’ve been waiting for – a partly cloudy day with light winds and no signs of rain. These are the perfect conditions to begin the job.
Wear protective gear then gather all the tools and materials you need.
Connect the garden hose to the washer, attach a wide-angle nozzle then start it up.
If you a garden below the siding of your home, water it down to protect the plants from the soapy solution you’ll use later on.
hNext, prepare a soapy solution. Attach the detergent tank and black soap nozzle.
Attach a suitable extension wand before you attach the soap nozzle if you plan to clean a house with more than one story.
Spray the soapy solution to the wall. Start from the bottom and work your way up. Use a brush attachment if you need to scrub stubborn stains off the siding.
Let the detergent sit and work its magic for about 10 minutes provided there’s no direct sunlight. You should not allow the soapy solution to dry on the siding.
Next, replace the black soap nozzle with a 25 or 40-degree nozzle for rinsing. Use a suitable extension wand for a house with two or more stories.
Rinse the detergent solution off the wall starting from the top down.
Repeat this process on the other sides of your house as you wait for the other sides to dry.
Step by Step Guide To Pressure Clean Your Gutters
It is extremely important to have gutters in your home especially during rainy seasons. However, it beats logic to have them if they are clogged with leaves, dirt and other forms of filth. If you don’t want your yard to flood with rainwater, it is important to unblock all your gutters before the rainy season starts. Here is how to pressure clean your gutters to allow rainwater to flow freely:
Wear protective gear and gather all the tools and accessories you need to complete the job. You don’t need a detergent solution to clean your gutters.
If you’re cleaning gutters on a one-story house, attach a gutter cleaning extension attachment. If the house has two or more stories, first, attach a telescoping extension wand to provide maximum reach then attach the gutter cleaning attachment.
Next, attach the garden hose to the power cleaner.
Ensure water is flowing from the garden hose then start up the pressure washer.
Point the gutter cleaning attachment inside the gutters and ensure the water is flowing into the gutters. Let the water do its job.
At this point, all the filth will start pouring out.
Continue this until the only thing coming out of the gutters is clear water. This is the only indication that the gutters are clean.
Repeat this process on all the gutters surrounding the house.
Properly dispose of the fallen residue from the gutters then safely store all the tools you used.