The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Adventures in Home Maintenance: Cleaning the Siding

We have reached that exciting point in home ownership where many changes need to be made. Much painting and upkeep needs to be done. Here's what we learned from power washing the siding.
Electric powered pressure washer.
Note how the water hose and hose for the wand attach.

  1. You can rent a power washer from many of the chain hardware stores. The electric models are the least expensive. In our neck of the woods, $25 will get you four hours of washing. For a modest ranch house, four hours is quite enough. 
  2. When renting a power washer, have the hose coupling checked before you leave the store. The hose for the power washing wand is held in place with ball bearings covered with a sleeve that holds the connection tight. The male attachment on the hose gets a lot of wear and tear. Our first try failed as the sleeve covering the bearings would not lock tight and upon turning on the motor the hose flew out of the mount followed by an impressive stream of water. Upon returning the unit for a replacement, it took the staff three times to find a hose that would work. Have them check it first and save yourself a second trip.
  3. Get a bottle or two of the cleaning fluid, which requires you to use a different tip to apply the soapy water than the high powered rinsing tip (either tip applies to the end of the wand used for washing the house). 
  4. Watch a video on YouTube demonstrating how to use the make and model of power washer you are using before you rent the unit. This will save you confusion and irritation later. 
  5. If you use the electric model, make sure you can plug it directly into an outlet. They do not recommend using an extension cord (tripped breakers may result). 
  6. Experiment with side to side and up and down motions. Dirt and grime will respond differently in different places ... I can't tell you why. 
  7. Work section by section across the wall surface. Have a ladder ready for the higher reaches of the wall. 
  8. Have someone work with you for safety's sake, especially when climbing up and down a ladder with wet shoes. 
  9. Wear clothing you don't mind getting wet. Work in warm weather. 
  10. Prepare to be horrified at how dirty the wall that gets less sunlight really is as you start to clean ... and glad that you have done the job. I recommend starting with the dirtiest wall while you are fresh. It is tiring cleaning walls with pressurized water. Oh yes, and be especially careful around those windows (they need to be shut and you don't want to hit them with the water stream). 
The dirtiest wall coming clean ... slowly.

1 comment:

Helene Raymond said...

Pressure washers are one of the most necessary pieces of home maintenance equipment for those who want a clean house exterior. It is amazing what comes off the sides of one's house when sprayed with such a powerful water source -- I had no idea there was so much dirt under my siding until I used this fantastic machine.

Helene Raymond @ Trade Squad