Pressure Washing a House

Tips For Pressure Washing a House

It’s not uncommon for the exterior siding of a house to develop an unsightly layer of mildew, grime and dirt over time. While this typically doesn’t pose a threat to its structural integrity, it can reduce its curb appeal by creating a slimy residue in certain areas. And if left untreated, the problem will continue to spread and grow worse, resulting in stains and discoloration.

The good news is that you can combat this problem by pressure washing your home’s exterior siding. It’s a relatively simple process that will leave your house looking new again.


When choosing a pressure washer, you’ll want to pay close attention to PSI and GPM. PSI refers to pounds per square inch, which is a direct measurement of the pressure/force behind the water. GPM refers to gallons per minute, which is a measurement of how much water is coming out of the device.

Don’t assume that a pressure washer with the highest PSI and GPM is the best choice. Sure, it may offer the most power, but this may damage a house’s siding, especially if it’s old. If you’re having trouble choosing a pressure washer, check with your local improvement store. Most major improvement stores, including Lowe’s and Home Depot, rent a variety of pressure washers.

Preparing To Pressure Wash Your House:

  • Remove any patio or garden furniture from around the house.
  • Lay out drop cloths or painter’s tarp over your plants.
  • Close and cover any outdoor electrical outlets.
  • Make sure all windows are securely closed and sealed (you don’t want water seeping into your home).
  • Clear a walking path around the house so you can easily move around.

How To Pressure Wash Your House:

  1. If your house is excessively dirty, you should pre-treat it with a soap or bleach-based solutions before pressure washing it.
  2. Set your pressure washer on the lowest power setting possible and test it on the exterior of your house. If it did not adequately remove the dirt and grime, increase the power as needed.
  3. Start pressure washing your house at the top and working your way down (note: you may need to use a ladder to reach the top the top of your house).
  4. Make steady, consistent runs while moving the water stream in a fluid motion.
  5. Use caution to avoid leaving the stream in one place for too long, as this may damage  the siding.
  6. When you are finished, remove the tarps and put away your tools.

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