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The 101 on Washing the Exterior of Your Home

Every day, we clean our home to avoid clutter, dirt, dust and pests. However, it is just as important to clean the exterior of your home. Clearly you do not need to clean the outside of your home every day, but it does deserve some TLC every now and again. Washing the exterior of your home annually can be a wise investment.  

Why Should I Clean My Home?

1. Keep your house looking its best- Over the year harsh weather conditions and seasonal changes can leave your home covered in dirt, grime, and stains. Washing the exterior of your home will return your home to its sparkling glory.

2. Preserve property value- A well-maintained home is more valuable. If you are thinking about selling your home, any realtor will tell you the importance of curb appeal to attract potential buyers.

3. Keep your family healthy- Removing mold, dust, and other allergens allows your family to breathe easier.

4. Prevent permanent damage- If left untreated mold and mildew can cause serious damage. Removing the offending item before it becomes a major issue can save you time and money.

5. Prepare your home for repairs- If you are thinking about painting or resurfacing your home or deck it is a good idea to have it pressure washed first.

Different Methods for Cleaning Your Home

Many people use the term power and pressure washing interchangeably however there is an important difference and that is the temperature of the water.

Power Washing: Uses pressurized heated water to remove mold, dirt, stains, etc.

Pressure Washing: Uses pressurized water to remove mold, dirt, stains, etc.

Soft Washing: Uses a chemical solution to remove mold, dirt, stains, etc. and water pressure that is little more than that from a garden hose. 

Which is Best for My Home?

The answer to this depends on what you are washing.

Power/Pressure Washing
    • Brick
    • Concrete
    • Aggregate
    • Sidewalks
    • Boat Hulls 
    • Pavers
    • Certain Decking Material
Soft Washing 
    • Stucco
    • Wood
    • Asphalt Shingles
    • Cedar Shakes
    • Certain Decking Material

It is important to note that power washing and pressure washing use less chemicals than soft washing. If you are unsure about which service is right for you speak to a local professional.  

A Few Tips to Keep in Mind

Power Washing and Pressure Washing: can be dangerous due to the extreme force of the water.In the case of power washing, the temperature of the water can be hot. It is recommended that it is done by a professional, but if you are going to DIY then be sure to read the directions thoroughly.

Soft Washing: While the pressure of the water is not a factor in soft washing the use of chemicals can be potentially hazardous to plant life and landscaping. 

Power and Pressure Washing Safety Tips

1. Never Point the Hose at Anyone: Although we are dealing with water you must remember that the force at which the water is flowing can exceed 1000psi. That is enough force to cause bruising and lacerations in an instant.

2. Avoid Ladders: The force from the water can cause you to get pushed back and potentially knocked off a ladder.

3. Wear the Right Gear: Wear protective and goggles and headphones to protect your eyes and ears. Wearing long sleeves, long pants, and boots can also help prevent injuries. 

4. Be Aware of Your Surroundings: Never operate a gas-powered power washer in an enclosed space. Check any electrical cords for signs of damage as water and electricity can be deadly.

5. Never Operate Near Children or Pets: Keep children and pets away from wear power washing is happening. Injuries have been caused by flying debris.

Injuries can happen with any device with a pressure greater than 100psi. Injuries caused by a pressure washer may seem benign at first, but can cause internal bleeding and other serious damage. Asses your injury and seek medical help if necessary. 

When trying to manage home maintenance projects like this, we recommend using a Home Management App like vipHomeLink. It helps you build a profile on your home, store contact info, log the dates you conducted maintenance plus you will even receive expert advice and tips to help you improve your home! Learn more about vipHomeLink here

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