In order to keep your home’s exterior looking bright and beautiful, you should pressure wash your siding every two years. In addition to looking nice, this also helps protect your siding from erosion and can help it last longer. You should also power wash your siding if you are getting ready to apply a new coat of paint.

If you need to power wash your home’s siding anytime soon, here are some tips to follow to do the job right…

Use the Right Equipment

Power washing essentially requires three specialized tools: the power washer, a nozzle, and a detergent. There are both gas-power and electric power washers. While electric washers can often do the job, gas-powered washers are definitely more powerful and reliable. Your washer should be at least 2.3 GPM, which is a measurement of flow rate.

Generally, power washing is done with a 25 or 45-degree nozzle, as these angles are ideal at getting to a good position from ground level and still being able to clean out the textured parts of your siding that tend to build up dirt. Lastly, power washing detergent can usually be bought at any cleaning supplies or home improvement store.

Also, as a last aside on equipment, don’t forget to always wear eye protection when power washing your siding, as the detergent can splashback and get in your eye.

Take Careful Preparation Steps

Before you start power washing, you should cover up or move any belongings that you don’t want to get wet or potentially stained by the detergent. This includes things below on the patio or side of the house, as well as amenities attached to your home. For example, you should throw a tarp over your air conditioner unit or swamp cooler. Likewise, shut off the breaker to any outdoor electrical circuits while you are power washing and tape plastic over any cover vents and openings on your home’s exterior.

Keep Track of Your Technique

When you start washing, turn on the power washer and spray a few blasts out before you start on your siding, to ensure that the detergent and water are properly mixed. When spraying, keep the nozzle a few feet away from the side of your home as you slowly move off of it. If an area proves more difficult, slowly inch it closer to that spot until the dirt and grime are removed. Be cautious when moving closer, since the pressure of the power washer can potentially damage the siding.

As you are spraying, start as high on the home as possible, so that the grime washes down the house. If you start at the bottom, then the grime from the top of the siding will fall onto the areas you have already cleaned.

Repair Any Siding Damage Before Washing

As a last note, you should always make sure that your siding material isn’t damaged before you start spraying. A small crack in your vinyl siding may be able to be easily fixed, but power washing that area could result in a larger area of damage that turns a small fix into a full-blown replacement. This goes for any type of siding, whether it’s aluminum, fiber cement, wood, stucco, or brick & stone.