If you’ve never had to repaint the exterior of your house before, you may not realize the importance of each step of the process. Painting your home’s exterior is more than picking the right color; it requires significant preparation to ensure the longevity of your paint. Generally, the best way to prepare your home’s exterior for a fresh coat of paint is to wash it. You can go for the labor-intensive option and hand wash every last nook and cranny of your home, or you could opt for the slightly less labor-intensive option of pressure washing.
Pressure Washing Compared to Hand Washing
Hand washing is both cost-effective and avoids the risk of damage to your siding panels. Unfortunately, it can be time-consuming to wash your whole home’s exterior from top to bottom, and few are willing to put in the effort. For this reason, pressure washing has become an attractive option for homeowners looking to refresh their home’s curb appeal without the painstaking labor of hand-washing.
Words of Caution
There are many reasons, including convenience, that pressure washing has become an attractive option for homeowners compared to hand-washing. However, pressure washing is not replacing sanding and stripping paint. As the name suggests, pressure washing is the process of taking highly pressurized water and spraying it at a surface to remove stuck-on debris. Due to its immense pressure, damage can happen to your siding during pressure washing.
Etching and Injecting Can Happen If You’re Inexperienced
Two of the most common forms of damage that can come from pressure washing include:
- Etching: Due to their immense pressure, pressure washers can cause damage to concrete, brick, wood, and vinyl siding. The risk of etching can be mitigated by standing at a distance from your home’s wall while spraying. Depending on the pressure washer’s PSI, this could mean standing as far as 6 feet away. In general, it’s also recommended to use the fan nozzle instead of the stream nozzle to further disperse the pressure.
- Injecting: Another potential concern is injecting. Injecting happens when water gets behind the siding boards and permeates the underlayment, sheathing, and insulation of your home’s interior. To reduce the risk of injecting your home’s siding, it’s essential that you only pressure wash from a downward or perpendicular angle. Be extra cautious around flashing, heat exhaust vents, and cracks around your windows and doors.
Breathe New Life Into Your Home’s Exterior With Pressure Washing
Many professional painting companies will offer pressure washing services in addition to their exterior painting offerings — including ours! Due to the abundance of caution and experience necessary to prevent damage to your siding, it’s generally recommended that homeowners hire a professional for pressure washing. Pressure washing ensures the longevity of your paint and shows the whole neighborhood how much you care about your home inside and out.