Important Tips for Pressure Washing Different Surfaces and Materials

Pressure washing different surfaces and materials around your home can be a challenge; in the past, you may have found that your pressure washing attempts left streaks or other damage on brick, siding, and the like. Note a few important tips for pressure washing different surfaces and materials around your home so you can ensure that your next cleaning job is done right.

1. Brick

Make repairs to the mortar between brick and allow it to dry for at least a week before you clean the area. If you're going to use detergent on the brick, saturate the area with water first so the detergent doesn't get absorbed by the brick and can be more readily rinsed away. Don't spray directly on the brick, as this can cause chipping and damage, but spray the brick upward or downward instead. Be sure you're standing far enough away and using a low pressure that you don't cause pitting and cracks; start with the lowest pressure on your washer and add pressure as you go, if needed.

2. Siding

One common mistake that homeowners make is forgetting that siding is attached in large sections or pieces, and they spray the water between those section. This can cause connectors to become loose and allow for water buildup behind the siding. Always spray downward when cleaning siding with a pressure washer and avoid spraying in between sections around window frames and doorjambs. As with brick, it's good to make repairs and replace dented or damaged sections of siding before you use a pressure washer, so you don't make that damage worse; dented siding may be weakened so that it's more likely to dent even more when you apply the pressure washer spray.

3. Glass

You may have gotten a pressure washer specifically for cleaning windows on upper stories, but you need to exercise caution when cleaning glass. Start with the lowest pressure and always keep the wand moving quickly so that the glass pane doesn't get hit with too much pressure, especially in the middle where it may be weakest. Clean the windows on a cloudy day; too much sun can mean the detergent dries too quickly on the window, and you may be left with streaks. Move the wand at different angles when you wash the windows, so you remove more water and dirt than you would if you moved the wand in one direction only. Be sure you use detergent meant for glass so it doesn't etch the surface or otherwise cause damage.