Pressure Wash Your Home Exterior A Guide to do it safely
In addition to preparing the pressure washer, get the work area ready. Remove obstacles that could cause you to trip or that might snag the hoses. Turn off power to external electrical outlets and fixtures and tape down plastic to cover them. Trim back plants that touch the home exterior and then wet and cover all of the plants in the work area. Close nearby windows and doors. Preparing for Pressure Washing Good to Know: If you have a two-story home, consider investing in accessories such as spray tips and extensions that are designed to help you clean second stories.
Follow the safety instructions in your pressure washer manual. General guidelines include: • Stand on a stable surface where you have good balance and solid footing. • Wear the eye protection specified by the pressure washer manufacturer. • Wear hearing protection when using a gasoline-powered pressure washer. • Do not operate a gasoline-powered pressure washer indoors or in an area that does not have proper ventilation. Direct the exhaust away from doors, windows and vents. • When using an electric pressure washer, keep the electrical connections dry and off the ground. Don't touch the plug if your hands are wet. • Never leave a spray gun unattended while the pressure washer is running. • Be aware of where you're directing the spray. Never point the spray gun at people, animals or plants. Keep the spray away from electrical fixtures, power sources and power lines. Using a Pressure Washer Safely Caution: Don't pressure wash your home if you think it's been painted with lead paint. Typically, these are homes painted before 1978. If you think your home might have been painted with lead-based paint, you can purchase a test kit or contact a professional for an inspection and recommendations.
Cleaning tough stains and grime that build up on your home exterior may require a detergent: • Use only detergents intended for pressure washers. • Use a low-pressure spray pattern to apply detergents. • Avoid streaking on vertical surfaces by applying the detergent from the bottom up. Work in small sections you can easily identify. • Let the detergent remain on the surface for several minutes before you rinse it off, but don't let it dry. Rewet the surface as needed. • When you've finished applying detergent, disengage the detergent supply. Set the pressure washer to the spray pattern appropriate for the surface you're cleaning and activate the spray to clear any residual detergent from of the system. • Spray off the detergent and grime, starting from the top and working downward. Work in small sections. Cleaning with a Pressure Washer Caution: Keep the high-pressure spray away from windows and exterior vents.
Your gutters may also need cleaning. Set your pressure washer for a high-pressure spray pattern. Rinse the surfaces with clear water to reduce the spots and streaks caused by water, detergent and grime splashing from other areas of the house. Pressure Washing Gutters Good to Know: When cleaning overhead, point the spray ahead of you and to one side to avoid spray-back and drips.
After you clean your home exterior, flush the area around the house with clear water to dilute the detergent residue. You'll also need to take care of the pressure washer. Your manual should include directions for relieving the water pressure, draining liquid from the pump and storing the machine. Follow these instructions to make sure your pressure washer is ready for your next cleaning project. Finishing Your Cleaning Project
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