Spraying power ranges from 1,200 to 3,000 pounds per square inch (psi). To keep from damaging your painted soft-grain wood siding, or other soft materials, use a 1,200 to 1,500 psi model. It is also a good idea to look for a wide spray nozzle to disperse water pressure more evenly. The stronger non-painted surfaces can withstand 2,500 to 3,000 psi models, which will work the fastest.
Before getting started with the pressure washing, cover lights, shrubs, plants, or anything else that you want to protect with plastic or drop cloths and make sure they are secure with duct tape or weights. Also, take a brush and scrub visible mildew that you can easily reach.
Next, connect a garden hose to the pressure washer and turn on the water. Do not skip out on testing the pressure! Hold the pressure washer nozzle with both hands about 3 feet from the wall, then move closer to the wall until you are sure you won’t cause any damage but feel the spray is strong enough to remove dirt as needed.
Begin by spraying towards the top of the house and then work your way down. Don’t forget the overhangs and gutters (spray these at about a 45-degree angle.)
Leave the siding to dry for at least a few days before you begin painting. If you’d like, you can use the same pressure washer for your driveway, porch, sidewalk and deck. Keep in mind though, that these areas typically need a stronger psi, so you may not be able to get quite as much dirt and grime off as you would with another model.
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