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How often should you power wash your house?

Power washing siding of beige house with windows

Our homes protect us from all of the elements outdoors, but they are also subject to them. Sun, rain, dirt, and environmental pollution can all begin to wear on the exterior walls of our homes and begin to make them look worn. This damage can begin to affect the paint job, and mold and mildew build-up can even cause structural damage. The best way to maintain the exterior walls of your home is by regular power washing. Power washing not frequently enough can cause damage, but so can power washing too often. So just how often should you power wash your home to prevent damage, and not cause it? Keep reading to find out! 

Why you should power wash your home

Just like the inside of our homes need to be cleaned regularly to maintain their best condition, so does the exterior of our home. The exterior walls of our homes are subject to a number of natural elements: rain and snow which cause mold and mildew, dirt, dust, environmental pollution, and a number of small critters and insects. These elements not only make our homes appear dirty and dingy over time, but they can also even cause structural damage if left neglected. The easiest and most effective way to deal with these issues is by power washing your home regularly. Power washing removes mold and mildew build-up, as well as moss which can all begin to eat away at the siding of your home, especially if the siding of your home is made of wood.  It can also remove dirt, dust build-up, and debris like cobwebs, which makes your home appear much fresher and cleaner. If you’re preparing to add a new coat of paint to your home as well, you should powerwash first to remove any grime that could affect the paint job, and allow sufficient time to dry before painting. 

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What is the difference between power washing and pressure washing?

There are two main ways to clean the exterior of your home; power washing, and pressure washing. Power washing uses hot water, whereas pressure washing uses cold water. Since power washing uses heated water, it is better suited for “stains that contain living bacteria [as] the hot water helps to eliminate this bacteria in order to prevent it from regrowing”[2] therefore power washing is best at removing mold and mildew. Power washing is also best for removing salt residue and grease stains. 

Pressure washing on the other hand, while still effective, will not completely eliminate mold and mildew like a power washer. Pressure washing is great for removing dirt, dust, grime, cobwebs, and moss from the exterior of your home. Depending on the state of your home, you can decide whether a power washer or pressure washer is more suitable. 

SIMPSON Cleaning PS4240 PowerShot 4200 PSI Gas Pressure Washer, 4.0 GPM, Honda GX390 Engine, Includes Spray Gun, 5 QC Nozzle Tips, 3/8-inch x 50-foot Monster Hose, (49-State)

How often you should power wash your home

There are a number of factors that can contribute to how often you might want to power wash your home. If you live in a humid environment your home may accumulate more mold, mildew, and moss. If you live in a dry environment your house will collect more dust and dirt. If you live in a city your house might attract more environmental pollution. The amount of pollinating plants in your area will also contribute, as pollen collects on your home’s exterior walls in large quantities. To maintain your home against cosmetic issues like dust, dirt, grime, and pollen, you can power wash your home about once a year, or as needed. If you live in an especially dirty area, or members of your family have allergies to mold, mildew, or pollen, you can power wash your home twice a year. Always consider the amount of damage that power washing can do to the home. If you power wash your home too frequently it can damage your paint job. 

Since power washing is only called for once or twice a year, it’s a task you can outsource to professionals without it breaking the bank. Power washing incorrectly can cause more damage to the home, calling for a new paint job or even repairs. If you’re inexperienced with power washing, you should hire a professional. 

CRAFTSMAN Pressure Washer, 1900 PSI (CMEPW1900)

What do you need to power wash your home?

While the ingredients required to pressure wash your home are rather simple, the job is not. Power washing your home can be physically demanding, and it can also cause damage to your home if not don’t correctly. If you don’t think you’re cut out for the job, it’s best to call in a professional. If you are up to the job, more power to you! Keep reading to find out just what you need to get it done. 

1. Power washer:

Not everyone has a power washer on hand, but luckily they are very common to rent. You can easily rent or purchase a power washer from your local hardware store. Renting an industrial power washer may be your best bet as they perform better than personal home versions. 

2. Good weather:

Though you can’t control the weather, it’s important to refer to your local weather forecast before deciding when to power wash your home. You’ll first of all want to have good weather to get the job done for your own sake. If you’re planning on painting or doing other maintenance after power washing you’ll also need to allow sufficient time for your walls to dry. Try to time your power washing with a few days of good weather. 

3. Ladder:

Depending on how many stories your house has, you may need a ladder to get to hard-to-reach areas. Increased distance from the area you are washing will reduce the strength of the stream. For this reason, to effectively pressure wash your second or third story you may need a ladder. 

4. Detergent: 

If you’re finding the power washer alone isn’t doing the trick, there are a number of detergents you can use to accelerate the job. Depending on what surface you are cleaning you will need a specific detergent[1], for example, concrete cleaning detergent, general house cleaning detergent, or wood cleaning detergent. 

Hand power washing wall siding of a yellow house

Power washing your home protects your home and your family

Power washing your home once a year is a great way to maintain your home’s paint job, eradicate any dust and debris and keep your home looking great. It can also reduce the number of allergens being carried into your home. Our homes collect a massive amount of allergens, including pollen, dust, mildew and mold, and environmental pollutants. As these allergens collect in the home they are more easily carried into the home. These allergens can cause reactions and attacks in allergy sufferers in the home. To prevent exacerbated allergic reactions, it’s important to keep the inside and the outside of your home clean. Mildew, mold, and moss can also cause structural damage. Because mildew, mold, and moss hold so much moisture, they can cause wood rot. The wood of your structure can become weaker and begin to rot. Power washing away mold and mildew once a year, or more if you live in a particularly humid environment is a foolproof way to protect the structural integrity of your home’s siding. 

To keep your home looking brand new, or to freshen up before a new paint job, add power washing the exterior home to your Autumn or Spring cleaning routine. 


Article Sources:

  1. Pressure Washers Direct: “Deep Cleaning with Detergent and Soap
  2. Pro Wash. “Power Washer vs. Pressure Washer: What’s the difference?