There are clear dangers and drawbacks to having water in your home – and we’ve covered ways to prevent water damage – but sometimes water can add life to your home. 

Many people in Sioux Falls, Brookings, Yankton, and other areas choose to power wash the exterior of their homes every year, because the benefits clearly outweigh the dangers.  

However, those dangers are very real, and it’s important for you to weigh the pros and cons of power washing your house before you get started. 

Why do South Dakotans Power Wash Their Homes? 

Aside from removing dust, dirt, and mold from the exterior of your home, power washing also helps you maintain the look of your home’s paint. 

Traditional stucco, aluminum, steel, wood, and brick siding all benefit from power washing every few years, or right before the home is repainted.

What are the Drawbacks of Power Washing a Home? 

There’s more to it than turning the water on and spraying away. Power washing also takes some skill. Spraying too aggressively could harm siding or paint—in fact, pressure washing is not recommended for homes with stucco or for cement-based siding, which could be damaged by the process.

Pressure washing a home is dangerous if you do not follow the proper safety measures, and can be quite demanding physically. 

If it has been a long time since you last pressure washed your home, you’re probably in for a lot of scrubbing by hand and hours of spraying high and low on a wall. 

If your home is taller than one story and you’re not up for standing on a scaffolding, you might want to hire a professional. For single-story homes, however, the steps below will guide you through how to pressure wash a house — and boost your curb appeal.

  1. Pick the Right Machine: Pressure washers are available in gas and electric models; the gas variety can create greater psi and is advised for tougher jobs and hardier material. Because they don’t have to be plugged into an electrical outlet, gas pressure washers are also more mobile, so they’re better suited for hard-to-reach areas.If you plan to rent a machine, the rental agent will be able to recommend an appropriate pressure washer for your job.
  2. Choose a Safe PSI: The PSI (pounds per square inch) required for building materials varies. Painted, soft-grain wood siding, stucco, and aluminum siding are best treated with 1,200 to 1,500 PSI models. For delicate stucco, it’s also best to use a wider spray nozzle to disperse water over a larger area and with less force, preventing any gouging or nicking. When power washing vinyl siding or other rugged, unpainted materials like brick, stone, and steel, it’s recommended to use a machine rated for 2,500 to 3,000 PSI.
  3. Protect Your Surroundings: External outlets, planters, shrubbery, and other sensitive items should be covered up before you begin your project. This will protect them not only from errant blasts of water but also from any chemicals you may be using in the solution (see #5 below).
  4. Protect Your Body: Pressure washers are powerful enough to tear off skin or cause blindness if sprayed at eye level. Never goof around with the equipment to spray a friend or use it to rinse your hands or feet. Wear eye protection. Projectiles of dirt, rock, wood, or anything the water hits are a common hazard.
  5. Pick (and Mix) a Good Solution: Walk into any South Dakotan hardware store to find commercial exterior house washing solutions available, or make your own solution! To keep it truly simple, just squirt dish soap into a bucket of warm water and mix thoroughly. For vinyl siding or painted homes, you can add vinegar for extra cleaning power.

If you follow these five simple steps, you’ll set yourself up for success. 

Need to Keep it Clean? Call the Intek Team.

Exterior maintenance is a critical aspect of home ownership. Take some time to think about protecting your home today. 

And, if you want to deep clean the interior of your home, call the Intek team. 

Our state-of-the-art technology and cleaning systems can make your home shine. Even in the dirtiest situations, you can count on Intek to be there.