You know that it’s not always easy to clean the exterior of a large house.
Stepping onto a ladder to try to get to difficult-to-reach areas can be dangerous. So, when a client calls you to do the job for them with a pressure washer, it will ensure the project is easier.
How does a pressure washer work? A pressure washer produces a very strong stream of water that blasts away dirt and dust, and you can also mix detergents in it to increase its cleaning power.
Pressure washing a two-story home can make cleaning it faster, but there are some important steps and safety tips to follow so you don’t encounter any problems or upset your client. Here’s what you need to know.
If you need to clean a two-story house, you’ll need a heavy-duty or extra heavy-duty pressure washer.
This will give you a water pressure of 2,800 PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch) or higher and three to four GPM (gallons per minute) of water. Both of these will guarantee a steady stream of water that will clean the home faster and effectively.
Before you begin using a pressure washer, there are important tips to follow.
- Make sure you’ve closed all the windows in your client’s house and turned off power to any external electrical outlets or hardware. You don’t want them to complain that you’ve caused any damage to their home!
- Pressure wash the home on a clear, sunny day that’s mild. If it’s too hot, this could cause the cleaning products to dry before they can be rinsed off.
- You should spray plants or shrubs that are close to the house with water from a garden hose and cover them with plastic tarp to protect them from any cleaning solution that could drip onto them.
- Ensure you wear safety equipment. Eye goggles are important to prevent any dirt or rocks from getting into your eyes. Pressure washers are powerful – they can easily remove skin and injure you – so never use them too closely to your body.
- You should never step onto a ladder when using a power washer as a result of how the force from the machine can cause you to fall. To clean a two-story home you’ll need scaffolding – make sure it’s got lockable wheels.
- You will first need to apply pressure washer soap or detergent to the house. Follow the detergent’s package instructions and mix it with water in a bucket. You can also add bleach with mildewcide-detergent solution, but make sure the bleach to mildewcide follows a 1:9 ratio. Spray this solution onto the house. Leave it for a few minutes.
- Start cleaning at the top floor of the house with your solution and a siding brush. Make sure you place the scaffolding far enough from the house so you can stand in the middle of it and have about two feet of distance between you while you work.
- Move in an upwards direction. Clean from the bottom of a 10-foot section all the way up. If you start at the top, this will cause the cleaning liquid to drip down the wall.
Note: If you want to use detergent in your power washer, you can – and this will be easier than separately applying detergent to the house since most machines have in-built tanks for detergents.
First spray water onto the house in a medium-spray pattern to rinse its surface. Then apply the detergent in a wide-nozzle setting and allow it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing it with water.
- Once you’ve applied the detergent, attach the garden hose to the pressure washer mount and to the hose faucet on the exterior of the house.
- Choose the right spray degree. If you’re washing harder surfaces with a higher water pressure, opt for a 15-degree spray nozzle. For surfaces that are softer and when using a lower pressure, choose a 25-degree spray.
- Start using the pressure washer, beginning from the top of the section you’ve scrubbed. Use a 45-degree angle with the sprayer to prevent water from getting underneath the siding. You might have to reach up with both of your arms, so be careful.
- If you’re using a pressure washer for the first time, it’s good to practice in a low section of the home while standing on the ground so you can get used to it. Work in a horizontal direction and assist the wand with both hands, moving it from side to side.
- When cleaning siding, stand four feet away from the house and move closer until you get the cleaning effect you want. Hold the spray wand with both hands and aim the water at a 45-degree angle.
- Avoid using the pressure washer for too long in one spot as this can damage the siding. You should also be careful when washing around windows and screens.
- Once you’ve done a 10-foot section, repeat the same steps all the way around the house.
What extension wand is best for power washing a two-story house?
A telescopic or extension wand is ideal as it can extend the length of your pressure washer spray gun by up to 24 feet without losing pressure. It’s also great for difficult-to-reach areas.
Should you use a gas or electric power washer?
A gas-powered pressure washer is best as it has a higher flow rate and this will ensure you clean homes faster. A gas pressure washer is also safer than using electricity as there’s always the risk of it coming into contact with water.
Cleaning your client’s two-story house is a big job, but having a pressure washer at your disposal can make it easier to do. In this article, we’ve provided you with information you need to get the job done properly and professionally.