While it's best to wash with the wand aimed downward, at times you'll have to point it somewhat upward, especially under soffits. When you do, remember the general rule not to drive the water directly into cracks or gaps. And always avoid shooting water up into soffit vents. Also, it is dangerous to wash directly underneath the shingles, because they can be easily moved and misplaced.
Never pressure wash while standing on a ladder; the recoil from the pressure can knock you off balance. For that reason we recommend, the telescoping wand that can reach points as high as 24'. They are easy to operate and are great accessory for washing 2 or 3 story buildings.
Steer clear of electrical devices like lights and outlets. You can easily cause a short circuit or break them. If you are using an electric pressure washer, make sure it is equipped with the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI), to protect yourself from possible electrical shocks.
Always test the pressure of the outgoing water, to eliminate the possibility of stripping loose paint and gouging the wood or other surfaces. This is considered the most common mistakes and will leave you with time-consuming, difficult wood repairs.
Make sure the wood is completely dry before applying seals and new paint.
Pressure washing techniques:
1. CONNECT the pressure washer to the outdoor faucet through an ordinary garden hose, attach a nozzle (make sure it is fully attached) and start the engine. Wear goggles to keep paint chips and dirt out of your eyes, and clothing that can get soaked. Expect to get wet.
2. PRACTICE handling the washer in a low area first. Hold the wand with two hands and move it across the siding from side to side at a steady pace. Start about 2-3 ft. from the siding, then move closer until you find the optimal cleaning distance. In general, work at a horizontal or slightly downward angle to avoid driving water up under the siding.
3. BEGIN washing the walls at the bottom and work upwards. Wash the gutters and soffits as well as the siding. Direct the spray away from breakable objects like windows and outside lights, and remove house numbers and window boxes whenever possible.
4. PRESSURE from the power washers will remove loose paint, but they're not a substitute for scraping. In some cases you will have to scrape additional loose paint.
5. CAUTION! If you hold the nozzle too close or for too long in one spot, you'll gouge the wood. Gouging will be inevitable if you try to strip paint.
6. DIRECT the nozzle away from windows, holding the wand away at an angle so you don't drive water into joints, gaps or against the glass. Even so, check the sill on the inside and dry up any water that leaked through. Remove the shutters after washing and wash underneath.
7. USE an adjustable extension wand (6 to 18 ft.) to wash high areas. At full length and at high pressures, the wand takes some muscle to handle. It is also advisable to use a belt kit to support the weight of the wand. Such wand with water flowing through the hose can weigh as much as 40 lbs. Good control takes some practice, but it's safer than pressure washing from a ladder. Remember to keep all the windows closed.
8. CLEAN high areas beyond the reach of the pressure washer extension with a rotating nylon brush and a quality pressure washer chemicals. Begin from the lower areas and work upward, rinsing frequently. Let the cleaning solution dwell for 10 to 15 minutes. When finished, rinse with fresh water from the top down using your pressure washer. Your deck and/or fence are now ready for a new paint.
Remembering these pressure washing tips and techniques, your first experience with power washing will be flawless.
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