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How often should you pressure wash? A pro’s perspective.

Pressure washing is maybe the best way to clean tough stains on various objects and surfaces. The high-pressure water blows away dirt that would need a lot of effort using another method. By using the correct pressure and nozzle, you can clean almost all surfaces without damaging them. But a question I often get is how often I should pressure wash something.

How often should you pressure wash:

In general, you should pressure wash most objects and surfaces once a year. If you live in an area that sees a lot of dirt and dust, like close to a major road or freeway, this can be twice a year. Or even more often. If your house is prone to mold or mildew, I also recommend washing it twice per year. Probably you will wash your car more often, depending on how much you use it. If you have a lot of birds, it will likely mean you have to wash the garden furniture more often as well.

This article will better understand how often you should pressure wash your house and other objects and surfaces.

How often should you power wash your home?

In general, you should power wash your house once a year. If you live in a prone to mold and mildew location, I recommend power washing it twice a year. This also applies if you live close to a major road or freeway.

There are numerous advantages to pressure washing your home. A pressure washer can help you clean dirt, stains, mold, mildew, and other contaminants from your home’s exterior surfaces. But it should be done correctly. Else a pressure washer can cause significant damage to a siding. Blast away mortar from a brick wall, break windows, or cause window seals to leak. High pressure can even remove paint from the walls

Adjust the pressure of the washer according to the surface you are cleaning. Concrete, for example, is a rigid material that can withstand pressures of up to 3000 PSI, but decks require a much lower pressure (500-600 PSI) for safe and effective cleaning.

Power washing is possible in the winter, but it is not recommended for beginners. It becomes much more difficult during the winter season. When you use hot pressurized water, it will find its way into all cracks and places where normal rain will not. Water will freeze and expand at temperatures below freezing, causing significant damage.

Use the following steps to power wash your home:

● Step 1: Protect fragile objects and areas

Protect fragile objects and areas like your garden or unprotected parts of your house. You can use some drop cloths or plastic sheeting with some duct tape.

● Step 2: Prepare the detergent

Using a power washer means using hot water to clean your house. Similar to your dishwasher, hot water improves cleaning and makes detergents work better.

Prepare some dertergent. I always advise using some anti-Mildew and Algae Remover. You can purchase this or use the recipe later in this blog post.

● Step 3: Prepare the power washer

Prepare the power washer. Hook it up to your water supply. Always use the shortest hose possible to minimize pressure loss.

Choose the nozzle according to the surface you plan to clean:

  • 15-degree yellow nozzle: for hard surfaces like concrete and brick, and tough stains.
  • 25-degrees green nozzle: for medium surfaces. Also often used for the second floor.
  • 40-degrees white nozzle: for softer surfaces like hardwood
  • 60-degrees black nozzle: for really soft surfaces like softwood, and for spraying detergent

● Step 4: Spray the detergent

Spray the detergent using the black wide-angle nozzle. Let the detergent do its work for a short while.

● Step 5: Clean the different surfaces

After the detergent has done its work, it is time to clean the home. Choose the correct nozzle depending on the surface. Always start from a bigger distance to see that the water does not damage the surface.

If you notice really tough stains, go a little bit closer. But be careful not to damage the surface. This is easy to do on a softer material. If the stain is hard to remove, use a brush to help.

● Step 6: Let it dry

After you have cleaned the entire home, remove the protecting drop cloth and plastic. If you need to do some other work on your house, like painting. Wait until the house is really dry. This can take several days.

How often should you pressure wash your driveway?

In general, I recommend pressure washing your driveway once a year. When you notice that your driveway is really dirty, you can always clean it an additional time. To clean it efficiently, use pressure around 3000 psi. This is enough to remove older grease and paint stains.

You can use the following steps to clean your driveway:

● Step 1: Prepare the surface and surrounding area

Generally, the first step in pressure washing your driveway is to sweep the surface with a broom to remove all dust and debris. Cover the surrounding areas, including the plants, with the tarp to protect them from the high water pressure.

● Step 2: Spray the surface

To help proper cleaning, spray some degreaser on the driveway with a spray bottle. Scrub the degreaser into the surface with a stiff brush.

.● Step 3: Prepare the pressure washer

Prepare the pressure washer by attaching the spray wand tip for detergents at the head of the pressure washer. Add some detergent to the container. Connect the hose to the water supply and turn the water on.

● Step 4: Spray the detergent on the driveway

Spray the detergent onto the driveway surface in a controlled manner. Ensure to provide enough detergent on the driveway surface and then wait for at least 5 minutes.

● Step 5: Pressure wash the surface

After spraying detergent on the driveway surface, replace the soap tip with a 25-degree tip. Pressure wash the surface while keeping a constant distance between the spray handle and the surface. To clean the surface effectively, move back and forth on the surface to cover the entire area of the driveway. When you notice tougher oil or paint stains, reduce the distance between the spray handle and the surface

● Step 6: Seal the surface

After cleaning the surface with the pressure washer, wait until the surface gets dry. Then seal your driveway with a waterproof sealer with the help of a roller. Wait for at least 24 hours so the sealer can fully dry. Your driveway surface is ready to be used.

How many times a year should you pressure wash your house?

In general, I recommend pressure wash your house once a year. Only when you live in an area that sees more dirt or is close to a major road can you do it twice a year. If your house is located in a humid place prone to mold and mildew, I also recommend cleaning it more often.

Using a pressure washer to clean your house is not much different from using a power washer discussed earlier in this blog. A power washer uses hot water, where a pressure washer uses cold water.

Should you power wash your deck every year?

In general, I recommend power washing your deck once a year. This helps to maintain your deck in an optimal condition. It prevents a major build-up of dirt, mildew, and algae. Ensure that you use the correct pressure and nozzle so you do not damage the wood. 500 PSI for softwood. 1200 PSI for harder wood. If you live in an area where your deck sees more dirt, like a major road or birds, you can clean it twice a year.

Start power washing from a corner and check if the pressure is optimal and you do not damage the wood. I do not recommend using a surface cleaner on a deck. Particular with softwood, it is better to spray with the grain of the wood. That is not possible with a surface cleaner. But as long as the pressure is such that it does not damage the wood, you can use it.

Choosing the right nozzle is also important. A fan or rotating tip works best for cleaning wood. Apply water pressure 18 inches (no more than 12 inches) from the deck and check water pressure away from people or glass. I recommend using a wide-angle nozzle. For example, the white 45-degrees nozzle or the black 60-degrees nozzle.

● How to power wash your deck

Power washing your deck is quiet easy, all you need to learn is, how to handle the pressure washer properly. You have to learn the right angles to perform power washing and the distance at which you must hold the nozzle, this will help you clean the surfaces more efficiently and save a lot of your time and energy.

● Tips to power wash your deck

  • Mildew killing detergent: Before you start power washing, apply some mildew killing detergent. Let it stay on there for around half an hour before beginning power washing. I added a good homemade mildew and algae remover underneath.
  • Start from the corner: Start with a small corner to test the power washer pressure settings pressure first. The pressure that you need to use depends on the quality of the wood. Starting from a corner will help you decide if you are using appropriate pressure or too much for your deck. I recommend starting with 500-600 PSI for softwood. And around 1200 PSI for hardwood
  • Keep enough distance: When you start power washing, keep the nozzle 12-18 inches away from the wood. Go from one side to another to avoid a patchy look.  

● Homemade Mildew and Algae Remover

This recipe is perfect for removing tough mildew and algae. You need:

  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 cup of soap. I recommend using an ammonia-free soap.
  • 1 quart of bleach
  • 2 cups of rubbing alcohol

Add the ingredients to a bucket, and stir them. When correctly mixed, pour the mixture on the deck. Let it stay there for half an hour to let the ingredients do their work. You can then use your pressure washer to clean the deck. Ensure that you use a low PSI and go with the grain of the wood.

● What is the best time to power wash your deck?

In general, you can power wash your deck most of the year. But I recommend doing it at the beginning of the spring when the weather is fine. It means you start the season with a nice clean deck.

You only never want to pressure wash your deck when the temperature is below freezing. At this temp, the water in the pump of the pressure washer will start to freeze. Most experts say that the perfect temperature is above 52 degrees Fahrenheit when there is no rain. At this temp, the wood will dry quickly.