Should I Pressure Wash my Home Before Getting the Exterior Painted?
Pressure washing is an excellent way to clean the exterior of a home. It is best left to professionals since the equipment required needs to be used properly to avoid damaging the property, for example, an unskilled person might use too high of a pressure on vinyl shingles and this could crack them. For a professional cleaning company, pressure washing a home is easy and a regular part of their job. Before having the exterior of your home painted, many painting companies will mention that pressure washing is included in the total price of the job, but some companies may recommend that you have it done prior to their work. This leaves homeowners wondering if they need to have their home pressure washed when the house already looks clean. The answer is that no matter how clean your home looks, the outside should always be pressure washed just before painting and a few reasons for this rule are listed below. Always remember to ask your painting company if pressure washing is something that you need for your home.
When having any type of siding material or window trim painting done on the exterior of your home, it is very important that the surface be perfectly clean and free of debris prior to applying the paint. Paint cannot stick to dust, dirt, mold or any buildup caused by rain and pollutants that inevitably build up even over a very short period of time. If the surface is not cleaned and these elements are painted over, then the paint might look nice at first, but it will definitely crack or peel over time since the paint is not really attached to the surface of your home regardless of what type of siding material you are using. Once the paint cracks or peels of, even just a little bit, the whole job should really be redone to ensure that the cracking and peeling doesn’t just happen again in a few months. Not only is redoing the work expensive, but it is also a waste of your time and can be very inconvenient and disappointing. Having your home painted properly the first time really saves a lot of hassle and allows you to enjoy your freshly painted home for many years.
Pressure washing is not meant to remove old paint from your home, as stripping paint is a completely different step of painting that is performed on its own. Never have someone use a pressure washer to remove old paint since the pressure required to do this will definitely be more than most siding materials can handle. If the paint is already very flaky, some small pieces might break off and get washed away, but this will not be able to remove all the paint. The first step to pressure washing the outside of a house is to remove any large debris, such as patches of mold, insect nests, leaves, dirt, or small plants that may be growing at the base of the house and onto the siding. This step is done with pure water and an appropriate pressure. The cleaning is done from the top down so that the debris is washed away with the water and the debris is not falling down onto a clean section of the house.
Once all of the larger debris has been washed away, the house will look very clean and ready for paint, however there are still greases from pollution and dirt that is not possible to see at first glance. This second step involves washing the house with a cleaning solution added to the pressure washer. This cleaning solution makes sure that any pollutants that are able to stick to the siding material, especially common for humid and wet climates such as Florida, are removed so that they don’t inhibit the adhesion of the paint. This step is often skipped, but it can extend the life of the paintjob by a few years because the paint will be so firmly adhered to the surface. The cleaning solution is rinsed off with pure water and the house is ready for paint as soon as it is thoroughly dry. If you are waiting a few weeks between washing your home and having it painted, it doesn’t hurt to have it quickly pressure washed right before painting just in case any mold has started to attach itself to the house or in case insects have already made their way back into the siding material.
Pressure washing your home is not only a great way to keep your exterior paint looking its finest, but it is also a great way to make sure that your new paint job looks great as well for many, many years. Proper preparation is what sets an amazing paint job apart from the average and pressure washing is a small investment that allows you to enjoy a clean and beautiful house for as long as possible. Not having to worry about premature peeling, cracking or bubbling is always worthwhile!