At the risk of rushing spring—for which I’m sure you won’t ask me to apologize—I wanted to discuss one of the best ways to usher in the warm weather. Anyone whose home has been adorned with vinyl siding knows how much grit and grime can accumulate during the harshest conditions winter has to offer. If you’re like me and live on a main drag, you know that the day-to-day traffic and exhaust fumes will also wreak havoc on your home’s exterior. Luckily, power washing your home has never been easier. With just a few simple suggestions you can breathe new life into your home’s siding in one afternoon.
Your journey to wash away winter’s wear and tear begins with a trip to your local hardware store. Power washers are readily available to rent for moderate prices. Make sure to consult an employee of the store before renting, as he or she will suggest a gas powered or electric washer depending on the size of your home and type of siding you have. Once you grab your weapon of choice you’ll want to take a walk around your home. During this inspection you’ll be on the lookout for loose pieces of siding that power washing could dislodge, any open windows (you don’t want to power wash the inside of your home today; that’s another blog for another day), and any exposed vegetation. Preparing plants for power washing involves two possibilities: either covering them with a tarp or wetting them just before the washing process, which will dilute any chemicals that may drip onto them.
When power washing your home you’ll want to make sure you do not hit the exterior in an upward angle, as this will tend to let water leak behind the siding and could compromise your insulation. Using a ladder will help you direct the stream of water at a proper angle. When washing the windows and trim, however, you’ll need to do so with at least a 45 degree angle. Shooting windows and trim straight on could very easily lead to shattered glass and other damage.
Once you’ve completed the washing process, you may commence the rinsing cycle. Utilize the same technique during the washing process, making sure to clear away all soap residues to avoid drying and caking.
Congratulations! Your home is now ready for backyard barbecues, fire pits, and all the other delightful activities the warmer weather brings.