Power washing the exterior of your home before painting is the first step to a successful paint job. If done properly, you’ll enjoy your beautiful new finish without worrying about needing to paint again for years.
Ensuring you have a clean painting surface, free of chalky residues, dirt, and debris, is the first step in the preparation process. Pressure washing also helps to remove loose and chipping paint. If you skip this step prior to painting, you will have a surface that won’t allow the paint to fully stick.
Paint bonds better to a clean surface, which will allow it to resist changes in weather, water from rain, and heat from the sun. These weather elements all contribute to peeling and cracking paint, unless you achieve a good bond with the paint on your siding, trim, or gutters and downspouts.
There are things to watch out for when power washing your house.
- Etching is a problem that results from standing too close when pressure washing. These are indentations or small cuts from the concentrated spray of the water on the siding or trim.
- Letting water get under the siding or breaking through the sealed areas. You have to pay special attention to the angle that you’re holding the sprayer to prevent this from happening.
- Damage to foundation shrubs and other plants in the beds around the house. The water from the pressure washer can easily strip the leaves off plants. This will most likely not kill the plant, but will leave the plant disfigured for the current growing season.
These are the steps we follow for power washing a house:
- We start with protecting the plants and utility meters by the house. This is done by putting sheets of plastic down to protect the areas around your home.
- Using plain water, we begin with rinsing the siding from the top and working our way down. This is done with a lower pressure to remove visible debris, insect nests, and any loose paint. These are gradual horizontal passes with a slightly downward angle on the sprayer.
- After the house is rinsed we clean the plastic sheets we used to cover and protect your plants and personal property.
- The last step is to allow enough time for the siding and trim to dry. This dry time is typically 48-72 hours depending on the type of siding and weather conditions.
Having a clean surface prior to painting is the most important step in the preparation portion of your painting project. However, using a power washer on your home can be tricky, especially if you’re not familiar with the various settings. To avoid the risk of damaging your home, it may be best to put your trust in a trained professional that has the experience and knowledge to give you professional results.