Using a pressure washer to blast away mold, mildew, or old paint to reveal a clean, smooth surface underneath can be cathartic. But that bliss will be short-lived if your pressure washing project ends up causing unintended consequences or inflicting damage.
Here’s what to know before you break out the big guns.
Pressure washers come with various nozzles that control the strength and the angle of the flow of water. The lower the number, the more forceful the stream, which maxes out at a 0 degree blast that can be dangerous for anything it’s directed toward, living or inanimate. We can’t think of any projects that require such a velocity and recommend not using that nozzle for any purpose.
The next most forceful nozzle is a 15 degree angle that will strip surfaces of mold, mildew, paint, and stain. Make sure to test out the pressure in an inconspicuous location to make sure your surface can handle its force without splintering or cracking.
Another hazard is that the force of the water can shoot it into the seams of the exterior of your home, penetrating where it’s not supposed to be. If that space does not have the air circulation to dry out, mold will grow within the walls of your home. We recommend letting a pressure washed home dry out for at least 24 hours or more before painting so water is not sealed inside.
Another preventive measure is directing the spray at a slightly downward angle to take full advantage of the laws of gravity and avoid sending water directly into fissures that you may not even be able to see.
It probably goes without saying, but the pressure washer is not your garden hose, and it’s not a super soaker. Avoid the temptation to use it to clean off your hands and feet or to treat it like a toy. The force of the jet spray even at a low setting can immediately lacerate skin and produce an infection risk.
Wear the proper equipment to ensure complete safety when operating a pressure washer, including rubber boots, gloves, hearing and eye protection.
Health and wellness
Pressure washing will blast away harmful mold, grime, algae, mildew, and allergens that could be making you and your family sick. Mold is particularly detrimental because it’s a fungus that releases its spores into the air. An environment with floating, invisible mold spores can cause nasal congestion, coughing, headaches, and nausea. Furthermore, anyone with a chronic illness and a compromised immune systems will especially suffer from an environment with mold in the atmosphere.
Preserve paint jobs
Power washing brightens up your house by removing dust, dirt, grime and cobwebs, instantly boosting curb appeal. Regular bouts with the pressure washer will prevent build up and help your home keep and build its value.
We recommend preparing your home for a new paint job with a pressure washer cleaning. Washing the surface and allowing it to dry fully will extend the life of the paint and by giving it an optimal surface for adherence.
We can help
If you know that your home and your health could benefit from pressure washing but you can’t do it yourself, give us a call. We offer power washing as part of our extensive package of handy man services. You’ll get to stand back and see your home brighten up with new life before your eyes.