Home Features April 25, 2013

Trade Secrets of Power Washing

There’s power in a power wash, now that spring is here. It’s one of the first tips I give home sellers, as it’s an easy, relatively inexpensive way to make a home exterior sparkle and boost its curb appeal.  A power wash is like giving your home’s “outside” walls, plus its deck, patio, walkways and driveway, a shower to wash away the grime and dirt that collected on it over the winter.

A power washer attaches to an outside hose, causing the hose water to spray further and much more powerfully because it’s assisted by an electric or gas powered motor. It starts with selecting the right spray tip, and then carefully moving the power washer’s spray from left to right in a consistent manner.  You can rent this wonderful cleaning machine, or buy one at a garden store like Home Depot or McLendons. Costco also sells power washers. I’d be happy to give you the name of a professional power washer too.

5 Power Washing Trade Secrets, written by the pros, sums up how to do the most effective wash while avoiding plants and other house features that could be damaged by the powerful spray.  It’s all about the angle, as the article describes. I’ve also learned that it’s just like any other home improvement project – the better I prep, the better job I do. You want to clear obstacles next to the house and furniture and pots on your deck or patio, and maybe even cover bushes and plants with plastic sheeting. It’s also best to cover attic and basement vents, exterior electrical outlets, and definitely make sure all your windows are closed!

As Power Washing for Dummies reminds us, “The jet of water spraying from a power-washer can be lethal. Exercise good judgment when using a power-washer, and most important, never use it around other people or pets. If you're on a ladder, keep one hand on the ladder and be prepared for the considerable kick that occurs when you pull or release the trigger.”

It’s amazing how a good power wash can make a house and especially its porch, deck and patio look like new. Now that the sun is out for a few days, it’s the perfect time to pull out the power washer!