Pressure washing is one of the most effective ways to clean exterior household surfaces.
Through a combination of high-pressure water and various nozzles, dirt, debris, and grime don’t stand a chance.
However, when the time comes to pressure wash the exterior of your house, do you know what PSI setting to use?
If you answered no, then this article is for you. We will tackle that question, plus a few more extra pieces of information.
Table of Contents - Click to Skip
About The Author
Meet the expert behind this article.
Co-owner & Service Director
Hey there, I’m Cody.
A decade of residential and commercial pressure washing led me to start JCS Refresh. Now I can share my knowledge with folks like you.
Reading from Washington State?
Contact our team for a quote and you might meet me in person.
What is PSI best for pressure washing a house?
When pressure washing your home, it’s essential to use the correct PSI. Too high PSI can damage your property and be a safety hazard.
Remember, only certain materials can withstand high PSI levels. For example, 2,500 to 3,000 PSI is suitable for driveways or concrete, but other areas like vinyl siding, decks, or brick should only receive 1,500 PSI.
Best PSI setting for vinyl siding
Vinyl siding is usually made from a sheet of plastic covered in vinyl and is quite durable, but users shouldn’t press their luck.
Start with a low-pressure level of about 1,000 PSI. Doing so will also help avoid damaging adjacent surfaces.
Best PSI setting for brick
If you want to clean bricks with a pressure washer, choose a model that can work within the 500-2000 PSI range.
This range will ensure you’re sufficiently removing dirt, dust, and debris while safeguarding materials.
However, it’s important to note that bricks can be made of different materials, each having unique properties and textures. This difference in texture means that a pressure washer with a lower PSI rating will work better on pavers than bricks because not as much force is needed.
Best PSI setting for wood
Different types of wood have various hardness, texture, and resistance levels. For softwoods, this is about 500 to 600 PSI. For stronger woods, this can reach 1200 to 1500 PSI.
The best way to determine the PSI needed is by researching various material settings, then testing a small section before starting.
Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and drying afterward.
Best PSI setting for aluminum siding
Aluminum siding is a more robust alternative to vinyl and wood siding and is typically used in harsher climates. However, high pressures can damage thin aluminum, so choose between 1,200 and 1,500 PSI.
What if I use the wrong PSI when washing the siding?
Using the wrong PSI when pressure washing your siding can lead to interior and exterior damage. In extreme cases, this can lead to temperature loss and water seepage in your home.
Here’s what you need to know if you are concerned about using a suitable PSI:
- The PSI (pounds per square inch) that you use when pressure washing your siding depends on the type of material. For example, a higher PSI will work better on metal than plastic.
- Always test a small section before starting to ensure that you don’t damage large areas.
What size of pressure washer do I need for a 2-story house?
For cleaning a 2-story house, aim for a pressure washer between 2800 – 3,000 PSI. You should also consider gallons per minute (GPM), which should be around 4.
To learn more, visit our guide: PSI vs. GPM
Pressure washing your siding is an effective way to keep it looking its best. Keep in mind the proper PSI to use and be safe while doing this job.
If you’re unsure about tackling this task alone, have a conversation with a local pressure washing company.
Thanks for reading!