Pressure washing isn’t as straightforward as some make it seem.
There’s prep work and if overlooked, it can be detrimental to the success of the project.
In this article, we’ll discuss what you should spray before washing the exterior of your home, plus our team will answer a few frequently asked questions.
Let’s get started!
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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.
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As mentioned, experts use various solutions, such as:
- Vinyl – spray an eco-friendly cleaner solution, oxygen bleach solution, or white vinegar solution
- Brick – spray the surface with water first, then apply the eco-friendly cleaner
- Wood – spray an eco-friendly solution for dirt, oil, and grease, or spray white vinegar for mold and mildew
- Stucco – spray down the surface with water first, then apply an eco-friendly solution
Exterior house washing considerations
Take into account that there are different home exteriors, and not all utilize the same solution before pressure washing.
Use an eco-friendly all-purpose cleaner or a Simple Green Oxy outdoor cleaner and dilute it in water. The measurement is one part cleaner and 15 parts of water. You can also use oxygen bleach; just dilute a cup of oxygen bleach in a gallon of water.
We recommend a 70:30 split of water to white vinegar to combat stains and mildew.
After selecting the solution of your choice, spray it on the surface before pressure washing. Hot water can damage most vinyl material, so it’s best to avoid using it.
For further discussion about cleaning vinyl with a pressure washer, check our article, how to clean vinyl siding with a pressure washer.
Wet the brick first before spraying any solution. Since these materials are porous, applying the solution directly to the brick will discolor it, so it is crucial to saturate the surface by spraying water.
When spritzing the water, you can use a spray bottle or a low-pressure nozzle. After that, you can apply any cleaning solution of your choice, then start washing.
Remember not to use muriatic acid when cleaning bricks; it doesn’t just dissolve the outer layer of the material but also erodes the mortar joints, causing them to collapse gradually.
Want to know more about cleaning bricks using a pressure washer? Check our article, How to Clean a Brick House.
When cleaning wood, you can pressure wash it right away with water. However, if you encounter tough stains, oil, grease, and dirt build-up, you must spray it with a cleaning solution first.
We recommend using an eco-friendly cleaning solution such as Simple Green Cleaner. The standard measurement is 2 cups of cleaner per gallon of water.
If there are visible molds and mildew, mix equal parts of white vinegar and warm water. Spray the solution and let it sit for a few minutes, but do not let it dry on the surface. Then, brush it using a broom or nylon scrub brush.
After that, rinse it with a pressure washer.
Stucco is typically made from a combination of lime, sand, and cement and is sprayed down with water before a cleaning solution is applied.
We do not recommend letting the mixture dry on the material because it will be hard to pressure wash later.
Moreover, don’t use any type of bleach, acid, or harsh chemical for surfaces because it will damage your exterior and the environment.
Learn more from our complete guide, how to clean stucco with a pressure washer.
No need to worry about pressure washing your house; remember all the tips mentioned above, and you can wash safely and efficiently in no time!
However, always consider the condition of your surface before washing it yourself.
If the exterior has other issues, it is best to hand over everything to the professionals. You’ll be assured they will use suitable cleaning solutions and proper equipment.
Thank you for reading our article!