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December 6, 2022  |  Lawn & Garden

Everything you need to know about power-washing your house in the fall

Fall is a great time to power-wash your house. The warm temperatures, rain and wind from spring and summer may have left some unwanted reminders on your siding in the form of mildew, dirt and debris. Giving your house a thorough washing in the fall prepares it for winter and extends the life of its exterior. 

There is a variety of power-washing equipment available to make the process less taxing and more convenient. The size of your house and the depth of your cleaning will help you decide which is best for you. 

In this article: Simpson Cleaning Clean Machine Gas Pressure Washer, Karcher TruPressure Electric Power Pressure Washer and Westinghouse Electric Pressure Washer.

Which PSI is best for your house?

Pressure washers deliver 1,200 to 3,000 pounds per square inch of pressure. If your house has stucco walls or aluminum or wood siding, 1,200 to 1,500 PSI is recommended. For vinyl siding and brick, steel or stone, you should use 2,500 to 3,000 PSI. 

How do you prepare your house for pressure washing?

There are several important steps to take before you turn on the pressure washer. 

  • Close all doors and windows. If you have doors and windows that may leak, use duct tape to cover them in a plastic sheet.
  • Place drop cloths over your plants to keep your flowers and bushes protected from the detergent.
  • Remove yard ornaments and decorations that might blow over from the force of the pressure washer. 
  • Mix the mildewcide according to the manufacturer's instructions in a large bucket, and pour it into the holding tank on your pressure washer. 

What is the best way to pressure-wash the house?

When pressure-washing, start at the bottom of the siding and work toward the top. This keeps suds from running down the siding, which can obscure dirt and grime. 

Work in 10-foot wide sections that keep you focused on one area. Make sure the brush you're using to scrub the siding has been manufactured specifically for siding to avoid scratching or damaging your exterior. 

The pressure wand should be kept at least 3 feet from the side of the house. If this distance doesn't remove the dirt and debris, move closer in 6-inch increments until it is effective.


Q.  Should I wear protective eyewear when pressure-washing?

A. Yes, protective goggles are recommended. Rocks and debris are often hard to see and can easily ricochet off the siding toward you.

Q.  How do you power-wash the second story of a taller house?

A. Professional cleaners discourage the use of ladders. Instead, use scaffolding. The scaffolding should be close enough to the side of the house that you have between 1.5 and 3 feet of distance for the washer wand. 

Best power-washers

Simpson Cleaning Clean Machine Gas Pressure Washer

This powerful washer delivers 3,400 PSI with an easy-start engine. It has a sturdy steel frame with a protective powder coating. It comes with a 25-foot hose, ergonomic spray gun and four nozzles.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Karcher TruPressure Electric Power Pressure Washer

This affordable, compact electric pressure washer is easy to use and delivers up to 1,700 PSI for blasting away grime and dirt. It has a telescopic handle and 26-foot high-pressure hose. The manufacturer's app provides instructions for setup and use. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Westinghouse Electric Pressure Washer

This powerful electric pressure washer has a pro-style steel wand and a 25-foot hose with four quick-connect nozzles. It weighs under 20 pounds for easy transportation. It has locking wheels and an anti-tip design. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Champion Low Profile Gas Pressure Washer

With a powerful 3,100 PSI output, this pressure washer comes with an ergonomic grip trigger gun, 25-foot hose and five nozzles. It's backed by a two-year warranty and lifetime technical support.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Ryobi Gas Pressure Washer

With a strong hand-truck frame, this pressure washer can be easily moved. Its 3,200 PSI pressure works well on driveways, patios and siding. It features a 35-foot hose for extra reach and a three-year warranty.  

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Sun Joe Electric Pressure Washer

The 1,800-watt motor delivers 2,030 PSI with a 20-foot hose and 40-ounce detergent tank. It has an automatic shut-off and onboard reel for keeping the hose intact. It's easy to transport and store. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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