Powerwash it!

Power washing is an art form.

No really, ever see when someone powerwashes something and it's loaded with marks from where the gun was stopped?

The key to power washing is to have a consistent flow of water over the object and DON’T STOP MOVING!

I like to wash with long swipes of the gun keeping the head about 8” from the surface and fading it further away before changing directions.

You get soaked so be prepared and it always takes way longer than you think.

But if you take your time it can really make a huge difference.

Don’t rush it or it will look horrible!

I was lucky enough to borrow a friend’s power washer.

Beware that many of the models out there are really not powerful enough to do a good job, so do not fall in the trap of buying a cheapo version at Home Depot.

Spend the 300+ bucks and get a dependable gas powered model with at least 2000 PSI.

I used a

Homelight GVC 160

.  It was a bit on the smaller side so it took a little longer than I wanted, but it was also much lighter than some larger versions so moving it around was a breeze.  My last suggestion is to use the 40 degree tip on the gun.  It allows for even pressure while not being too narrow which can potentially damage the siding.  

Starting up high and washing down is key

The sides of the house were caked with black residue.

At first I thought I was going to have to sand it all off.

But the power washer seems to be doing the trick!

Get as much as you can from one spot before moving around...

I like to start at the top and work my way down.

But I also like to work around where the latter is minimizing the trips up and down.

Also be warned that these things have a lot of kick back.

  W

ashing up high can not only be tricky but also super dangerous.

Take your time and be ready for the pressure if you pull the trigger twenty five feet in the air.

It can literally blow you off the ladder if you are not ready for it.

Mildew and dirt caked shingles before...

After!

The result is a really clean wall of shingles.

It is a great way to avoid sanding and make the siding look fresh.

No need to paint or replace the siding.

  I got ahead of myself with these shots but you can notice the new shingles under the trim we replaced.  Once those start to weather everything will blend and match really well.  

In fact many people have commented on how the new siding on the sides looks all I did was wash it.

  I didn't even have to use soap!  Just patients and water got it done.  Both sides and the deck took me a full day.  Pick a rainy one and don't waste a sunny day.  And be ready for your arms to be tired...

Comparing front and back

When I did the deck I made sure to hit the wide cracks filled with debris really well.

This way when I start to paint I do not pick up the debris in the roller.

Again long swipes and consistent motion will get the job done really well.

We are painting the deck so I didn't go as detailed as I did on the sides.

I just cleaned it up so I can run a sander on it, fix some boards and paint.

  You can see that I just got hte surface dirt and any loose paint off.

Before

After

The deck is ready for paint.

I am going to let it dry out for a few days and get on the paint ASAP.

I need to see some progress around here…

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