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By now, you’ve probably heard about the benefits of power washing your home. This cleaning method isn’t just faster than scrubbing your siding, it’s also more effective at removing grime, mold, and mildew. 

Of course, there’s more to power washing than just aiming a nozzle at your house, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you might actually do more harm than good. So, when it comes to power washing, should you do it yourself? Or should you hire professionals to wash away your worries? Here are some questions to ask that will inform your decision.

Do You Have the Equipment?

If you plan on power washing your home without anyone else’s assistance, you’ll obviously need a power washer. This is often easier said than done because there are so many different options out there. 

First, you must choose between an electric or gas-powered washer. Gas washers are generally the more powerful option, but these are also more expensive and require more maintenance than electric washers. Electric washers, while cheaper than gas machines, are slightly less powerful and also less portable.

Then, you’ll have to pick the size of your washer. The bigger the engine, the more powerful the machine, so your choice in size will depend on your cleaning needs and the strength of your surfaces. You’ll also have to choose which nozzle(s) you plan on using, which affects the angle at which water sprays out, and the type of detergent or soap.

As far as what you can expect to pay for a power washer, they range anywhere from about $100 to over $1,000 for higher-end and industrial models. Most homeowners will go for something between $200 and $500. You can also rent a power washer for under a hundred bucks a day if you don’t want to invest in a machine or clutter up your garage.

How Much Surface Area Needs Cleaning?

The next thing to consider when power washing on your own is how much area you need to clean. Professional painters often recommend that home painting takes place only after the exterior has been properly cleaned for better adhesion. Washing a smaller home typically isn’t all that time-consuming, but larger properties can take a while, cutting into your personal time. 

Of course, if you enjoy spending your own time taking care of your home inside and out, power washing can be just another task on your to-do list. But if your priorities lie elsewhere, it might be worth it to hire a contractor to wash your property for you. They can clean all the nooks and crannies, which includes not just your home’s exterior, but also other exterior features such as your deck, patio, driveway, and anything else that requires maintenance or needs cleaning prior to exterior painting.

Does Experience Matter That Much?

At first glance, operating a power washer might seem simple and safe. But you might be surprised at how much can go wrong if you don’t take the time to learn the ins and outs of these machines. 

If you lack knowledge and experience, you may end up damaging your surfaces. Certain materials, like brick, for instance, can quickly erode when blasted by a power washer, especially at high heats and pressure ratings. Additionally, while one of the main goals of power washing your home is to enhance its appearance, using the wrong detergent or technique can result in severe staining.

More importantly, power washers can present safety risks in the wrong hands. Getting hit by one of these blasts can leave welts and even break through the skin. So, it’s imperative that the area is clear from people and pets before washing begins, and that the operator has full control over their aim.

The Verdict

If you’ve never power washed your home before, it’s a good idea to hire a professional to see how it’s done. But if you can afford to rent or purchase a power washer, enjoy doing things yourself, and are willing to learn how to properly operate it, then you can certainly try it on your own. 

Whether you decide to power wash your home by yourself, a licensed exterior painting contractor can help you take care of your painting needs after the fact. That is, of course, unless you plan on painting your home’s exterior yourself, too!

At All American Painting Plus, we help homeowners maintain and improve their property every step of the way, as needed. To learn more about our power washing, licensed exterior painting services, and everything else we offer our clients in Northern Virginia, give us a call at (703) 620-5563!

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