For many, having a clean house mostly refers to chores such as vacuuming, mopping, dusting and keeping the floor clean. However, washing the outside of your house is just as important, yet often gets neglected.
Exterior house washing is more than just making sure everything looks good. Giving your house a regular wash on the outside also helps save money in the long run. You will need to repaint less often and you keep away mould and other headaches such as lichen, moss and mildew as well as pollution particles from vehicles and rain. Furthermore, each time you wash your exterior walls and cladding you can check for damages and repair them before it gets costly.
How often is necessary?
Depending on the size of your house and your location it is recommended to have your exterior washed every 1 to 2 years. This frequency will increase if you live in a coastal area, if your property is exposed to high winds or if you live next to some kind of processing plant or factory. The higher the risk of deterioration from the elements, the more often exterior wall cleaning becomes necessary.
What’s the best way?
Waterblasting or pressure-washing the exterior of your house from top to bottom will ensure you get rid of all the nasty bits of grime and mould without stripping off the paint. You could attempt to do this yourself, however, common pressure-washers often use too much pressure which results in damage to your exterior as well as the paint.
It also gets tricky and more dangerous when you have a multi-story house. Calling in the experts is usually the better option. They have the right tools and techniques to get the job done properly in a safe and efficient manner. Commercial companies can scrub down even the most stubborn dirt without causing damage to your property. They also use gentle detergents that help loosen and neutralise build-ups without causing too much harm to the environment.
How does it work?
The concept is simple. Pressure washing or water blasting uses high-pressure water spray to remove dirt and other residues from the exterior walls of a house as well as from concrete driveways and paths. With the right setting, it is powerful enough to get rid of fungus, mildew, mould and moss, but not strong enough to cause damage to the surface it’s used on.
Pressure washers usually have a range of settings that can be adjusted to the purpose of each project. Softer surfaces such as wood only need between 1200 and 1500 pounds per inch (psi), while stronger surfaces such as vinyl can be sprayed with up to 3000 psi. Commercial water blasters will have additional detergent dispenser attached to ensure your house gets more than just a hose-down with water.
Exterior wall cleaning is more complex and dangerous than it might appear. Property can be easily damaged and injuries occur if the nozzle is pointed in the wrong direction, the person holding the nozzle isn’t prepared for the kickback or the wrong pressure is applied. To protect fixtures such as lights or plants ensure they are covered or secured with duct tape. Children and animals should be kept out of sight when water blasting and ladders properly secured.
Wash before you paint
In addition to protecting your property from the elements, dirt and grime, exterior wall cleaning is also recommended before you are planning on painting the outside of your house. This will help the paint go on much easier and will also ensure it stays on a lot longer. Once your house has been water blasted, simply let it dry properly for at least 2 days before you start painting.
Without regular cleaning, you might have to repaint your house exterior as often as every 3 to 4 years. With proper maintenance this timeframe can be extended up to 7 or 8 years, depending on your location.