How to Prepare for Pressure Washers to Come to Your Home

Pressure Washers

Pressure washing is an indispensable tool for maintaining the cleanliness and appeal of your home’s exterior. It purges years of grime from surfaces and effectively preps them for paint or refinishing.

However, before you wield the power of a pressure washer, there are crucial steps to ensure the safety of your home and those living in it. This comprehensive guide is designed to help homeowners like you ready your abode for a pressure washing session.

The Power of a Pristine Home Exterior

The visual impact of a clean, well-maintained home exterior is often undervalued. Pressure washing can remove unsightly layers of muck from brick, concrete, and siding with relative ease.

A clean exterior also fights the buildup of mold and mildew, protecting your family from potential health hazards and prolonging the lifespan of your home’s surfaces. Yet, the benefits go beyond mere aesthetics — regular cleaning may reveal damage early, allowing for timely repairs that could save you a considerable sum in the long run.

Why Preparation is Paramount

Pressure washing employs a significant amount of force to dislodge dirt, thus poses several risks if not appropriately prepared for. The force of the water can cause splinters and damage wood, strip paint, etch concrete, or chip away at stone.

Additionally, the cleaning process may send debris flying, posing a hazard to nearby individuals or items. This section will go over these points in detail, underlining the gravity of preparation.

Understanding the Cleanup’s Context

Preparation isn’t only about setting the stage for a successful pressure washing session; it’s about positioning everything in a way that ensures once cleaning is underway, it is efficient and doesn’t create a bigger mess.

For instance, pre-wetting areas around the spot you’re cleaning can help dilute runoff and decrease the environmental impact.

Step-by-Step Preparatory Measures

  1. Secure or Relocate Outdoor Furniture: Move any furniture, grills, potted plants, or movable objects away from the area to be pressure washed. This minimizes the risk of damage and ensures nothing obstructs the cleaning process.
  2. Cover Immovable Objects: For items that cannot be moved, like built-in benches or flowerbeds, cover them with waterproof tarps or plastic sheeting. Secure these covers with tape or weights to protect against water damage and debris.
  3. Close Windows and Doors: Ensure all windows and doors are tightly closed to prevent water from entering your home. Check the seals and weather-stripping to guard against leaks.
  4. Clear the Area of Loose Debris: Remove sticks, leaves, and other loose debris from the area. This not only prepares the surface for cleaning but also prevents the pressure washer from turning small items into projectiles.
  5. Protect Light Fixtures and Electrical Outlets: Wrap exterior light fixtures and electrical outlets with plastic and secure them with tape. Though most outdoor fixtures are designed to be water-resistant, it’s best to safeguard against direct high-pressure water exposure.
  6. Inform Your Neighbors: Depending on the proximity of your home to your neighbors, give them a courtesy notice of your pressure washing plans. This allows them to prepare if they need to protect any shared or close boundaries.
  7. Inspect the Area for Damage: Before the pressure washing begins, inspect the area for any pre-existing damage. Take note of cracks in concrete or damage to wood surfaces, as pressure washing these areas may require special care to avoid further damage.

By diligently following these preparatory steps, you ensure a smooth and safe pressure washing session that not only improves the aesthetic of your home but does so without causing harm or inconvenience to your surroundings.

Prepping Various Surfaces for Pressure Washing

Different surfaces around your home require unique preparation methods to achieve optimal cleaning results and avoid damage.

Siding and Exteriors

Preparing for pressure washing your siding involves a strategy that keeps the water spray at an angle to minimize the risk of water infiltration into the home. It will also involve clearing the exterior of any obstructions that could impede the process, such as vines, nests, or hanging decor.

Decks and Patios

Deck cleaning, for instance, requires the right balance of power and distance. Before pressure washing, it’s critical to clear the area of all items and debris. Additionally, turning your attention to adjacent greenery and the softwood within your deck’s structure is just as essential.

Driveways and Pathways

Driveways and pathways often accrue the most filth, thanks to car leaks and footfall. Preparing these concrete or asphalt surfaces means moving all vehicles, sweeping away loose dirt, and if needed, pre-treating with a suitable detergent.

Safety First – Essential Homeowner Tips

  • Wear Protective Gear: Always wear goggles, gloves, and closed-toe shoes to protect against debris and the high-pressure spray.
  • Read the Manual: Before operating a pressure washer, familiarize yourself with the machine’s manual to understand its capabilities and safety features.
  • Keep Children and Pets Indoors: To prevent accidents, ensure that children and pets remain inside the house or a safe distance away during the process.
  • Avoid Direct Jets on Delicate Surfaces: Use a wider spray pattern for windows, light fixtures, and other fragile areas to avoid damage.
  • Stay Aware of Your Surroundings: When handling the pressure washer, be conscious of where you’re standing to prevent slips and falls on wet surfaces.
  • Secure Loose Wires and Cables: Ensure that all cables and electrical wires are safely secured or elevated to prevent tripping hazards and protect them from water damage.
  • Check for Electrical Safety: Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet and keep the pressure washer’s electrical connections dry and off the ground.
  • Do Not Overreach: Stay on stable ground, use an extension wand for hard-to-reach areas, and avoid using ladders to prevent falls.

Hiring a Pro vs. DIY – Weighing the Options

Sometimes, professional pressure washers are the way to go. Sometimes, it’s gratifying to roll up your sleeves and get the task done yourself. This section will outline the pros and cons of each approach, with anecdotes from homeowners about their own experiences.

Hiring a Professional Pressure Washing Service – Pros and Cons


  • Expertise and Efficiency: Professionals bring experience, which translates to quicker and more effective cleaning without the risk of damage.
  • Safety: Companies have the right equipment and take precautions to ensure the safety of their personnel and your property.
  • Convenience: Hiring a service means you don’t have to do the work yourself, saving you time and effort.
  • Avoiding Rental Hassles: No need to rent, transport, and learn to operate a pressure washer.


  • Cost: Professional services can be costly compared to doing it yourself, especially for larger projects.
  • Scheduling: You may have to adjust your schedule to fit their availability.
  • Lack of Control: Some may feel uncomfortable not having control over the specifics of the cleaning process.

DIY Pressure Washing – Pros and Cons


  • Cost-Effective: Avoiding professional fees can save money, particularly if you already own or can borrow a pressure washer.
  • Flexibility: Clean on your own schedule and pace, without waiting for available appointments.
  • Personal Satisfaction: There’s a sense of achievement in completing the task yourself and seeing the immediate results.


  • Risk of Damage: Without proper knowledge and experience, there’s a higher risk of damaging your property.
  • Safety Risks: Inexperienced users can injure themselves or others if not careful.
  • Time and Effort: The process can be time-consuming and physically demanding, particularly for larger areas or heavily soiled surfaces.

Weighing these options can help homeowners decide the best approach based on their individual needs, budget, and preferences. Whether opting for a DIY route or hiring professionals, the end goal is the same—a clean, well-maintained home exterior.

After the Wash – Next Steps and Ongoing Maintenance

Maintaining the pristine condition of your home’s exterior after a thorough pressure wash is crucial for extending its cleanliness and reducing the need for frequent washes. Here are some recommended steps and practices for ongoing maintenance:

  • Regular Inspection: Periodically inspect your home’s exterior for signs of dirt accumulation, mold, or mildew growth, and address these areas promptly to prevent widespread issues.
  • Soft Washing: Consider using soft washing techniques for regular maintenance. This gentler approach can effectively remove dirt and grime without the intensity of pressure washing, ideal for siding, roofs, and other delicate areas.
  • Clear Gutters and Drains: Ensure gutters and drainage systems are clear of debris to prevent water damage and the growth of mold and mildew on your home’s exterior.
  • Prompt Repairs: Fix any damage, such as cracks in siding or loose shingles, immediately to prevent water intrusion and further deterioration.
  • Protective Coatings: Apply protective sealants to hardscape areas like driveways and patios. These coatings can extend the life of the surface and make future cleaning easier.
  • Landscaping Care: Trim trees and bushes near your home to reduce shade and moisture on your home’s exterior, which can minimize the growth of mold and mildew.
  • Scheduled Cleaning: Set a schedule for professional cleaning based on your home’s exposure to elements and its material. Annual or bi-annual cleanings can keep your home looking its best.

By following these steps, homeowners can enjoy a clean, inviting exterior year-round, with minimal effort and investment in maintenance.

A Final Word on Pressure Washing for Homeowners

Pressure washing is a valuable maintenance tool for every homeowner. It’s vital for maintaining your home’s value and its integrity, but without appropriate preparation, it can cause more harm than good.

Whether you’re renting or buying, the equipment is yours or someone else’s, safety and methodical preparation are imperative. The decision to pressure wash should not be a snap one, but when planned and executed appropriately, it’s a process that brings immense satisfaction in the results.

About Us

Kendall Roof and Exterior Cleaning should be your one-stop destination if you need soft washing services in the Maryland region. We are a team of professionals who understand the necessity of having a clean exterior for every home. We focus on providing safe, reliable, and cost-effective exterior cleaning services. You can reach us at 410-726-5650 or fill out our contact form to learn more about our services of clean power wash in Salisbury, Maryland. Our team is ready to assist you with all your cleaning needs and provide the best solutions for maintaining your property.

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