How to Clean the Exterior of your Home & Garage Door

Exterior of house and garage

The outside of your home is the first thing people see, which is why keeping your house and garage in good condition is a great way to make a first impression. Does the exterior of your home need a bit of a spring clean? Not sure where to start? Check out our guide below for information on how to wash the exterior of your home with a pressure washer and/or a regular garden hose.

Pressure washer

Using a pressure washer can certainly make quick work of cleaning the exterior of your home. However, before heading straight for the pressure washer there are a few things you should consider.

Firstly, just how dirty is the outside of your house? It is best to start with the gentlest cleaning method first, and work your way up from there.

Secondly, be sure to check if the material of your home can withstand extremely high pressure.

When to use a pressure washer

You should reach for the pressure washer when you have some serious dirt and grime on the outside of your home. If you only have a light layer of dirt and dust, a normal garden hose will do the trick. We wouldn’t, however, recommend pressure washing your garage door; this has the potential to damage the door due to the force, so isn’t the best option.

How to prepare for pressure washing

What you need:

  • A pressure washer – purchased or rented.
  • A pair of safety goggles to avoid dirt going in your eyes.

Be prepared:

  • Ensure all windows and doors are closed.
  • Make sure any pets and children are out of the way (preferably indoors completely away from the pressure washer!).
  • Put on safety goggles to avoid any dirt or debris going into your eyes.
  • Choose the right nozzle; the nozzle is measured in degrees – the lower the angle the more concentrated the power of the water jet is. Nozzles are available in 0, 15, 25 and 40 degrees.
  • Water is enough in most cases to clean the exterior, although if you have mould or mildew, use a speciality cleaner.

What to avoid when pressure washing the exterior of your home

Avoid spraying any windows, as the spray could cause the glass to break – especially homes with single-pane windows. Pressure washers are powerful and potentially lethal, so much so it can slice through skin. Therefore, avoid directing a pressure washer at a person.

Keep the spray away from electrical fixtures, power sources and power lines. FInally, avoid pressure washing your home if you think, or know, it has been painted with lead paint. Best to call in for professional help and advice in those situations.

How to pressure wash your house: top tips

  • Before going straight in, use the pressure washer on a small area of your home. Take a close look at the area you have just tested, if there is damage you should switch to a regular garden hose. If there doesn’t seem to be any issues, carry on!
  • Keep the pressure washer moving and avoid keeping it on the same spot for too long, this could cause damage.
  • If using a detergent, only use one intended for pressure washers.
  • Spray at a downward angle to avoid damage; and never spray into seams and cracks in siding where water could be trapped and potentially damage your home.

Garden Hose

A regular garden hose is definitely the preferred choice when it comes to cleaning the exterior of your home. It carries with it far fewer risks, and should always be first choice against a pressure washer.

When to use a garden hose

A garden hose is fine to use in most cases where you are dealing with a light layer of dirt and grime. As mentioned above, a pressure washer only really needs to be used when you have serious dirt to contend with!

How to prepare for washing with a garden hose

What you need:

  • A garden hose
  • A cleaning kit

Both can be purchased from regular high street stores.

How to wash your house with a garden hose

  • Most shop bought cleaners will include a nozzle to fit onto your garden hose, fit the nozzle.
  • First you will need to spray your house with a layer of the detergent, and allow to set for a little time – usually about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Once the cleaner has set for a while, you will then need to rinse it off – and there you have it.

Pretty simple.

Garage doors

When it comes to washing your garage door, we’d recommend using the traditional method of soapy water, sponge or microfiber cloth, and your garden hose.

How to wash your garage door

  • Before getting the door wet, dust away any dust and debris such as cobwebs etc. This is so you won’t be adding any more dirt to the door.
  • Next, with your soapy water and sponge, start cleaning your door with good ol’ elbow grease. Really get into the grooves of your door too, as dirt can easily collect there.
  • When you have finished scrubbing, rinse the door with fresh water and let it air dry. If you would like to stop any dry marks appearing, then give it rub down with a clean, dry cloth.

Another, tip – don’t clean your garage door on a bright sunny day, with the sunshine beating down on it. It’s best to do it when it is overcast, to help prevent the water you’re using to clean the garage door from drying on it and leaving marks.

To conclude

In essence, we suggest avoiding using a pressure washer, unless you have serious dirt and grime! In most cases, a regular garden hose and cleaning kit will do the trick.
If you are looking for a way to update the exterior of your home with a new garage door, then get in contact with us today.

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