Pressure washing your home’s exterior is the best way to quickly and efficiently clean off mold, mildew, and any other residue the weather may have left on your home. For beautiful and longer exterior life, we recommend pressure washing your siding once a year, or every two years at a minimum.
Here we are pressure washing aluminum siding and SIMPSON® is just the right pressure washer to do the job. We will show you a basic set-up of your pressure washer and some tips to clean your exterior by using pressure washer accessories. Accessories are great for speeding up cleaning time and also to make your pressure washing experience as comfortable and fun as possible.
It is essential to inspect the exterior first and ask yourself these questions:
What type of siding do I have? There are specific detergent solutions formulated for cleaning your house siding – whether it be vinyl, stucco, brick, or wood. Using detergent will make the job simple. Without it, you may risk damaging your house siding because more water force will be required to remove the dirt and grime. You can find pressure washer safe soap at your local hardware store that is safe for the type of siding you may have.
Is there any damage to my siding? Prior to pressure washing, be sure to repair any damage your exterior may have. Water force can cause even more damage if these areas are not repaired first.
How tall is my exterior? We do not recommend using ladders while pressure washing to avoid push back from the wands force that may cause you to lose balance and fall. This is where accessories like extension lances and second story nozzle cleaners are wonderful for cleaning tough to reach areas from the ground level.
Do I have any power lines exposed? Some homes are connected to power lines above ground or have power lines running along the edge of the property. If you do have power lines visible, be aware that you don’t attach the extension wand and then touch the wand to the power line risking electrocution.
Do I have toys, bikes, etc., that may be in the way of the siding? It is important to clear the area that you want to pressure wash, including covering any bushes or flowers that you do not wish to damage while pressure washing.
Do I live in an old building that may contain lead paint? Lead paint has been banned for residential use since the late ’70s. Still, some homes exist with lead paint exteriors because they have not been touched since then. If you think you may have lead paint, take caution and DO NOT pressure wash your exterior. Contact a professional to have it removed safely since lead paint is highly toxic to you and your pets if ingested or inhaled by sanding it away.
Do I have vents, openings or exposed outdoor electrical outlets? Avoid or cover vents and openings to avoid getting water into your home interior by using plastic and tape. If you do not have waterproof covers on your electrical outlets, you will want to turn off the power at the distribution board to all the outdoor electrical outlets. If water gets into your electrical outlets, it could damage your home’s electricity system.
UNDERSTAND: pressure (PSI) will blast the dirt loose and the flow rinses the debris away.
MAIN GOAL: clean away dirt and debris but leave no visible traces of damage to the exterior.
Always, before starting, make sure to have on the appropriate safety gear. These machines are very powerful and the force can lead to injury. We recommend a closed-toe boot/shoe (steel toe and water-resistant is great!) Also, eye and ear protection from any debris that may fly your way.
ALWAYS read your user manual before starting!
Today we are using the MS60773 MegaShot Series pressure washer. This is a 2800 PSI (pressure) @ 2.3 GPM (flow.) Equipped with a HONDA® engine and OEM Technologies™ pump. Includes our 25′ MorFlex™ hose for extra flexibility, kink resistance, and won’t leave scuff marks. (For extra length and leverage for your MorFlex™ hose you can also purchase an extension hose that comes in 25′ or 50′. This unit also includes 5 nozzle tips for a variety of cleaning: 0, 15, 25, 40 and soap.
Here are a few accessories that you can purchase along with your machine, and in our professional opinion, is a MUST HAVE when cleaning tall surfaces!
SIMPSON Extension Wand in 31″. This will give you more length and you will not have to struggle to lift your arms for hours to clean.
SIMPSON Second Story Nozzles are perfect for reaching your second story, effortlessly. The orange nozzle is used for soap application and the blue rinses.
Now, let’s start with the basic set-up:
Insert 31″ extension wand into gun and twist until secure.
Insert your choice of nozzle by pulling the quick coupler back and inserting your nozzle. Once the nozzle is inserted, release the quick coupler and make sure the nozzle is secure. If your nozzle is not secure, it will blow off once you pull the trigger and this could potentially be dangerous. Today we are using the SIMPSON Second Story Nozzle set to clean our aluminum siding.
Connect your MorFlex™ hose to your machine outlet by twisting clockwise until secure.
Connect the other end of your hose to the gun by twisting clock-wise again until secured.
Connect your garden hose to your pressure washer inlet and twist the connection clock-wise to make sure it is tightly secured. You don’t want any leakage while pressure washing if this connection is loose. Then, turn on your water supply.
Make sure you have a stable flow of water coming through the machine by pressing the gun trigger. If you do not have a steady flow, then you will want to inspect your water supply prior to starting the machine.
Now you will want to make sure you have a full tank of gas. Always be sure you are using ethanol-free gas or 10% ethanol or less as ethanol can ruin your engine.
Your SIMPSON machine will come with a bottle of oil in the box, but always be sure before each use that your oil tank is full with the appropriate amount of oil. Reference your user manual for the correct amount of oil for your machine.
Turn your engine on by flipping the on/off switch to ON.
Pull your choke (especially if the machine has not been started for a while.) After your machine is started, you will push your chock back inward.
Pull your engine cord by pulling straight out until engine starts. If your engine cord seems stuck or unable to be pulled simply squeeze your gun trigger to relieve pressure, then try again…that should do the trick!
Starting your cleaning job:
You will want to rinse off any plants first to make sure your cleaning solution will not absorb and ruin your landscaping. Then, insert your soap nozzle in the wand and slide on your siphon tube with a filter to pump. Each SIMPSON pressure washer comes equipped with a siphon tube for your convenience. Drop the filter end of your siphon tube into your detergent. Please READ CAREFULLY the instructions on your detergent label before starting. Some chemicals may need to be diluted with water as they may come in concentrated form. You will also want to make sure the chemical you are using is safe for your type of siding. Here, we are using pressure washer safe detergent for aluminum siding. NEVER use bleach.
Pull the trigger and begin your soap application from the bottom and work your way up. You want to start at the bottom to prevent dirt and soap running down your house onto dry spots. Consult your detergent’s directions and allow the soap to sit on the siding for the specified amount of time. DO NOT let the soap dry and avoid using soap in direct sunlight.
Note: Soap will only flow through the pump when a soap nozzle is inserted.
Remove soap nozzle and insert second story rinse nozzle to clean away the soap. For those tough spots, you may want to get a little closer to the siding, but not too close to cause damage. Repeat process on each side of your home and Voilà! Your home will look like new!
ADDITIONAL TIPS & TRICKS FOR VARIOUS TYPES OF SIDING:
Each type of siding will have a specially formulated detergent solution to properly clean it. Follow these quick tips before pressure washing your house siding:
- Vinyl Siding – Avoid overlapping panels. (Panels that overlap into the door or window frames.)
- Aluminum Siding – Avoid angling the gun upward where the water flow can damage under the panel overlaps.
- Cement Siding – Repair damaged areas before starting.
- Wood Siding – Be sure to wet the surface before applying detergent and use 25 or 40-degree nozzles to prevent damage.
- Stucco Siding – Use 25 or 40-degree nozzles and pressure wash at minimum 2 feet away from the surface to prevent damage.
- Brick and Stone Siding – Wet brick surface before starting with a light spray from the garden hose to prevent the detergent from soaking deep into the brick.
-SIMPSON Cleaning Team