If you’re like most homeowners, your home is your largest and most valuable investment. The last thing you want to do is damage it by making DIY house washing mistakes. Unfortunately, cleaning your home exterior surfaces can be a daunting proposition, especially if you’re not sure how to tackle the job in the first place. So, before you pick up a pressure washer and start dealing permanent damage to your home, porches, and walkways, it pays to learn how to avoid the three biggest and most common do-it-yourself mistakes.
1. High Pressure Washing Vinyl Siding
Hard rains can splash mud on your exterior walls, where microbial activity can simultaneously cause visible signs of algae, mildew, or mold growth. While these organic processes are bringing down your curb appeal, the natural oxidation process of exterior siding can leave a white, powdery film on the outside of your home. The result is an unsightly mess with multiple causes; one cleaning approach does not fit all, either. It can seem, at first blush, that DIY house washing can be the best and most efficient solution, however that can cause DIY house washing mistakes.
Everything is not as YouTube makes it seem, though, and high-pressure washing your siding is the opposite of soothing or satisfying. In fact, it can disturb natural oxidation, leaving dramatic and unpleasant “cleaning marks” that are expensive and time-consuming to remove and it is one of your DIY house washing mistakes. In a final painful blow, pressure washer use voids most manufacturer warranties, meaning you’re on the hook for all the costs associated with your high pressure washing misadventure.
2. Taking Safety for Granted
How much time do you spend on a ladder in your normal, daily life? If you’re like most homeowners, the answer falls somewhere between “rarely” and “never.” Ladders are inherently unsafe, especially if you’re not used to working on them or aware of all the ways they can cause injury. It’s vital to use a stabilizer and have someone foot your ladder while you climb.
Using a ladder alone is a recipe for disaster; you’re increasing your risk of being hurt while also ensuring no one can call for help if you are injured and can’t seek assistance on your own. It’s almost always best to leave ladder use to licensed, insured, and experienced professionals; if you can’t, you must take precautions to prevent serious, potentially catastrophic, injury.
3. Cleaning Concrete Roughly
Concrete is tough, designed to survive for decades without decaying, crumbling, or showing serious signs of damage. Just like any other exterior surface, though, it can become dingy, stained, and discolored over time. While concrete seems like one of those bullet-proof surfaces that should be impervious to damage from a pressure washer, it actually isn’t the case at all. Using the wrong equipment, particularly of the high-pressure variety, can etch or damage concrete permanently making this one of the DIY house washing mistakes.
So, unless you want a cleaning session to turn into a full sidewalk, driveway, or patio repair, it’s best to take a gentler approach. Soft washing with the appropriate cleansers and solvents for the stains on your concrete surfaces also lasts longer, as it interrupts the microbial activity at the source.
Ready to revitalize the look of your home while boosting curb appeal and protecting your property value without DIY house washing mistakes? A thorough cleaning is one of the most impactful investments you can make, but only if it doesn’t lead to property damage or personal injury. Carolina Power Wash is owned by a firefighter and staffed by several current or former firefighters. It’s hard to find people with more ladder safety experience than firefighters or more encyclopedic outdoor cleaning knowledge than Carolina Power Wash.