How To Pressure Wash You Home In Lancaster Pennsylvania
There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to the use of a pressure washer. There is a misconception that many home owners and fresh under experienced contractors in the Lancaster PA territory share. They believe extreme water pressure alone is the building block of cleaning . This thought process is incorrect. It can be conclude that over 90% of the time, the use of water is intended to (1) apply the proper detergent and (2) to rinse the dirt and grime away. The detergent should be responsible for 70% of the cleaning. The remaining 30% is nested in the rinsing process. The detergent allows breaking the bond between any organic growth or dirty from the surface, allowing for a gently low pressure rinse to remove the staining or soiling.
Cleaning your home with a power washer is not rocket science, but there are precautions a home owner will need to take to eliminate damage and keep their safety in mind. With that being said the average residential home owner can work their way through the process if they are able think ahead while being smart. The key too safety, minimal frustration, and a professional result is taking your time and utilizing the proper techniques. A pressure washer is no toy. Many people each year are severely injured with improper techniques and stupidity. With that being said the main difference between a professional contractor and the average homeowner is experience and larger scale pressure washing equipment. Let’s look at some of the pressure washing equipment you will need to pressure wash your vinyl siding in Lancaster Pa
List of Equipment and Supplies You Will Need to Power Wash Your Home
1. Pressure Washer
Many home owners may already have a small electric pressure washer in their garage. For a professional result in a more timely manner, it is recommended a gas pressure washer be used. Pressure washers are categorized by pounds per square inch (PSI) and gallons per minute (GPM). PSI is not as important as GPM. In most instances if you were to have your home power washed in Lancaster PA, the pressure would not need to exceed 1000 PSI. Remember the proper detergents allow for a low pressure clean. The more important factor is gallons per minute. The more water leaving the end of the pressure washing nozzle will allow for a faster cleaning process.
You can either buy or rent a machine. The bare minimum I would recommend is a 3 gallon per minute machine. These machine will range from 2000-3000 PSI max output. Some may be confused with the whole PSI thing. What determines the PSI is the unloader (black twisty knob on the pressure washing pump) and the size of the orifice in the nozzle selected for the wand. It is best to leave the unloaded at the pre set max setting and using a nozzle that has a larger orifice to decrease the pressure. This way you won’t decrease your GPM while still targeting a lower PSI. Chances are the black tip (soap nozzle) on your machine will have the largest orifice and allow for a low pressure rinse.
2. Cleaning Detergents
There are literally thousands of house wash cleaning products on the market today. The key ingredient to look for is an organic killer. A Sodium Hypochlorite (bleach based) cleaner will surely do the trick. It’s very important to have an organic killer ingredient in your mix. Many pressure washing suppliers sell pre mixed solutions. I would stay away from the big box store seller (home depot and lowes) and their products. They are rather over priced and normally don’t yield the most professional results.
You can also use a homemade based solution. You can find bleach at your local dollar store for around $3.50 per gallon. The next ingredient would be a surfactant. A surfactant helps the cleaning solution stick to the vinyl siding and create a sheeting effect so there are no missed areas. Dawn dish washing soap will work just fine. Here are the proportions I would use in a 5 gallon bucket.
•4 gallons Bleach (6%)
•3oz Dawn Dish Washing Soap.
•1/2 gallon of water.
Depending on the size of the home that needs pressure washed in Lancaster PA, will determine how many time you need to refill your 5 gallon bucket. a 5 Gallon mix should clean a 2,000sqft home if the soap is applied efficiently.
Make sure to wear a respirator when mixing and applying your solution.
How to Apply The Soap
When you are either purchasing or renting a pressure washer, you will need to make sure it has a chemical injector. 90% over machines comes standard with an injector. Here is a basic rundown on how the injector works. The soap will be dawn through the pressure washers pump when the soap nozzle (black nozzle) is installed on the wand. As mentioned earlier this nozzle has a larger orifice which drops the PSI significantly. This drop in pressure opens up a valve on your injector thus allowing the soap to be pulled through the line. You injector ratio should be around 10:1 (water:detergent).
Chances are you shouldn’t need much more than a 8 foot step ladder for a standard 2 story home. Please take not of this picture. This house is being rinsed with a pressure washer in Lancaster PA from the ground.
In some instances you might need an extension ladder to reach areas over peaks, decks, or roof lines. Try to minimize the use of a using the wand while on an extension ladder. The initial kick of pressure can jolt you backwards and cause injury from falling.
REMEMBER: ladders should ALWAYS BE USED WITH EXTREME CAUTION. Have a spotter at all times if you don’t feel comfortable being on a ladder.
The Pressure Washing Process In Lancaster PA
1. Make sure you pre-wet all plants, decks, windows, and anything else that is sensitive to your cleaning detergents. Make sure you are using a nozzle that isn’t going to draw solution. Or you can remove the siphon from the bucket of detergents and use the soap nozzle to pre wet.
2. Once your work area is pre-wetted, put the siphon back into the bucket of detergent and use the black nozzle (soap) to apply. You don’t want to apply so much that you are wasting you detergent. Apply enough just so it all covers every part of the siding. Its best to apply bottom to top, this way you can see exactly where you have applied the detergent.
3. Switch back to no soap, and rinse any plants, decks, or windows that have been sprayed with the detergent.
4. Wait 2-3 minutes. In warmers times of the year, you shouldn’t have to wait as long. Colder temperatures slow down the cleaning process.
5. Check to make sure the pressure washer’s siphon is out of the bucket. Now use your black nozzle to rinse. Start from the top and work your way downward. Remember to rinse with the siding. Meaning, siding overlaps and you don’t want to force water behind the vinyl siding.
Important note: do not apply so much detergent that by the time you are rinsing it has dried on the home. You always want the detergent to be wet.
1. If the detergent is not wet, it is not working.
2. Bleach may etch glass if left dried for an extended period of time.
Continue this process 1 side at a time. By the time you have finished you should feel much more comfortable and be much more efficient next time around.