Your home has long since been overdue for a cleaning, but life has gotten in the way until now. Conditions have gotten so grungy that pressure washing is your only viable solution. How long will you spend pressure washing your home?
How long you’ll spend pressure washing a home depends on its square footage. If the home is only 2,500 square feet, for example, you might get the job done in as little as an hour or up to two hours. If the home is over 2,500 square feet, it can take three to five hours.
In today’s guide, we’ll discuss how long, on average, you’ll spend pressure washing your home and cover the steps to get it done right. We’ll also delve into the benefits of pressure washing. There’s lots of great information to come, so make sure you keep reading!
How Long Does It Take to Pressure Wash a Home?
As we’ve established, your home needs some help. Pressure washing will remove grime and restore the property’s former luster.
The good news is that this project shouldn’t take you more than one day, so you needn’t set aside a whole weekend for the job.
The estimates for precisely how long pressure washing will take varies, based on a few factors.
The most important of these is how large your home is. If yours is a very small property, then it will naturally take you less time to pressure wash than someone with a large property.
If your home has one story, it is easier for you to work swiftly. A homeowner with a multistory home has more work to do.
Your speed also influences the time you will take to complete the job. You don’t want to rush, but you should work consistently to get things done.
All things considered, you can finish pressure washing your home in as little as 30 minutes and up to five hours.
As we discussed in the intro, if your home is 2,500 square feet or smaller, set aside at least two or three hours.
If your home is over 2,500 square feet, then prepare to spend three to five hours on the job.
Can You Pressure Wash a Home Yourself? How to Do It
You rented or bought a pressure washer. It’s a nice Saturday or Sunday morning,, and you’re ready to start.
You can indeed pressure wash your home yourself. It’s more labor-intensive, but you’ll be proud of a job well done.
Here are the steps to follow to successfully pressure wash your home.
Step 1 – Wait for a Good Day
Not all types of weather are suitable for pressure washing, which shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Ideally, you want to wait to do this task until the spring rather than the summer when it’s too balmy.
Not only are the heat and humidity factors, but the cleaning agents can dry in the summer heat faster than you want them to, preventing a job well done.
If you miss that first window, then autumn is another good time to schedule your pressure washing. The weather is just getting crisp and cool but isn’t cold yet.
The weather on the day you choose to pressure wash can be sunny and even a touch warm, but you’re waiting for a mild day more so than anything else.
Step 2 – Get a Good Pressure Washer
Not all pressure washers are created equally.
For starters, you have your pick between an electric or gas pressure washer.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages for certain.
For instance, a gas pressure washer doesn’t need an electrical outlet. You can easily carry the pressure washer around with you from the front of the house to the back and clean every square inch.
An electric pressure washer only works when plugged in. You’ll need to rig up some ultra-long extension cords to reach all sides of your home.
The one I bought and use regularly is the Dewalt 3300 PSI gas power washer with a Honda engine. It has been extremely reliable with fantastic results.
The amount of pressure that a pressure washer produces also varies. The pressure is measured in pounds per square inch of pressure or PSI.
You don’t necessarily need a pressure washer with the highest PSI for pressure washing your house. After all, if the pressure washer has too much pressure, you could blast shingles or roof panels clean off.
The ideal pressure for pressure washing a home is 1,500 PSI for glass, deck, and vinyl siding. For softwoods and other gentle materials, you only need pressure between 500 and 600 PSI.
Feel free to crank up the pressure to 2,500 to 3,000 PSI when washing asphalt or concrete surfaces like your sidewalks and driveway.
By the way, don’t feel like you have to purchase a pressure washer. We’ll talk a little bit later about how often to pressure wash a house, but if you don’t feel like it’s worth it to own a pressure washer, you can always rent one from your local home improvement store.
Step 3 – Gather Your Supplies
You need more than a pressure washer to pressure wash your house. Here are the other supplies you should have handy.
- Extension wand (six to 12 feet)
- Safety goggles
- Garden hose
- Garden sprayer
- Deck-cleaning brush
- Siding brush
- Mixing bucket (at least five gallons)
- Detergent with mildewcide
- Duct tape
- Drop cloths
Step 4 – Safeguard Nearby Items
You don’t want to accidentally shatter any windows or damage your plants or trees while pressure washing. Use plastic sheeting or drop clothes for the lawn and your garden or plants.
The duct tape comes in handy for sealing doors and windows. You might also want to use some plastic sheeting, especially if you have older, leak-prone doors or windows.
Step 5 – Make the Solution
Grab your bucket and add water and mildewcide or mildewcide detergent, preventing mildew from forming on your home’s exterior surfaces. Dilute that with water according to the product instructions.
You also need bleach, but not nearly as much bleach by volume as a mildewcide. The ratio should be 1:9, with 1 representing the bleach and 9 representing the mildewcide.
Step 6 – Put the Nozzle on the Pressure Washer
Add your mildewcide/bleach mixture to your garden sprayer.
Next, find the pressure washer hose mount, which is usually around the back. Take your garden hose and insert it into the mount. The hose should be connected to a spigot.
Step 7 – Begin Pressure Washing
Now it’s the time you’ve finally been waiting for, the pressure washing itself.
If your home has at least two stories, start at the top story, clean that, and then clean the story at ground level.
An extension wand will help you reach the second story. This should be included with your pressure washer whether you bought it or rented it.
Step 8 – Scrub the Mildewcide
You will need either a ladder or scaffolding to reach your home’s second story, as you need to work the mildewcide and bleach in with a siding brush.
Then use the pressure washer to rinse away the mildewcide and bleach as well as any dirt or grime.
Step 9 – Repeat as Needed
Continue with the last two steps until you’ve covered the entire house. You will be amazed at what a difference pressure washing makes!
How Much Does It Cost to Get Your Home Professionally Pressure Washed?
You can see now that pressure washing your home yourself sure is a lot of work. Is it better to hire a team to come out and do the job for you? If you did, how much would that cost?
According to HomeAdvisor, the national average for pressure washing is $299 but can cost up to $2,500.
The hourly rate of the service is $50 to $100 for each crew member. You will pay more for a bigger crew, but the job won’t take as long either.
Here’s how much professional pressure washing services cost per part of your home that needs it:
- Garage floors – $100 to $200
- Fences – $150 to $300
- Gutters – $50 to $300
- Patio or deck – $250 to $400
- Driveway – $100 to $500
- Roof – $440
- Siding – $150 to $2,500
The Benefits of Pressure Washing Your Home
Pressure washing isn’t the fastest or easiest job, but it’s worth it for the following reasons.
Restores Cleanliness and Luster
If you haven’t pressure washed your home in who knows how long, trust us when we say that it will make a considerable difference.
You’ll have long since forgotten what the original color of your home’s siding was supposed to look like, not to mention your driveway and roof.
The immaculate condition of your home will put a big smile on your face each time you step outside. Your home could even be the nicest-looking one on the block!
Increases Your Home’s Curb Appeal
We’ve talked a lot about curb appeal on the blog lately, but that’s only because it’s so important.
Every homeowner wants to know that their property is worth something, even if they never intend to sell.
Regular pressure washing is one surefire way to raise your home’s curb appeal. Keep in mind though that the keyword there is regular.
If you’re not consistent about it, then your home will be grimy again before you know it.
Saves Your Home
Dirt and grime are far more than merely unappealing. Where this stuff is, mold and mildew usually follow.
That’s why we recommend using a mildewcide when pressure washing, as you don’t want fungi lingering on your home surfaces.
Mold, the longer it stays, can erode the finishes and paint of your home, forcing you to have to redo them (or pay someone to redo them).
The moist conditions that allow mold and mildew to thrive are also not ideal for the longevity of your home, as you could sustain water damage.
Spares Your Health
Mold and mildew can do more than wreak havoc on your home, of course. They can also be horrible for your health.
Even if you have no preexisting health conditions, exposure to mold for long enough can lead to symptoms such as coughing, congestion, red and itchy eyes, headaches, and sneezing.
Those with asthma or a preexisting mold allergy will find that their symptoms worsen.
Okay, but you’re probably thinking, what does mold outside the home have to do with your health inside the home?
As mold spores propagate, they can easily travel via the air and enter your home. That’s especially true if your home has unmitigated water damage.
That water damage affects not only the exterior but the interior as well!
How Often to Pressure Wash a Home?
Whew! You just wrapped up a long day of pressure washing. You couldn’t be prouder of how your home looks, and you want it to look this good for a long time to come.
How often should you pressure wash your home in the future to maintain its pristine quality?
You should pressure wash at least annually to keep your home free of dirt and grime.
If you have the time and own a pressure washer, you can prioritize this job twice per year, both in the spring and the fall.
Pressure washing is a job that every homeowner should learn how to do (or at least have the number of a good pressure washing company on hand), as it makes such a night and day difference in the quality and appeal of your home.
Now that you know how to pressure wash your home and how long it takes, you can slot this crucial task into your to-do list!