Preparing your house for painting – should I pressure clean first?

Everyone thinks you should Pressure Clean around your home in preparation for a new paint job, but it could cause major damage.

Pressure washing is often the first step in getting a fresh new look on your housee but even painters can get it wrong.

And of course, many times you are not about to paint just yet so you want your original paint job clean and ready for new paint, but not completely demolished.

Reasons to NOT Pressure Wash
#1 Water in the Walls

This is the worst kind of damage you can do with a high pressure washer to a house. Commercial pressure washers shoot water at pressures starting at 1500 psi which isn’t too destructive, but they can go upwards of 3300 psi, which will blast through solid wood, asphalt, and even concrete if they’re close enough.

If you have a Queenslander, or other homes with Timber sidings, there is an excellent chance that washing your house with a high pressure washer will shoot water up under the siding, potentially soaking wall cavities, insulation, wiring, flooring, plaster, etc. Pressured water can get everywhere.

Once the water is in the wall, it is very difficult for it to evaporate. So if a house is pressure washed, then caulked and patched and finally painted, you are essentially, sealing the water in behind the fresh coat of paint.

#2 Missing Mortar

A lot of people think that a brick house or paved paths are safe to pressure wash. Think again! Older brick and mortar becomes softer and can be easily blasted away with high pressure water.

While paths are easier to fix, repairing a brick house is probably 10 times what the pressure washer charged you to wash your house!

#3 Gouged Timber

When pressure washing, you might be tempted to get right up close to the surface to try to blast loose paint off. That means that 3000 psi water is blasting right into bareTimber. It digs holes in the surface and furs the wood grain up damaging the siding.

#4 Lead Paint

Cleaning Hazard
Pressure washing is much more likely to causes lead paint chips to be blasted all around the yard and get mixed into the soil. Not great if you have kids, pets or neighbours.

When You Should Pressure Wash

That’s not to say a pressure wash is never a good idea. For some areas a pressure washer can be the best tool for the job:

  • Decks (Low pressure)
  • Railings (Low pressure)
  • Wood Fences (Medium pressure)
  • Concrete Driveways & Sidewalks (High pressure)
  • Metal Patio Furniture (High pressure)
  • Stone and Pavers (High pressure)
If pressure washing is dangerous for your house what can you do to get things clean quickly and efficiently?

I am not against Pressure Washing. Boost Exterior Cleaners uses both soft washing and pressure washing. Some tasks work best with high pressure (2000-3000 psi) and others with lower pressure (1250-2000 psi) or our soft wash methods. It is just having the right tool for the job.

When we quote on your cleaning needs, we can apply the right tools at the right pressure to get your house exteriors clean without damage.

Give me a call to get a quote.