Power Washing Two-Story Homes

Power washing, also known as pressure washing, removes mildew, dirt and debris that dull the appearance on your home's siding. Power washing your house at least once every two years brings out its best appearance. The strong stream of water blasts away the residue without the need for scrubbing, and it's a great way to prepare for a new coat of paint. If you have a two-story home, you'll need to use a ladder to reach the upper areas, or an extension wand. Working with a pressure washer requires a special technique to avoid stripping paint, gouging siding or even causing injury.

Power washing

Photo courtesy of © Susan Leggett

Power washing your home on a clear day without heavy winds for the best results. If you own a pressure washer, you are in luck when it comes to cleaning the siding on your two-story house. In the past, you had to rent and then erect scaffolding so you could reach the upper levels. This took a lot of time to complete. With a pressure washer, you can clean the entire house while you remain safely on the ground.

How to Power Wash Two-Story Homes

To execute this safely, just follow the steps below.

  1. Close all of the windows and doors. Turn off the power to any external electrical outlets or hardware. Remove any furniture from the area while washing the house.
  2. Spray any surrounding plants or shrubs with a garden hose to help protect them from the dripping, cleaning solution. Cover plants with a plastic tarp.
  3. Fill a garden sprayer with 3-parts water to 1-part bleach. Spray the siding with the bleach solution to coat it thoroughly from the top downward. Use a ladder to reach the second story. Affix an extension wand to the power washer, if necessary. Work your way across and around the house. Note: Skip this step if you have painted siding or if it's not excessively dirty.
  4. Attach a maximum pressure spray pattern nozzle onto the end of the wand. In most cases, you simply pull back on the coupler at the end of the wand and then snap the attachment into the coupler.
  5. To reach areas of your home 12 feet and higher, you'll need to use a maximum pressure spray-pattern. Start at the top of the siding and work your way down. Be sure to stand off to the side to avoid getting wet.
  6. Work from left to right starting at the top of the house; overlap each stroke by 50 percent to ensure you remove all of the dirt.
  7. Stand at a safe distance from the home and off to the side so you do not get hit by deflecting water. Pull the trigger on the wand and then move closer to the wall so the water reaches the top-left corner of the house, just below the soffits.
  8. Move back away from the house as you work your way down. This will reduce the spray pressure as you move down and the wand gets closer to the wall. Do this to avoid damaging any fixtures or glass because the high pressure can damage siding.

Tips

Telescoping Wand

If some upper level spots are a little stubborn, consider getting a telescoping wand. These fiberglass or aluminum extension poles can extend your spray gun from 12 to 24 feet. Without the telescoping wand, pressure diminishes as it climbs. The telescoping wand maintains the pressure much longer, resulting in a stronger, more concentrated spray.

Pressure Washing Business 101

Pressure Washing Business 101

Pressure washing is a multi million dollar industry in today's residential and commercial world. A pressure washing business requires a relatively small investment as far as equipment is concerned. Pressure washing businesses have become quite lucrative in recent years. They provide pressure washing for a variety of clients, including residential and those in industrial, construction and transportation services. Because they constantly have to go to places of business and residential areas, most power washing businesses are mobile. However, there are some that operate out of a commercial location, and these typically only do pressure washing for vehicles and other small items that can be brought to the pressure washing business.

Get Started

Conduct a survey to help you generate business ideas. Research existing competition in your area. Start at nearby residential areas and assess the situation in what areas is pressure washer needed. Determine the services that you want to offer. Your equipment and labor needs will be directly related to the services you want to provide. Establish your rates by calculating your cost of providing the service in your area.

Choose between commercial or residential markets for your pressure washing business services. Although the residential market is larger, there is more competition for smaller jobs and from do-it-yourself homeowners. Some pressure washing businesses are franchised while others are started from scratch.

Enroll in a pressure washer course if there is available in your area. Pressure washers using the incorrect water pressure can damage wood and siding. A course that teaches you how to avoid damaging a client's property is well worth the investment. Being able to restore wood and ensuring that you are compliant with federal environmental rules, will set you above other contractors in your area.

Next is to purchase the right equipment and vehicles that you need. Review the requirements by visiting the equipment reviews from various pressure washer websites. Generally, you may consider gas powered over the electric, since you won't always have easy access to outlets. If you can afford a trailer-mounted pressure washer, go for it because it will have a large capacity and can be pulled by your truck reducing the wear and tear within the bed of your truck.

For the best results, choose a gasoline-powered or hot-water pressure washer of at least 3,000 to 4,000 PSI. High pressure hoses, a water tank, a variety of detergents and cleaners and an assortment of tips should set you up for most jobs. Practice on your own home and driveway before heading out to perform work for customers. Buy liability insurance before your first job in case you inadvertently damage any property.

Other things to consider are the PSI (pounds per square inch) rating, GPM (gallons per minute) whether you can use hot water. Hot water may allow you to use a lower PSI, making it better suited for certain materials. Your PSI should be at least 2,000, but no more than about 5,000. Other supplies include hoses, chemicals and an X-Jet nozzle.

Monitor Sales and Management

Set Up your own accounting system. Find samples that you can use to track your accounts payable (bills), your accounts receivables (invoices) and your cash on hand from websites. Then evaluate your expenses and write up a price list that will allow you to make a profit.

Consider the time you anticipate you will need to invest with each job, the materials you'll use, and how much you'll charge based on what other pressure cleaners in your area are charging. Your price list may need to be adjusted once you've completed a variety of jobs. Revise your business plan and marketing plan as needed. Develop an inventory monitoring plan. Weather contingency plans and temporary staffing plans may also be required to meet seasonal demands.

How to Market

Join  associations and local chamber of commerce to stay abreast of industry development, sub-contract and bid opportunities and word of mouth referrals. Review your goals and strategies frequently. Get supplier contracts or lines of credit so that you have ready access to the inventory needed to operate.

Check environmental protection laws that affect your business. Some communities also have noise laws that may restrict your service hours. Contact government buildings and schools to get their business. Register your business in the Chamber of Commerce. Post flyers on bulletin boards at home improvement store.

Pressure Washer Killer

Pressure Washer Killer

Pressure washer is a power tool that sprays water at high pressures to clean large, sturdy surfaces such as buildings, farm equipment and roads as well as sidings of the houses and patio. Water is drawn with a hose pipe and the water is pumped out at different levels of pressure according to the requirements of the machine. They are available for all levels of cleaning tasks from weekend projects to heavy-duty commercial applications. It delivers extreme pressure and can cause serious injuries if misused. It doesn't have very long life spans which the best models could last several years. Aside from the life span of its prone to deter by the following intrusions and conditions that might killed their operational performance.  Proper care and maintenance is the key to avoid these pressure washer killer conditions.

Top 12 Pressure Washer Killers

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Quick Connect Spray Tips

Quick Connect Spray Tips

Pressure washers pump water from a water source, usually a standard garden hose, and force it through a small hose attached to a trigger-operated wand. This alone does not create the desired pressure for a pressure washer though. The real power in a pressure washer lies in its spray tips. There are a variety of spray tips that vary in coverage area and pressure, as well as how you can connect them to the pressure washer wand. Without a spray tips, your pressure washer would only have one setting. But with five universal spray tips, you can tailor your spray pattern to the job. Each tip produces a different spray pattern and is used for different cleaning purposes. Quick-connect spray tips are precisely what they sound like, they connect quickly. They do not have threads, but instead they are forced into the end of the wand and click into place. Quick-connect spray tips are handy when you have multiple jobs so you do not waste time unscrewing different heads. Quick-connect spray tips are color-coded to tell you what degree of fan they create. Also, with a quick-connect head, you do not have to worry about water leaking around the threads of the tip. Below we break down and explain the differences between each tip.

Quick Connect Spray Tips

Red

red nozzle
Red pressure washer tip is a zero degree tip which means it’s a straight line. The red spray tip creates a 0 degree spray pattern and is the most powerful nozzle of them all. This pressure washer tip is best used for removing hard, stuck-on grime or dirt, such as that which gets caked on the underside of a lawnmower or engine. This tip's high pressure can damage soft surfaces, such as glass or wood, but it can take stains off of harder surfaces, such as masonry or concrete. So you need to be very careful using this tip to make sure you don't cause any damage to the surface you are cleaning.

Yellow

yellow nozzle
Yellow pressure washer tip produces a 15 degree wide spray pattern that is commonly referred to as the “chisel” tip. When you hold this spray at a 45 degree angle to the ground, it can be used like a chisel or scraper to remove dirt or debris from surfaces, such as partially peeled paint. This is one of the most commonly used tips, because it provides a wider coverage area than the red tip, but it is the second strongest pressure-wise. It's great to use for heavy duty power washing, such as cleaning a garage floor or removing stains from concrete.

Green

green nozzle
The green spray wand tip generates a 25 degree spray pattern. This tip is the washing tip, because it provides adequate pressure to remove dirt from surfaces, but is also not likely to damage many surfaces. This tip is the most versatile due to its wide area of cleaning and strong pressure application. This tip works well for general cleaning purposes such as outdoor furniture, brick patios, walkways and decks. This pressure washer tip is also excellent for “sweeping” foliage or garbage given its wide angle.

White

white nozzle
The white tip creates a 40 degree spray pattern and is called the “fan” tip. It creates the widest area of cleaning but with a relatively low pressure. It's best used when cleaning delicate surfaces that can easily be damaged, such as the siding of a home or soft stucco walls. The white tip is also an excellent choice for doing light cleaning on wood decks and other soft or delicate surfaces.

Black

black nozzle
The black tip generates a 65 degree spray pattern. This produces the widest, most gentle stream of all the tips. It is the widest of the applicator tips, because it is used for the application of chemicals that are added to the water stream after the pump, so that harmful chemicals do not enter the pump, thereby damaging or contaminating it. The black tip provides a low pressure application with a broad coverage area ideal for applying pesticides or herbicides. Remember to thoroughly rinse any tubes and wands that chemicals travel through so that there is not residue applied when you wash something else later.

Gasoline Pressure Washer Drawbacks

Gasoline Pressure Washer Drawbacks

A Pressure Washer is a water pump and a motor on wheels that is powered by electric or gas energy. These power machines are great for cleaning the siding on your house, gutters, your driveway, lawn furniture, boats, cars, motorcycles, patio and more. There are also three models on offer namely light, medium and heavy duty models. When purchasing a pressure washer, you will be faced with a variety of choices. There are lots of different brands and models to choose from. The first thing you will need to decide on will be what type you want to have. Once you have decided, choosing the right type will be much easier. Whether you choose electric or gasoline pressure washer, you should be aware that each has their advantages and drawbacks.

Gasoline pressure washer is a great choice in case you have powerful cleaning jobs to do. It is popular due to its strong pressure output and long duration. In gas powered pressure washer, gasoline is ignited in an internal combustion engine to power a pump that pushes water through the trigger gun that you’re holding. At the end of the trigger gun is a nozzle to further speed up the water flow to ensure enough force to remove the paint, grime or mud or whatever from the surface you’re cleaning. If you will be using a gasoline pressure washer on an industrial setting, you will need to consider how much GPM (Gallons per Minute) and PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch) the washer has as this is a critical factor to how much cleaning power a washer has.

One of the biggest advantages of gasoline pressure washer is it generates better pressure output compared to electric types. They are suitable for more powerful and bigger jobs like driveways, large outdoor decks, fences, houses. It is much more preferred if the pressure requirements are higher. Since gas types do not need any electricity to work, gasoline pressure washer are better suited for all outdoor cleaning activities. They’re easier to take with you out on the lawn or to your cabin because you don’t have to worry about the electric cords or electricity outlets. It has better portability as they do not have any difficult-to-handle power cords. It can be used for indoor cleaning tasks, provided used in the right way. If maintained properly, it can last for longer duration and continuously than the electric types.

Even though gasoline pressure washers are more powerful, they have disadvantages too. One of the drawbacks of using a gasoline pressure washer is the difficulty in maintenance. Because it depends in oil and gas to start, you need to have adequate supply of gas and oil. Electric pressure washers are quiet and they don't give off toxic fumes and odors. Gasoline pressure washer are louder and this can be a problem in many business and residential settings. it must be operated in an area that is well ventilated because it gives off toxic fumes and odors. That is why it is usually not used indoors.

It is important that when purchasing pressure washers, you already determine on what application it will be used for. This will help you identify what type of pressure washer you are looking for. Whether you need an electric pressure washer or a gasoline pressure washer.

Pressure Washer Pump

The water pump is regarded as the best essential component of any kind of pressure washer, no matter if electric or gas-powered. The pressure washer pump brings in pressure to the water it obtains from the garden hose. It then sends this high-pressure water out in terms of PSI (pounds per square inch), which does the washing of the surface area.

Pressure washing demands a pump capable of producing high pressure with low flow compared to other common pumping applications. The pump also needs to be lightweight, small and cost-effective.

Kinds of Pressure Washer Pumps

There are 2 fundamental categories of positive displacement pumps:

  1. Reciprocating-- Utilizes pistons, plungers or diaphragms.
  2. Rotary-- Utilizes screws, gears, vanes or lobes.

All of the pressure washer pumps are in the reciprocating group and take advantage of pistons or plungers to add energy to the water. There are 2 major distinctions among the piston and plunger pump. The piston pump features the cylinder seal connected to the piston so it relocates with it on each stroke. The plunger pump has the cylinder seal at a stationary point that the piston relocates by means of with each stroke. The piston pump is driven by a drive shaft attached to the swash plate or wobble plate. The plunger pump is steered by a crankshaft.

Pressure washer literature pertains to 3 varieties of pumps (all are piston or plunger style):

  • Triplex plunger pumps-- This type have the greatest high quality among all styles of pumps. Professional level pumps make use of triplex pumps because it enables extremely high pressure and can run for thousands of hours before any upkeep. But is the most costly. Triplex pumps are developed for prolong and frequent heavy duty clean-up jobs. Repair of triplex pumps is very easy and need a lot less expense. Nonetheless, repair work can be regular considering that of its ability to maintain pressure, which can also lose its momentum in the long run.
  • Axial cam water pumps-- This sort of pump is a lot more highly effective and reliable than wobble since they have much larger bearings and oil tanks reservoirs. This allows them to create more PSI and GPM, and for that reason run more efficiently than wobble pumps. Regardless have a style identical to a wobble pump, an axial pump can last for about 600-700 hours just before service is required. Nonetheless, they are still not that efficient for hefty duty jobs since of piston spring resistance.
  • Wobble water pumps-- A wobble pump comprises of an offset plate with numerous pistons pressing against it that triggers the pump to wobble. Nonetheless, it is only around 70 % efficient since of the piston spring resistance on every stroke. In addition to the fact such pumps typically last around 300 working hours only, they are not replaceable. Typically made use of on standard models or homeowner machines, this type of pumps are cheap but have poor quality. They are not also ideal for constant users.

Pressure Washer Nozzles

Pressure nozzles are an additional element in a pressure washer which performs an important duty in the reliable functioning of the pressure washer. The nozzles vary in spray angles and size. A smaller sized spray angle has a higher pressure stream, yet cleans less surface area at the moment. On the various other hand, a bigger angle typically cleans more surface area; it performs it with less power. Whenever cleaning grease, oil, mud, or other more durable spots, a much smaller spray nozzle will do a more desirable job since it cleanses with a more highly effective stream of water.

Let us now chat regarding the kids of pressure nozzles in the market.

The zero-degree/angle pressure washer nozzles typically possess a pencil point at the tip.

  • Eliminating caked on dirt from massive construction, ranch or yard equipment.
  • Cleaning tar, glue or stubborn stains from concrete.
  • Tidying up overhead areas.
  • Getting rid of rust from steel and oxidation from aluminum.

The 15-degree nozzles are known as chiseling tips

  • Getting rid of paint from timber, masonry or metal.
  • Getting rid of grease or grime from tools.
  • Removing substantial mildew and mold stains.
  • Removing aquatic growth from boats and marine devices.
  • Eliminating corrosion from iron and oxidation from aluminum.

The 25-degree pressure washer nozzles feature the largest ranges of utilizations when it comes to cleaning scope and excellent impact pressure

  • General cleaning of dirt, mud and filth.
  • Cleaning roofing systems, gutters and downspouts.
  • Eliminating light mildew spots.
  • Getting rid of algaes and microorganisms build-up from swimming pools.
  • Washing surfaces in preparation for painting.

The 40-degree pressure nozzles on the other hand, features the widest range for tidying up areas

  • Light cleanup and rinsing.
  • Washing up and rinsing of autos and watercrafts.
  • Washing rooftops, windowpanes, patio areas and garages.

PSI Based Selection of Pressure Washers

We have categorized pressure washers depend on their PSI output into 4 types specifically light duty, medium duty, heavy duty and extra heavy duty pressure washers. To know much better, let us first define PSI. PSI basically points out to the total water pressure created by your pressure washer. It can vary from 1000 PSI to over 4000 PSI.

  • Extra Heavy Duty

    All of professional grade pressure washers create over 4000 PSI and are outstanding for heavy duty industrial applications. They are typically gas variants and have plenty of raw power. Variety begins from 4000 PSI and above. These are most ideal for every single thing except autos, trucks and patio outdoor furniture.

  • Heavy Duty

    Majority of higher end Semi-pro pressure washers can conveniently generate about 3000 PSI but only a few manage to get to as far as 4000 PSI. These types of are best for pathways, car port floor, driveways, outdoor patio, secure fencing, decks, stairs and floor. On the other hand, these are bad for cars and trucks.

  • Medium Duty

    The optimal pressure in this variety is 3000 PSI and it commences from 2000 PSI. These are very well for pathways, garages, garage floor, secure fencing, wood deck, floors, stairs and furnishings.

  • Light Duty

    A large number of commercial pressure washers or domestic washers are created for light duty usage. These individuals put in a maximum of 2000 PSI and are good for basic household jobs. These are good for wood deck, fences, garage, stairs, floor surfaces, stain removal, exterior siding, cars, trucks, furnishings, sidewalks and driveways. However, these are bad for wall prep work for paint and second floor washing.

Hot Water Versus Cold Water Pressure Washers

Hot Water Versus Cold Water Pressure Washers

Pressure washers could be sorted in a number of various ways: electric, gas-powered, residential or commercial. There is also yet another classification, and that's cold and hot water pressure washers. Aside from the temperature of water they make use of, they differ in several other places as well. Let's examine how they stack up vs one another.

Hot Water Pressure Washers

Water molecules break free from their bonds the moment heated up to over 200F, that's precisely how you get steam. It is essentially the exact same with grease and oil molecules. As temperature levels increase, their energy levels enhance and they can damage free from the surface areas they are embedded in. Of course, hot water power washers likewise make use of the mechanical force of pressurized water to expel oil and grease particles from the surface area. Lastly, utilizing soap breaks down the bonds created by grease and oil at a molecular level.

As said, hot water pressure washers have the capacity to generate steam which arrives in really useful if you wish to acquire surfaces spotless to the point in which they're germ free. Nonetheless, a hot water and high pressure mix is more efficient than just steam. You may also observe that hot water pressure washers have a lower PSI compared to gas-powered pressure washers.

Cold Water Pressure Washers

Of course, there are lots of factors just why cold water pressure washer are so popular, yet the most essential explanation is possibly that, whenever contrasted to their hot water counterparts, they are much more affordable and simpler in their development (specifically electric models).

Additionally, cold water pressure washers are a lot more sensible due to their much smaller dimensions which make them more convenient to move around. As far as repair and maintenance proceeds also gas-powered pressure washers are a whole lot much easier to preserve than the equal hot water styles.

Cold water pressure washers rely on the mechanical force of a pressurized water jet to remove dirt from the surface that requires to be cleaned. This pressure is generally adequate to break down the majority of dirts.

Generac 3100PSI Residential Power Washer Review

Generac 3100PSI Residential Power Washer Review

Generac 3100PSI Residential Power Washer Review

This 3100PSI power washer is ideal for cleaning projects at home or at work with a 30' hose, two on-board 3/4 gallon detergent tanks, and a powerful Generac OHV horizontal shaft engine. The Generac 6025 3100-PSI 2.7-GPM 212cc OHV Gas Powered Pressure Washer is CARB Compliant and is perfect for washing your deck, driveway, patio furniture and more.  The powerful Generac 212cc OHV engine delivers up to 3100-PSI (pounds per square inch) and 2.7-GPM (gallons per minute) with less effort for efficient cleaning.

The axial cam pump is well above the ground for easy connections and the cooling fins dissipate heat to extend pump life. The spray gun has a cushioned grip with an easy-to-pull reverse trigger that reduces fatigue during cleaning and the rear hose connection on the spray gun provides better balance and comfort. The "never flat" wheels provide balanced, effortless mobility for easy transport regardless of terrain. Its compact design doesn’t take up much of your room in the garage or shed. Also it comes with a 2-year limited warranty.

Other features include a folding handle to provide quick and compact storage, (2) drainable on-board 0.75-gallon detergent tanks for easy chemical removal and tank cleaning, (5) cleaning nozzles (0-degrees, 15-degrees, 25-degrees, 40-degrees) with on board storage and a 30-foot PVC hose.

Product Features:

Generac OHV EngineGenerac 3100PSI residential power washer

  • Low Oil Shutdown on all Models

Easy Access

  • Axial cam pump is well above the ground, making hose connections easy.
  • Engine Controls (clearly marked for easy starting)

Mobility Feature

  • The Balanced for almost effortless mobility, regardless of terrain.
  • Pump height makes it easy to gather hoses for transport.

Comfort Feature

  • Cushion Grip (provides greater comfort while cleaning)
  • Easy-to-pull trigger reduces fatigue.
  • Longer gun – improved grip surface.
  • Rear hose connection on spray gun provides better balance and comfort.

3100PSI Front View

  • Powerful 212cc Generac OHV horizontal shaft engine
  • High-performance spray gun
  • Quick-Click nozzle tips
  • 10"wheels
  • (2) 3/4 gallon detergent tanks
  • Unique footrest
  • User friendly controls

3100PSI Rear View

  • Easy-access axial cam pump
  • 30' PVC hose
  • Integrated spray gun holder

High performance Spray Gun

  • Thicker cushion grip for comfort
  • Longer barrel provides added stability
  • Easy-to-pull trigger reduces fatigue
  • Rear hose connection for maximum convenience

Generac 6025 3100PSI 2.7-GPM 212cc OHV Gas Powered Residential Power Washer

Sale Price: $ 449.00

Product Description:

With a 30' hose, two on-board 3/4 gallon detergent tanks, and a powerful Generac OHV horizontal shaft engine, this 3100PSI power washer is ideal for cleaning projects at home or at work.

Key Features:

  • Power washer for multiple cleaning applications like washing cars, decks, lawn mowers and more
  • Generac 212cc OHV engine delivers up to 3100-PSI and 2.7-GPM with less effort for efficient cleaning
  • Control panel is clearly marked, up front and centralized for quick, easy starting and adjustment
  • Easy-to-pull reverse trigger provides greater comfort and reduces fatigue
  • Comes with a 2-year limited warranty and is CARB Compliant
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 16 x 40.2 inches ; 67.5 pounds