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.


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 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


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.