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.

Insulator Pressure Washers

Insulator Pressure Washers

Insulator pressure washers. It is designed to remove dirt, pollution, contamination, molds and the like from overhead power line insulators with the power on using the low conductivity. To prevent flashovers which can damage power line equipment, cleaning is necessary. An insulator washer unit usually mounts in truck chassis. On electrical context, flashovers are a high voltage shorts to earth across the power line insulators. Improving the power line life, blasting the lines with a stream of high-pressure water removes contamination. Some forms of atmospheric pollution such as smog, rain, dust and salt deposits can cause damage seriously as well as issues on maintenance with the power transmission lines. The moisture absorbing pollutants on the insulators on the power lines can also significantly reduce its effectiveness. Especially for the high voltage, the film of contamination or pollution such dust or dirt that develops on the string surface holds some moisture that a conductive path starts to form. Build-up on these contaminations can develop into growth such as mold & mildew which can cause melt-down, expensive failure and arcing. Preventing chain reaction towards failure, pressure washing cleans it back up to full insulating value. Audio wise a dirty high voltage line sizzles more than a clean high voltage line does.

insulator pressure washers

Components that consists the Insulator Pressure Washer’s basic design are the following:

  • Centrifugal water pump
  • Power source
  • Stainless steel water storage tank
  • Electrical grounds for the washing system and wash gun
  • High pressure dead-man type water wash gun
  • High pressure water hose

Typically, insulator pressure washers have a nozzle pressure between 500-750 psi and a pump pressure of about 1000 PSI. They have about 60 gallons per minute flow rate which is classified as high flow rate necessary in providing fast and consistent cleaning of the insulators.

There are several basic design layouts of insulator washers:

  • Chassis mount for mounting on truck bed
  • Trailer mount for use in electricity substations
  • Helicopter mounted units
  • Aerial platform mount for mounting on trucks that have aerial platforms

Robust design is a must have system with insulator washers as they are used outdoors and often in adverse climates.  The electric towers to be washed must be able to be accessed by the washing unit, so if the towers are in rough terrain or off road, in such condition truck chassis (4x4, 6x4, 6x6) may be required.

How to Use Power Washer

How to Use Power Washer

How to use power washer?  One of the easiest ways of cleaning the stains in your home is through power washing. Power washer is much more effective to use than your garden hose in cleaning dirt in driveways, walls and everywhere else.

 To get the most efficient job from the power washer, you have to understand the system of your equipment.  There are four basic elements of a power washer: heat, cleaning solution, water flow rate and pressure. Taking one of the following elements would change the cleaning effect of your power cleaner. For example if you take less cleaning solution than its regular usage, you have to increase the heat and the water pressure to keep up with the same effectiveness.power washing

So basically, there are two types of pressure washer: electric pressure washer and gas-powered pressure washer. Both are very useful. But if you are to use the pressure washer for big outdoor jobs, you better pick the gas-powered pressure washer.

Pressure washers can also be categorized according to the frequency of use and the types of items that can be cleaned by your pressure washers. First on the list is the light-duty pressure washer. This type of power washer can clean small items like your vehicle, your garden furniture, your garage floor and your fencing. The second on the list is the medium-duty pressure washer. This power washer can clean pathways, stairs and patio. The last on the list is the heavy-duty power washer that can take away oil stains, paint prep, wall sidings and other heavy dirt.

And above all things, safety is prioritized in everything we do. So before starting cleaning the mess, consider some safety precautions listed below.

 Equipment Safety

  • Make sure to check the engine oil level each time you use your pressure washer.

  • Never refuel a hot or running engine. Wait two minutes before refueling.

  • When changing or adding oil, do not overfill the engine crankcase.

  • Always keep the high-pressure hose connected to both the pump and the spray gun while the system is pressurized.

  • Never adjust the spray pattern or change a spray tip while spraying.

  • Do not secure the spray gun trigger in the spray position.

  • Never attempt to repair a damaged high-pressure hose. If the high-pressure hose is damaged, replace with a new one.

  • Do not run the pressure washer before connecting and turning on the water supply failing to do so will result in damage to the pump.

  • Using a pressure washer from a ladder, scaffolding, or other unstable position is not recommended. A slip or fall could result from the recoil of the initial spray, or the pressure of the water striking a wall surface.

Personal Safety

  • Always read and follow the operator’s manual and all operating instructions.

  • Do not wear open-toed shoes while pressure washing.

  • High-pressure spray can cut through skin. Never spray people or animals, as injury can result.

  • Use extreme caution when spraying near power lines, service feeds, and electrical meters.

  • Keep the nozzle spray away from electrical wiring and windows.

  • Never allow children to operate the pressure washer. Do not leave a pressure washer unattended while it is running.

  • Assume a solid stance and firmly grasp the spray gun with both hands to avoid injury if the gun kicks back before squeezing the spray gun trigger.

  • Spray gun traps high water pressure, even when engine/motor is stopped and water is disconnected. ALWAYS point spray gun in safe direction and squeeze spray gun trigger, to release high pressure, every time you stop engine/motor. Engage trigger lock when not in use.

  • Most importantly, always wear goggles when using a pressure washer or when in the vicinity of the equipment in use. The high-pressure spray can cause paint chips or other particles to become airborne.

Usage Tip

  • Spray gun traps high water pressure, even when engine/motor is stopped and water is disconnected. ALWAYS point spray gun in safe direction and squeeze spray gun trigger, to release high pressure, every time you stop engine/motor. Engage trigger lock when not in use.

  • Use extreme caution when spraying near power lines, service feeds, and electrical meters.

  • Keep the nozzle spray away from electrical wiring and windows.

  • Assume a solid stance and firmly grasp the spray gun with both hands to avoid injury if the gun kicks back before squeezing the spray gun trigger.

  • High-pressure spray can cut through skin. Never spray people or animals, as injury can result.

  • Do not wear open-toed shoes while pressure washing.

  • Most importantly, always wear goggles when using a pressure washer or when in the vicinity of the equipment in use. The high-pressure spray can cause paint chips or other particles to become airborne.

  • Never allow children to operate the pressure washer. Do not leave a pressure washer unattended while it is running.

  • Always read and follow the operator’s manual and all operating instructions.

What is Power Wash Cleaning

Are you tired of seeing dust, mud, loose paint, dirt and most especially mold in your vehicle, concrete wall, or any other concrete surfaces in your area?  Did you know that there is an easy solution to your problem and that is to use a pressure washer?

power wash cleaningLet’s get started by getting to know on what is a pressure washer. As what the terms describe, a pressure washer used in power wash cleaning is a high pressure mechanical sprayer utilized to get rid of any loose paint, mold, dirt, dust and grime in a flash.  In simple words, an extension of a garden hose which utilized a high pressured water to clean any dirt. It is consist usually of a high pressure hose, trigger gun-style switch and an electric motor that drives the water pump.

Pressure washers are group according on the consume fuel/energy type:

•    Diesel Pressure Washer uses diesel engines which are the most durable engines in power washing industry and will last longer than gas or electric engine power washer for up to 50%.

•    Gas Pressure Washer can deliver up to 3,800 PSI and will let you use hot or cold water. This is perfect for home uses which quickly clean grimy truck engines and dirt covered RV’s.

•    Hydraulic high pressure washers are perfect to use to clean any materials and surfaces. They are usually made of aluminum with stainless steel parts and can be used with seawater.

•    Electric pressure washer can provide up to 4,000 PSI that can get rid of any dirt and grime in your homes, cars or even in the driveways which make it a perfect tool in cleaning both commercial and residential environment.

•    Petrol pressure washer can only be used in outdoor cleaning since it emits carbon monoxide.  However, it provides portability feature necessary in doing outdoor cleaning activities while giving more pressures and flows for greater industrial application purposes.

•    Ultra high pressure washer is used when common high power pressure cleaners no longer serve. It can be used with both cold and hot water with 600-2500 Bar of pressure so there is no doubt that it can clean even the most stubborn grime and dirt in commercial and industrial environment.

•    High pressure steam cleaner are used to get rid of dirt and grime quickly and hygienic. It is commonly used in food processing, agricultural, machinery, manufacturing and wash bays.

As the same other cleaning equipments, pressure washer has its own benefits and drawbacks. To start with, one benefit of pressure washer is that restores and revitalizes any residential, commercial or industrial surfaces at a cheaper cost than replacement or restoration expenditures. Aside from that, it has an unmatched cleaning efficiency.  It can easily dissolve grease and clean any stubborn dirt and grime deposits by blasting them away by using high pressure levels pressure washer. Furthermore, the manufacturer of well-known pressure washer machines, made them durable and sturdy which make them last longer compared to any other cleaning machines. And lastly, all pressure washers are made eco-friendly. There won’t be a necessary cleaning solution needed to blast away any kind of impurities. If there is, you can consider using a green cleaning solution to your pressure washing machine.

However, pressure washer cannot be utilized in soft surfaces such as paper, some plastic, clothes or any other kind of soft materials.  For these said materials cannot survive on high pressure cleaning. Aside from that, operators of commercial pressure washers should be watchful in handling the equipment for it can damaged their bodies. Gas-powered and electrical pressure washers can cause harm in the human body if it is exposed for too long. Aside from that, electric power washers may not be useful in outdoor settings where electric outlets or generators are not available.

 So therefore, in picking your best pressure washer, you have to identify which one is good for you in terms of efficiency, portability, cost and how safety can it be operated.

 

Pressure Washing Equipment Simplified

Pressure Washing Equipment Simplified

A pressure washer is basically a mechanical device that utilizes highly pressurized water in order to remove dust, dirt, mold, and grime off of the surfaces of homes, buildings, vehicles, trucks, heavy equipment, concrete, and other types of surfaces.  This highly pressurized water is so effective that it can shave off your cleaning time significantly while being able to do a much better job than manual cleaning.

There are many types of pressure washing equipment and many vary in the amount of pressure level they can generate.  This can be as low as 1,000 PSI to as high as 5,000 PSI or even higher.  If you want to use a pressure washer for certain cleaning jobs, you can either buy your own unit, or you can rent one.

A pressure washer has basically 4 main components – the motor, the pump, the high pressure hose, and the trigger gun.  The equipment works like your ordinary garden hose, only more powerful as the speed of the flow is accelerated multiple times.  Since many pressure washers are plugged using the regular tap, it means that the pressure washer unit cannot draw out more water from the tap it is connected to, so it uses basically how much the source can provide.  If you have a unit that has a higher GPM rating, you need to have an adequate supply of water for that unit, otherwise, the unit will be deprived of the necessary water and this can cause premature breakdown with expensive repair cost.

One of the best things about pressure washer is the availability of different types of nozzles and attachments so you can customize the highly pressurized stream of water according to your liking or according to the cleaning task you have at hand.  For example, if you need to clean tough dirt and stains, you need to use nozzles with more narrow sprays because the spray is denser and concentrated making it more powerful in cleaning.  However, if you need to rinse off a large surface, you can use the much wider fan spray nozzles to disperse the spray making it easier to rinse the surface. There are also chemical injectors available which help to dispense any detergent or chemical solution that you may need to use when pressure washing.

Since pressure washers use an electric motor or a gas combustion engine to power the pressure pump, they are considered as power tools which make it necessary to practice safety when operating these cleaning equipments.  In fact, even a lowly 1,000 PSI pressure washer unit along with the right nozzle attachment is powerful enough to cause physical injury.  In addition, if you accidentally pressure wash loose objects, they may get propelled and ricochet towards you at great velocity, inevitably causing you minor to serious injury.  This is the very reason why operators should always wear safety gears and equipment when operating pressure washers.

Extreme Water PressureIn order to generate pressure, the pressure pump must be spun at very rapid rates.  This is the job of either an electric motor or a gas combustion engine.  These two types of power source for the pressure pump carries with them their own advantage as well as significant disadvantages.  The most notable disadvantage of an electric-powered pressure washer is that its operation is limited towards the nearness of an electrical outlet.  On the other hand, the most notable disadvantage of a gas-powered pressure washer is that it cannot be used on indoor cleaning applications.  This is because the gas combustion engine emits fumes which can be toxic if breathed in for prolonged periods, particularly on poorly ventilated spaces.

Advantages of electric-powered units are: the unit is less noisy to operate; the unit requires less maintenance; the absence of a gas tank makes the unit more light and compact; and the capability of being used on indoor locations without any worries of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Advantages of gas-powered units are: size of size, gas units are able to generate more power than electric models; gas units can be used or operated even on remote locations as its power source, as long as it has gas, is self-sustaining; and the robustness of the unit with the inclination towards a more medium to heavy duty use of its components.

As mentioned earlier, the pressure pump is powered either by an electric motor or a gas engine.  The power that these two generate can be transferred towards the pressure pump in two ways – either by direct drive or via belt drive.  The belt drive operates through a pulley system and this pulley (or fan belt) connects both the motor and the pump.  The advantage of using this kind of drive system is that the pump is not directly connected to the motor which means that the pump is not susceptible to the vibration and heat generated by the motor.  The pulleys in fact even acts as shock absorbers to protect the pump from any premature wear.  The disadvantage however is that the efficiency is reduced due to the lost of energy from the use of belts and pulleys.  The direct drive system on the other hand connects the motor directly to the pump via a drive shaft.  Since this system has lesser moving parts, manufacturers are able to create more compact designs and models.  The disadvantage of a direct drive system is that the direct connection means that the pump is susceptible to the vibration and heat generated by the motor making it wear down much faster than in a belt drive configuration.

In extreme form, very highly pressurized water can be used to cut wood, metal, and concrete.  This is the norm lately, particularly when high tolerance parts are required.  The best thing about using very high water pressure when cutting such materials is that the material is not prone to warping due to heat and that there is less dust generated during the water jet cutting process.  Such types of cutting method are widely used in the custom bike and automobile industry wherein they are able to create a wide assortment of designs and custom logos from the use of water jet cutting technology.