Power Washing Before Exterior Painting

Power Wash That House

Painting the outside of your home can be a big job, and requires that you take extra measures to ensure the property is properly prepared prior to painting.  As big of a job as painting can be, the harder part typically comes down to surface preparation prior to painting.  Pressure washing the outside of your home is the best way to clean your home’s exterior.  We consulted with Zach from HotShot Pressure Washing regarding the best way to pressure wash the exterior of a home.  Although Zach mostly does commercial pressure washing in Houston, he also does some residential work from time-to-time.

water-hoseYou may think it would be good enough to use the water hose to rinse off the exterior, but the amount of water pressure from your hose is simply not enough to clean the surface of the home for the best adhesion of the paint.  Zach does advise that you must be very careful when you pressure wash the sides of your home though because with the water pressure coming out somewhere between 2,000 and 3,500 psi, you can really do some damage if you are not careful.  Hiring a professional may be the best thing for you to do as they have experience on how to properly pressure wash your home.  If you forgo this advice and attempt to pressure wash the home yourself be aware of the following:

  • Due to the higher psi you could possibly etch the wood on the exterior of the home.
  • The walls of the home could become saturated with moisture due to the high pressure and will need a longer time to fully dry before applying paint.

Knowing these tips it is advised to not only be very cautious with the actual pressure washing but to also be cautious that you make sure the home has time to dry before you proceed to start painting as well.  You want your paint job to last, and if the home is not clean or dry prior to staring the paint job, the paint will not adhere properly.   When the paint does not adhere properly you will have a paint job that simply does not last.


Mold Mildew

Does your home have mold or mildew growing on the exterior of the home?  If so pressure washing alone will not be enough.  You will need to use a mold and mildew removing solution to completely clean the area.  Do not use bleach or bleach-based solutions as it could ruin your pressure washer and possibly do damage to non-painted areas of your home.    If you live in an area such as Houston that is very humid, you know that type of environment is a breeding ground for mold and mildew growth.  If left untreated mold and mildew can do a lot of damage to a structure, so keeping the area clean is very important.

Hand Scraping

Pressure washing does not eliminate the need for hand scraping.  You will still need to scrape any loose paint that may be flaking.  The washing will help with removing dirt, mildew, oils, and any other build-up that has occurred on the home.  You may also need to use a stiff brush

As you can see doing the prep work is cumbersome and can take more time than the actual painting itself, but in the end is very worth the effort once you know you have created the best environment for the paint adhesion.

I hope these pressure washing tips have helped you with your painting project.   Take things slow, and wash the exterior and don’t try to remove the paint with the pressure washer.  Save that for scraping where necessary.  When in doubt hire a professional to assist you with the pressure washing and or painting.

As always if you have questions or comments, we would love to hear from you.  Click Here to contact us and share your thoughts.