Exterior Cleaning 101: Pressure Washers

Have you ever walked up to your house and seen how much dirt and grime has built up on the outside?

It doesn't look good and can be very embarrassing. But did you know that cleaning the outside of your house isn't just for looks?

It's also about keeping your home in good shape and keeping it from getting broken. Every outdoor surface, from your roof to your driveway, needs to be cleaned regularly to look good and work well. So, if you want to know more about how important it is to clean the outside of your home and how it can help you, keep reading!

Benefits and Importance of Cleaning Outdoor Surfaces

Cleaning things outside is a very important job that shouldn't be ignored.

It has many benefits, such as increasing the value of the property, making it safer, making people healthier and happier, and making the outside look better.

Power washing is a way to clean roads, patios, and decks that is becoming more and more popular.

It uses high-pressure water and cleaning solutions to get rid of dirt, dust, mold, mildew, algae, spots, and other things that can damage the outside of a building.

Increased Property Value

By regularly cleaning the outside of your home or business, you can keep it looking fresh and new, which could increase the value of your property.

Dirt, trash, mold, mildew, and algae can grow on outdoor surfaces and make them slippery.

This can cause people to slip and fall.

Using a power washer to clean these surfaces will help get rid of this buildup and make them safer.

Improved Safety

Mold, mildew, and algae that grow outside can be bad for your health.

Power washing can help get rid of these harmful things, which is good for your health and fitness.

Also, dirt, trash, mold, mildew, and algae that grow on outdoor surfaces can make them slippery and cause people to slip and fall.

Using a power washer to clean these surfaces will help get rid of this buildup and make them safer.

Enhanced Curb Appeal

Cleaning the outside can also make it look better.

The outside of your house and the hardscaping around it can be cleaned with power washing.

This includes algae-covered roof shingles, cobwebs under the eaves, and bird droppings on the driveway and sidewalks.

Concrete or steps that are dirty and worn-out don't look good.

Power washing gets rid of dirt, mud, and bird droppings that have been there for a long time but are hard to get off.

Power washing gets rid of dirt, spots, rust, and oxidation before you re-stain your deck, which can make it look better from the street.

Frequency of Cleaning

How often outdoor surfaces need to be cleaned relies on the type of surface and how much traffic it gets.

Door handles, shopping cart wheels, and elevator keys should be cleaned often because people use them a lot.

At least twice a year, business buildings should use a power washer to clean the outside, entrances, sidewalks, parking lots, dumpster areas, and other places where dirt, grease, and seasonal elements can build up.

It is best to power wash outdoor patios at the start of the warm weather season to get rid of any dirt, mildew, or algae growth.

This should be done every year at the beginning of spring.

Cleaning Outdoor Furniture

It's also important to clean outdoor furniture regularly to keep it looking nice and to keep it lasting a long time.

Outdoor furniture should be cleaned regularly by wiping down the surfaces with a soft-bristled brush and running water over them.

Deep cleaning should be done at least twice a year on outdoor furniture, once in the spring before it is used regularly and again in the fall before it is put away for the winter.

Tools and Equipment for Exterior Cleaning

The most important tool for cleaning the outside of a building is a power washer.

It can be used to clean asphalt, wood, and siding, among other surfaces.

Pressure cleaners have a variety of wands and tips that can be used to clean different things.

Sprayer nozzles are used on soft surfaces like grass, while turbo nozzles are used on hard surfaces like concrete.

Other Essential Tools

Besides a pressure washer, you need hoses, ladders, tarps, brushes, chemical sprayers, flexible wands, external injection tools, buckets, extension cords, gas cans, rags, and safety gear like glasses, respirators, and gloves to clean the outside of your home.

Brushes are important for cleaning surfaces like vinyl siding gently, while nylon bristle brushes are used for surfaces like brick that need to be cleaned more aggressively.

Window Cleaning

To clean windows, you need sponges, squeegees, window scrapers, buckets, and a stick that can be extended and filled with water.

When you clean windows, you also need a filtration device.

For high places, ladders and sticks that can be extended are used.

Cleaning Chemicals and Soaps

For different cleaning jobs, you also need different cleaning agents and soaps.

For example, you need different detergents to clean houses, gutters, pavement, building sites, remove graffiti, and wash decks.

Choosing the Right Cleaning Solutions

When making a plan for cleaning the outside of a building, it's important to think about the cleaning equipment choices and pay special attention to the cleaning issues that come up with common outside materials.

Pressure washing is a fast and effective way to clean the outside of a building, but it's important to make sure the cleaning tools you use is right for the building's exterior.

The Wet & Forget Outdoor Multi-Surface Cleaner is one of the best ways to get rid of mold and mildew on decks.

It comes with a sprayer and can be used on many different surfaces.

It could hurt the plants, though, and it doesn't work right away.

The Pro-Kleen Ready to Use Simply Spray & Walk Away is a good way to clean concrete decks.

It is easy to use, and you don't have to scrub.

But some cleaning products can have dangerous chemicals that can hurt the ecosystem of nearby dirt and water sources, kill wildlife, bleach your yard, and even hurt kids and pets.

Multi-Purpose Cleaners

Most multi-purpose cleaners can be used on different types of hard surfaces.

Some of the best types of cleaners for plastics, metals, and other surfaces are listed below: Simple Green, Krud Kutter, Zep, and Spray Nine.

When cleaning outdoor floors, it's important to use a broom made for outdoor surfaces and to sweep as often as needed to get rid of dust and other debris.

Spray the whole area with water every so often to get rid of things that stain.

Precautions

Before using cleaning products, spots, or sealants, it is important to carefully read all instructions.

Use only scrub brushes with natural bristles or made of plastic.

Surfaces can be easily scratched and stained by metal brushes.

Before using cleaning solutions, make sure the area is completely wet.

Don't let cleaning products dry out on surfaces.

Safety Precautions and Preventing Mold and Mildew

Cleaning outdoor surfaces is important to keep the surroundings clean and free of germs.

But it is very important to take safety measures to keep from getting hurt.

Here are some safety measures you should take when cleaning outdoor surfaces:

Wear Protective Gear

  • Wear gloves, long-sleeved shirts, and pants to protect your skin from harsh chemicals and debris.

Use the Right Cleaning Products

  • Use cleaning products that are safe for outdoor surfaces and follow the instructions on the label. Avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the surface or harm the environment.

Start with the Least Soiled Area

  • Start cleaning from the least soiled area to the most soiled area to avoid spreading dirt and debris to clean areas.

Dispose of Dirt Safely

  • Vacuum surfaces such as carpets and rugs and dispose of the dirt safely. Do not spray cleaning or disinfection products on low-touch surfaces in outdoor areas such as sidewalks, roads, or groundcover as it is not necessary, effective, or recommended.

Wash Your Hands

  • Always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after cleaning.

Avoid Touching Your Face

  • Avoid touching your face while cleaning to prevent the spread of germs.

Avoid Cleaning Above Ground Level

  • If you need to clean windows or doors above ground level, always use proper/safe equipment and precautions.

Use the Right Cleaning Products for Your Surface

  • If you are cleaning a Microsoft Surface, use only Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) solution 70% or less as a disinfectant product for your Surface devices. Do not use disinfectant wipes on any Surface touchscreen.

Preventing Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew can grow on surfaces outside that are damp and get some shade.

Here are some ways to keep outdoor areas from getting mold and mildew:

Spray a Liquid Solution of Copper

  • Spray a liquid solution of copper onto the top surface of concrete pavers.

Clean Gutters Regularly

  • Clean gutters regularly to prevent water from overflowing and seeping into the walls.

Dry All Items Completely

  • It is essential to dry all items completely to prevent mold and mildew growth.

Fix Plumbing Leaks and Other Water Problems

  • Fix plumbing leaks and other water problems as soon as possible to prevent water from seeping into the walls.

Removing Mold and Mildew

Wet & Forget Outdoor can be used to get rid of mold and mildew on outdoor surfaces.

Wet & Forget Indoor Mold + Mildew Disinfectant Cleaner and Wet & Forget Outdoor Mold + Mildew Disinfectant Cleaner can also be used to kill mold and mildew inside and outside your home without having to work hard.

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Options and Stain Removal

It's important to keep your home looking nice, but it's just as important to use eco-friendly cleaning products to cut down on the damage that chemicals do to the earth.

Here are some tips on how to clean outdoor areas without spending a lot of money or using harsh chemicals.

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Options

  • Use natural cleaners such as vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda to remove tough grime from outdoor bricks, cement, and glass.
  • For routine cleaning of outdoor wooden surfaces, use a leaf blower or broom to remove dust and dirt from the deck, then spray it down with warm water.
  • Mild soap, water, and a soft sponge or cloth is the simplest and safest way to clean exterior finishes like wood, metal-clad surfaces, vinyl, and more.
  • Green cleaning solutions can be made out of inexpensive ingredients you probably already have at home, like baking soda, borax, vinegar, and water.
  • When purchasing cleaning products, look for organic, biodegradable soaps and avoid chemicals that can break down the asphalt while landing in the water supply.
  • The EPA recommends limiting the use of disinfectants to areas where people are likely to come into contact with contaminated surfaces, such as bathrooms.
  • For outdoor furniture and windows, Method offers a glass cleaner that is perfect for outdoor use.
  • Lowe's also offers natural outdoor cleaners, such as siding cleaner and moss, mold, mildew, and algae remover.

Stain Removal

Over time, surfaces like concrete patios, sidewalks, and paving stones can get stains that are hard to get rid of.

Here are some ways to get rid of these spots:

  • Use dish soap and water. Create a cleaning solution of warm water and a few drops of dish soap and apply it to the surface. Let it sit for a while, then mop the surface and rinse it with fresh water. Repeat the process as many times as needed.
  • Use vinegar or ammonia. Douse the stain with vinegar or ammonia and let it sit for several hours before rinsing it off. For even tougher stains, try rubbing some dishwashing liquid into the spot with a toothbrush, then rinsing off.
  • Use liquid laundry detergent and water to spot-treat stains. Pour the soap directly onto the stain and use a stiff nylon brush to scrub the area. Rinse with water and allow it to dry. If the stain doesn't disappear, boost your cleaning solution with a mixture of white vinegar and water, or baking soda and water, and tackle the stain again, rinsing it well with a bucket of water or garden hose. Repeat the process as necessary.
  • Use a concrete cleaner or degreaser for heavy-duty stains. Spread the cleaner over the stained area and let it work according to the manufacturer's instructions. Scrub the stain with a nylon brush and water. Rinse well with a bucket or garden hose after repeating the stain treatment.
  • Use acid-based cleaners for rust stains from concrete. Natural products like white vinegar or lemon juice can be used for light rust stains, while acidic cleaners are effective for heavy-duty stains.
  • Commercial products such as Scotts® Outdoor Cleaner Plus OxiClean� can lift stains from moss, mold, mildew, and algae. Spray the product onto the surface and work it into the surface with a deck scrub brush. Rinse everything thoroughly with water.

Power Washing: The Ultimate Solution for Cleaning Outdoor Surfaces

If you're looking for a quick and effective way to clean your outdoor surfaces, power washing is the answer.

This method uses high-pressure water to blast away dirt, grime, and other stubborn stains from your driveway, patio, deck, or siding.

It's like giving your outdoor space a facelift!

But don't be fooled by its power.

Power washing requires skill and expertise to avoid damaging your surfaces.

That's why it's best to hire a professional who knows how to adjust the pressure and angle of the water stream to suit each surface.

Plus, they have the right equipment and cleaning solutions to get the job done right.

Whether you're preparing for a special event, selling your home, or just want to enjoy a clean and beautiful outdoor space, power washing is a must-try.

It's a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to maintain your property's curb appeal and value.

So, why not give it a shot? Your outdoor surfaces will thank you!

For more information:

Power Washing 101: Surfaces, Benefits, Cost & MorePower Washing 101: Surfaces, Benefits, Cost & More

Tips for Maintaining Cleanliness of Outdoor Surfaces

High-Touch and Low-Touch Surfaces

There are two types of outdoor surfaces: those that are easy to touch and those that are hard to touch.

People often touch high-touch objects, like door handles, shopping cart handles, and elevator buttons.

Low-touch surfaces are things like sidewalks and groundcover that don't get touched very often.

Clean and cleanse surfaces that people touch often more often than surfaces that people don't touch much.

Priority Disinfection

In places other than health care, surfaces that need to be cleaned right away include door and window handles, cooking and food preparation areas, countertops, bathroom surfaces, toilets and faucets, touchscreen personal devices, personal computer keyboards, and work surfaces.

First, you should clean these surfaces with water and soap or a cleanser to get rid of dirt.

Then, you should disinfect them.

When cleaning, you should always start with the cleanest (least dirty) area and work your way to the dirtiest (most dirty) area.

This way, you won't spread dirt to areas that are already clean.

Cleaning Exterior Surfaces

When it's time to clean the outside of a house, stucco, brick, and metal are the most common surfaces.

Stucco is a type of cement that looks like plaster and usually has rough designs that give it a textured look.

With a power washer and the right solution, you can clean the outside of a brick building.

Mild soap and a soft-bristled brush can be used to clean the outside of aluminum.

30 Seconds Outdoor Cleaner

The concentrated mix of 30 Seconds Outdoor Cleaner cleans outdoor surfaces in 30 seconds or less.

It can be used on a number of outdoor surfaces, such as concrete patios, wood decking, concrete sidewalks, asphalt driveways, bricks, canvas awnings, plastic furniture, and vinyl siding.

It's easy to use and strong enough that you don't need to use a power washer.

Tips for Maintaining Cleanliness of Outdoor Surfaces

1. Sweep and mop often. Sweep the deck or patio once a week to keep dirt from building up. Use a stiff broom and clean only the spots that need it. Mop the surface often to keep it clean and stop dirt and grime from building up.

2. Use a pressure washer. Before using a pressure washer, remove all furniture and items from the outdoor area. Pressure washing decking can be done with a number of different methods, such as bleach and water mixed 50/50, Simple Green Oxy Solve, and Wash Safe Industries Supreme Clean. Wear safety glasses, a mask, rubber gloves, boots, long pants, and a long shirt to avoid getting the cleaning solutions on your skin as much as possible. Start at the top of the deck and move away from the house as you use the pressure washer.

3. Take care of your clothes. Clothes that you wear outside often get damaged by the weather. Things like outdoor blankets, lawn furniture cushions, pillows, and umbrellas are often forgotten about. If you want to get rid of leaves, bugs, or dirt, a good cleaning may be enough. But if stains won't come out and you need a deeper clean, look at the manufacturer's cleaning directions.

4. Clean plastic and metal surfaces. To keep plastic and metal surfaces clean, use an all-purpose cleaner and wipe them down with a sponge or wet cloth. Don't use abrasives because they can scratch the skin.

5. Clean less often. Cover outdoor furniture or bring it inside when it rains or snows to keep it safe. Trimming trees and bushes on a regular basis can also help cut down on the amount of trash that ends up on outdoor areas.

Safety Guidelines

When cleaning outside objects, it's important to follow safety rules.

Wear safety gear at all times, and always follow the directions on cleaning products.

After you clean, wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water.

By using these tips, you can keep your outdoor surfaces clean and make your outdoor areas look great.

Concluding thoughts and considerations

In conclusion, cleaning the outside of your home isn't just about making it look nice. It has to do with keeping your property in good shape and making sure it will last for years to come. If you don't clean the outside of your home, it can lead to expensive fixes and replacements in the future. But it's also about being proud of your home and showing respect for the people in your neighborhood. A clean and well-kept property can be good for the area and even raise the value of your home. So, the next time you want to put off cleaning the outside of your house, remember that it's not just about looks; it's about being a responsible homeowner and part of the community. Putting time and money into your home will pay off for years to come.

Looking for a new Pressure washer?

Choosing a gadget can be very difficult if you know nothing about the technology.

Some will pay for features they do not need while others may not consider what they really want.

So I created this quick, newbie guide to help you focus on what is really important to you:

0 1-1-12The Best Pressure Washer (For You!)

Tip: Turn on the caption button if you need it.

Choose 'automatic translation' in the settings button, if you are not familiar with the English language.

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Links and references

  1. Georgia Institute of Technology's Green Cleaning Manual
  2. pw1

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