How to Power Wash a House

Power washing a house is a great way to freshen the exterior of a home for relatively little money or effort. A treatment of this type can help to remove mold or mildew that can eventually damage the exterior or leave stains behind that are difficult to cover. Fortunately, a basic pressure washing machine can be rented for very little money, and the job can be accomplished in less than a couple of hours.


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    Cover all exterior electrical outlets. Apply a piece of duct tape to cover and seal the outlets, even if the outlets are already equipped with spring tension covers. The tape will help prevent any water and detergent from leaking into the outlets.
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    Survey the exterior for any signs of mildew or mold. Treat those areas with a solution of 2 parts bleach and 1 part water, administered using the spray bottle. Gently brush the sprayed areas, and spray a second time as a way to loosen the mold and mildew
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    Set up the pressure washing machine.
    • Attach the hose to the machine, and then connect the other end to the exterior water faucet.
    • Mix the detergent according to package directions, and then load the mixed product into the washer reservoir.
    • Don the safety goggles and gloves to protect the eyes and hands during the process of pressure washing the home.
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    Start the pressure washing machine. Some models are gasoline operated and are cranked using a pull cord similar to a small lawn mower. Others are battery driven and require nothing more than pushing a button on the control stem.
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    Use plain water to spray the exterior thoroughly, loosening dirt and grime while giving you an opportunity to get the feel for managing the wand and moving around with the attached hose. Spray the home beginning with the area closest to the roof line, and then gradually work your way down to the foundation.
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    Activate the detergent feature. Once the exterior is wet, trigger the system to introduce the detergent into the water stream. Again, begin near the eaves of the home and work your way back down to ground level, making sure to thoroughly cover the entire expanse of the exterior with detergent.
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    Rinse the home thoroughly. Remove any detergent residue by going over the exterior a couple of times with clean water that is run through the power washer. When finished, the exterior should be fresh and clean.


  • If you are planning on painting the home, it is best to wait 7 days to do so. Water will continually seep out of the seams and cracks during that time.
  • Don't forget to close all windows and exterior doors before beginning to power wash the exterior
  • Since some of the chemicals in the detergent can cause fading when applied to fabrics, wear old clothes while power washing the home.
  • Power washing detergents are formulated to work with different types of exteriors, such as brick or clapboard. Always choose a detergent that is prepared especially for use with the materials on the outside walls of your home.

Things You'll Need

  • Pressure Washer
  • Safety Goggles
  • Duct Tape
  • Outside Water Faucet
  • Length of Water Hose
  • Spray Bottle
  • Bleach and Water Mixture
  • Stiff Cleaning Brush
  • Power Washing Detergent

Article Info

Categories: Exterior Walls and Roof