Thank you for taking the time today to read Exterior and Interior Painting Specialists Blog! It’s about that time of year again, when everyone EXCEPT mother nature knows its—spring cleaning! We all know through the wear and tare of the year it can take a toll on the house; that’s why we’re here with a quick 1, 2, 3 good as new home remedy. Today we are going to go over the does and don’ts of pressure washing your house and a few other helpful tips!
Table of Content:
- Pressure washing warnings
- Helpful tips
- What needs pressure washed
- Before pressure washing
- Different types of siding
- Cleaning and repairing screens
- Cleaning your windows
- Other things to do in early spring
- How we pressure wash at Exterior and Interior Painting Specialists
- Our preparation
- First coat
- Second coat
- Clean up
Pressure Washing WARNINGS
- don’t mix bleach and ammonia
- use caution with ladder
- always wear protective eye gear
- **ALWAYS USE CAUTION when using a pressure washer. Be sure to check the area for any possible hazards. Make sure everyone on the property also knows to stay away, they can cause extreme harm. Inspect the machine to ensure it is in the proper condition. See the owner’s manual for any questions**
- cover all plants
- repair all damages
- apply bleach with brush
- let detergent sit 5-10 min. before use
- use an extender to avoid pressure washing on a ladder
- detergent depends on siding texture
- be aware of powerlines
- turn off all exterior power
- avoid full pressure on masonry or vinyl
THINGS YOU NEED TO PRESSURE WASH:
- Trisodium phosphate ( 1/3 to 2/3 cups at your local store)
- 1 gallon of water – mix with trisodium phosphate until dissolved
- large bucket
- laundry detergent
- long handle brush
- garden hose
- plastic wrap/tarp
- white vinegar
- protective eyewear
Before Pressure Washing:
- Check all of the siding and gutters make sure to repair all damages before pressure washing. Use tarp and tape to cover all plants and lights to ensure no damagte is done to them. Use a brush and scrub off all visible mildew.
- Mix the trisodium phosphate and water… for every 1 gallon of water mix 1/3 cups of trisodium phosphate (this may change depending on your type of pressure washer/siding.)
- Connect the hose to the pressure washer, make sure it is completely attached before turning the water on. Stand at least three feet from the house and test the pressure.
After completing those 3 easy steps you are now ready to transform your beautiful home again.
Different Types of Siding:
Vinyl- Avoid door/window frames, the siding could break off.
Aluminum- Avoid the panel overlap.
Wood- Wet the surface before applying any detergent.
Stucco- Pressure wash 2 ft from the surface to avoid damage.
Window screens can be cleaned by soaking them in a child’s wading pool filled with soapy water, followed by a gentle scrubbing with a soft scrub brush on a flat surface. As a final step, rinse the screen with a garden hose using a fine spray setting to keep from damaging the screen.
To repair small holes in screens, flatten the fibers out and brush on several coats of clear fingernail polish for a seamless repair. Large tears or holes are best fixed by removing the rubber spline from the screen frame and installing a new piece of screen using a screen spline roller tool.
Cleaning your windows:
Spring pollen and dirt can work a number on your windows, so take the time to wash them down and clean them once the pollen has settled.
- Work in the shade to keep the cleaner from drying out too quickly.
- A 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water makes a great natural window cleaner.
- Use crumpled up newspaper, rather than paper towels, to clean and dry your windows.
Turn on outside water valves; reattach hoses:
If you have an external water shut-off valve that you turned off in the fall, it’s time to switch it back on and re-attach your garden hoses.
Power wash deck, fencing and outdoor patio furniture:
Every year I am surprised by how new my 10-year old composite deck looks after its power washed with just water on the general setting. Whatever material you have, start with the lowest setting with the nozzle further away from the surface to see what results you get and increase/get closer as needed.
Check for cracks or peeling paint on home; sand and repaint:
Preparation is key with this task. Any peeling or flaking paint needs to be removed and the surface prepped to receive the new paint.
Repair & repaint / replace any exterior trim:
Consider replacing wood trim with a low maintenance PVC option. You can purchase this at your local lumberyard or big box store.
Take care of your yard, trim it and treat it. Also treat your yard and the foundation of your home with a pesticide if you are having any issues.
Check your drive way for any cracks.
How we Pressure Wash, Prep, Prime, and Paint:
The first step is going out to the home at least a week before you begin painting to examine and pressure wash. Doing this takes off any build up that may be on your home, as well as chipping off any loose paint or any chalking that has happened over the years. Pressure washing helps ensure the surface is clean and the new paint will adhere.
**Make sure to take EXTRA CARE around all doors and windows**
- Mildew treatment to kill existing growth. This operation can be time-consuming however is fundamental to ensure a quality and lasting paint.
- Scrape, any and all loose or chipping paint, sand and prime wood where necessary. Primer is vital; it is a sealer as well as a base for your paint to adhere to for years to come.
- Loose window putty will be replaced. As a complete and quality exterior painting job we will replace missing or loose window putty as needed, ensures exceptional service.
- Caulk windows and doors. A small, tedious task, however infinitely important when it comes to quality and lasting paint job. This prevents moisture from seeping behind the newly applied paint, additional protection. We do it right.
- Loose trim will need to be re-nailed. While we are up there working on eaves and fascia we will re-nail any loose trim.
- Rusted metal will need to be sanded and primed. Not only wire brushed but sanded too. You must remove all areas of rust to prevent it from reoccurring.
- We also carefully cover all plants, bushes, and concrete and asphalt surfaces. This again is just courteous and clean. We will leave your property as we found it.
- On occasion, we will offer to trim your trees. This will be at no additional cost.
- Clean up at the end of each workday. We respect your Residents, Business or job site. We treat it as our own.
Next, we protect everything around the house.
We first lay drops clothes along the ground where the painting will be completed. We do this to make sure any paint doesn’t spill or stain anything.
We also lay drop clothes over any plants to protect them from any over spray.
Next, we tape plastic over all the windows and lights. We do this so any over spray doesn’t go on the windows or lights.
Finally, we take off all the shutters and set them to the side. The shutters will be painted separately. We take them down so the whole body of the house is painted. If the shutters are being painted it is easier for them to be painted unattached. They can go on a stand and be sprayed with the airless sprayer.
Now we begin the first coat, Primer. We use an airless sprayer that goes up to 3,000 psi. ALWAYS keep clean tips in an airless sprayer; this will help prevent any over over-spray and keep a constant amount of paint flowing out. If you do not change the tips often, old paint will get mixed in with the new paint and there will be issues with running. There could also be globs of old paint stuck in the sprayer and come out and ruin your project.
The primer takes at least 4 hours to dry before you can apply the first coat of paint.
While the first coat dries, you can paint the shutters and anything else that is being painted (Ex: Any doors, metal awnings, or patio furniture)
After the primer is dry and four hours have passed we can paint the first coat.
We always paint two coats on every project.
We have to wait at least 8 hours before we can apply the second coat so we will leave it over night.
The second coat can be painted after 8 hours of dry time.
Most of the small detailed painting can’t be painted with the airless sprayer, so it will take some extra time and a brush or a roller.
After everything is painted and dried, we can clean things up! We pick up the drop cloths and tools we used. We can take all of the blue tape and plastic off the windows and lights.
Today we talked about what to check as we are getting close to the Spring! These will help the quality of your home! We also went over our entire exterior process here at Exterior and Interior Painting Specialists.