Vinyl siding offers a number of distinct benefits, from its inexpensive price point, to its ease of installation. Cleaning vinyl siding, however, is a chore that few people look forward to. Yet with a pressure washer, this undesirable task becomes quite a lot easier--in principle, anyway. If you have struggled in the past to properly clean your siding with a pressure washer, read on. This article will offer three helpful tips to get the job done right--and quickly.
Double check that your pressure washer is up to the task.
To put it simply: where power is concerned, not all pressure washers are created equal. Yet this fact doesn't always occur to those who find that dirt and dust seem to resist their best cleaning efforts. Washers that use an electrical motor to generate their power are more likely to be too weak than those washers that run off of a gasoline engine.
Be sure to double check the power rating of your pressure washer. This value will be expressed in terms of pressure per square inch, or psi. Pressure washers with a psi rating less than 1300 generally don't have what it takes to get vinyl siding clean. Successfully completing the job will require that you either make the upgrade to a washer with greater power, or investigate the possibility of renting such a machine from a home improvement store in your area.
Invest in some plastic drop cloths.
Here's a quick and simple tip to avoid accidentally ravaging your flower beds and plantings with a pressure washer: cover them with plastic drop cloths. That way, should your sprayer happen to graze over nearby plantings, it won't mercilessly strip them of their branches and leaves. The drop cloth will help to distribute the force of the water, and thus keep your plants happy and alive.
Avoid damaging your siding by using a wide angle spray tip.
As long as you are considering the psi rating of a particular washer, here's another thing to be aware of: too much power can end up being even more of a problem than too little, if you're not careful. Excessive water pressure can cut unattractive grooves in your relatively soft vinyl. The good news here is that you don't have to downgrade your pressure washer to avoid this. All you have to do is utilize a wide angle spray tip.
Increasing the angle at which the water is released helps to minimize its damaging force. It does this by increasing the area over which the sprayer's pressure is distributed. If you find that a particular spray tip is too wide, and doesn't clean the siding properly, you can always switch to a narrower one. The key to avoiding unintentional damage, however, is to start with a tip with no less than a 60 degree angle.
For more information about maintaining and cleaning your siding, talk with siding installation experts, such as those at Kemp's Windows Inc.