A house needs painting once in five or six years (or earlier). Painting a house is a tough process but a pressure washer can make your tough problem easier than you can imagine.

Why You Need to Clean the House

Imagine how awesome it would be that you won’t need to paint again for a number of years to come? However, if you did not clean the house prior to painting, the result will be completely different.

Cleaning your house before painting has only one goal – to expand the lifespan of the painting. Yes, even if you do not clean the surface before painting, the paint will still apply fine. But, it won’t last long. Considering how painful and expensive it is to paint the exterior, it is a great idea getting it right on the first go. Isn’t it better painting your house in every seven years rather than in every 2 or 3 years?

Painting the exterior over the dirt will leave the exterior of your house prone to weather changes. The loose painting will start to come off after few months. So, it is always a good idea investing some extra time to save a lot of bucks.

This is where pressure washer comes into play. Pressure washing the siding before painting will boost the lifespan of your paint.

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Why a Pressure Washer?

Cleaning the house with hands has certain advantages. You can cover the toughest areas and cleaning is average without a physical contact.

Cleaning without hands can never give you a great result. But you have to be realistic. Who wants to do the painstakingly long cleaning work by hand? A pressure washer is an excellent tool for removing dirt and debris from sidings and can make your tough cleaning work much easier.

Is Pressure Washing Safe?

Taking a few safety measures and keeping yourself from getting over-excited can make pressure washing very safe. Keep your distance from the wall. Depending on the psi of your pressure washer the distance can be from 2 ft to 5 ft.

You are supposed to wash before painting not strip old paint with a pressure washer. Yes, it is true that most of the powerful pressure washer can strip paint off but pressure washers are not exactly for this purpose. Stripping off paint should be done by a separate step after the pressure washing. Stripping should be done through a scrapper avoiding heavy use of water.

Pointing the pressure of water straight to the surface can be dangerous if the distance is too close. Pressure washers can cut into brick or concrete in some cases. Avoid spraying direct spray in the angles of siding. This can introduce water to insulation, which you do not want to happen at any cost.

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4 Simple Ways of Pressure Washing a House

1. Remove debris with high-pressure plain water:

In this step, your priority is to wash away the large debris, spider web, insect nests and wet the floor.

No detergent is needed for this step. Use a gas pressure washer (recommended) or an electric pressure washer of 2000 psi, which are mostly used as car pressure washer. Stop being obsessed with the pressure washer tip and use a tip that is good for breaking off debris without damaging the siding. The best option for this is using a green nozzle (25-degree). Never ever think of using the red tip (0-degree). They can severely damage the siding.

So, you’re all set-up with a green pressure washer tip. Start applying pressure jet keeping a distance. Cut the distance as you get comfortable with the pressure and cleaning. The closer you will get the more pressure will increase.

Cover all the areas that you’ll be painting, and try not to miss any spot.

2. Apply detergent with low pressure:

Use a low pressure 40-degree white tip for applying detergent. You can use either the onboard detergent or detergent solution prepared in a bucket. Both works like a charm!

Evenly spray the detergent with the 40-degree tip in an upward motion. This motion will help to evenly distribute the detergent on the surface.

Remember to select a detergent that is good for your siding and environment.

Let the detergent dry for a while till it is wet.

3. High-pressure rinse:

Before the detergent gets completely dry, rinse it thoroughly. You do not want to re-apply paint letting it dry.

Switch back to the high-pressure mode and rinse with fresh water. The detergent will wash away the leftover dirt with it. Always clean from top to bottom. This way you can prevent dirty water from mixing with the clean area.

Rinse until the detergent and remaining dirt is gone completely.

4. Let dry before painting:

House with pressure washer

Now you can see some shine on the house, but let it dry. Let all side of the house dry completely before painting.

This may take some time. Wood siding will take much longer time than vinyl siding. It may take up to 24 hours to dry.

You do not want to trap moisture underneath the paint.

Once drying is complete the painting is supposed to bring the shine of your house and would last for 6 to 7 years.

Read more: Painting laminate cabinets concise guide

How to pressure wash a house before painting was last modified: September 28th, 2022 by Erfan Sakin
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Elisabeth Southgate
Elisabeth Southgate

I like how you said that cleaning your house before you paint expands the life of the paint job. My husband and I are thinking of repainting our home. Making sure it is cleaned properly before is a great tip.


I seriously like that you mentioned that you should rinse the detergent before it dries off completely. I would have never thought that my building would need pressure cleaning, but after owning it for a few years I have noticed that it will be a good idea to keep it clean and more presentable. Thank you for these ideas, I will make sure to contact a professional to help me out.

Michael Foley
Michael Foley

Thanks for the tips, though I am rather curious about the red pressure tip. Just wondering what sort of cleaning application can it be used.

Victoria Joachin
Victoria Joachin

thanks for this content!