Over time, grime, mold and other substances can build up on your deck, roof and siding. That could result in discoloration, poor curb appeal, and in the case of mold, health risks. Pressure washing could be the most effective way to get rid of stains and unwanted exterior debris.
Of course, there’s a cost to pressure washing, and it will hinge on factors like the size of your home and whether you do the work yourself or outsource it. If you’re new to pressure washing, you’ll want to understand what expense you’re looking at and whether it pays to hire a professional.
Here are some common questions for anyone considering pressure washing their home:
— Why should you pressure wash a house?
— How do you pressure wash a house?
— What’s the difference between power washing and pressure washing?
— How much does it cost to hire someone to pressure wash a house?
— How much does it cost to pressure wash a house on your own?
— What are the drawbacks of pressure washing a house on your own?
— What do you need to know before pressure washing a house?
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Why Should You Pressure Wash a House?
Pressure washing a house can eliminate mold and other contaminants that aren’t just unsightly, but also pose a potential health hazard. Plus, a dirty exterior can be an eyesore, and pressure washing can get rid of grime quickly and effectively.
Dirt and debris can actually cause discoloration to your siding. Pressure washing can help avoid that. And if you’ll be repainting your house, it’s a good idea to pressure wash it first.
How Do You Pressure Wash a House?
Pressure washers generate a high-pressure spray that’s effective at removing muck and grime. You’ll need to fill one with cleaning solution (which you can purchase at a home improvement store), and from there, you’ll spray your exterior section by section until you’ve covered your entire home.
It’s generally best to start at the bottom of each section and work your way up.
What’s the Difference Between Power Washing and Pressure Washing?
The terms power washing and pressure washing are often used interchangeably, and they are similar:
— Power washing uses hot water or steam.
— Pressure washing uses cold water.
The benefit to warmer water is that it may dislodge grime and debris more easily. But there’s a cost to applying that heat, so it often pays to stick to power washing unless you’re dealing with deep stains that won’t easily come off.
How Much it Costs to Power Wash a House
Home improvement network and information company Angi estimates the cost of power washing at $0.15 to $0.75 per square foot. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median size of a new single-family home sold in 2021 was 2,356 square feet.
That puts the average power washing cost at $353 to $1,767 for an entire home. Pressure washing isn’t quite as expensive.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire Someone to Pressure Wash a House?
The cost of pressure washing a home will hinge on the size and condition of the property. A larger space will take longer to clean, and more cleaning solution may be needed.
The cost to pressure wash a house is $0.10 to $0.50 per square foot, according to Angi, making the total price for a typical house $100 to $650.
How Much Does it Cost to Pressure Wash a House On Your Own?
It costs $35 to $110 per day to rent a pressure washer from a home improvement center, according to HomeAdvisor, depending on the type of pressure washer. But that doesn’t include the cost of cleaning solutions and other materials you might need to pressure wash your home, such as a ladder that allows you to reach higher surfaces.
Types of Pressure Washers and Their Costs
There are two types of pressure washers: electric and gas. Electric pressure washers are the cheapest of the two, costing $35 to $65 to rent per day, according to Home Advisor. Renting a gas residential power washer costs $70-$110 per day. That price can increase if you need some additional tools, like an extension wand, which can cost an extra $10 to $20 per day.
You can also look at investing in a pressure washer. An electric model costs $167 on average, according to LawnStarter, while gas pressure washers have an average price of $379.
Gas pressure washers, however, require engine maintenance, so there’s an added expense there. And any type of pressure washer you buy will have to be stored someplace, which could make renting a better option.
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What Are the Drawbacks of Pressure Washing a House On Your Own?
Pressure washers are powerful tools. If you don’t know how to operate one, in addition to injuring yourself, you could end up damaging your property.
“Unless you’re trained and experienced, you can ruin vinyl siding,” says Steven Robohm, the owner of Patriot Power Washing in North Easton, Massachusetts. “You can make marks that will never go away.”
Additionally, you may have a hard time renting equipment with the same reach that a professional might have. “Companies can do everything from the ground,” says Robohm. “It’s a lot safer.”
There’s also your schedule to consider. By the time you drive over to a home improvement center, rent your equipment, do the pressure washing work and return your equipment, you could easily be looking at half a day’s work. But ultimately, Robohm insists, the value of hiring a professional service is reducing the likelihood of something going wrong.
“A lot of homeowners will call me after they’ve done damage,” he says.
If you are going to pressure wash a home yourself, follow the CDC’s guidelines on pressure washer safety to keep yourself safe.
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What Do You Need to Know Before Pressure Washing a House?
It’s best to pressure wash a home when the weather is mild. Robohm’s busy season is spring to fall, and he advises not to pressure wash a home in the winter, largely because cold temperatures have the potential to damage the equipment.
Otherwise, you’ll need to make sure there’s an outside water source that you or the company you hire can access. And if you have well water, you may want to get it tested before moving forward, as dirty water can damage a pressure washer. Robohm also says that a lack of water pressure can be an issue with well water, so it’s good to engage a professional who can help you assess your options.
Additionally, you’ll want to make certain your windows are fully closed before having your house pressure washed so water doesn’t get inside. And as is the case with any home-related project you choose to outsource, if you’re hiring a professional, make sure any company you contract with is bonded and insured. That will protect you in the unlikely event of damage to your home.
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How Much Does It Cost to Pressure Wash a House? originally appeared on usnews.com
Update 04/26/23: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.