7.17.17

You’ve got the power (washer!)

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Few home maintenance tasks deliver the instant gratification of power washing. With the wave of a wand, months of grime are swept away from your home and deck. If you tackle the job yourself, here are some tips for super power washing.

Electric- vs. gas-powered washers

Both work well for most jobs. For the most extreme cleaning jobs, gas-powered models win out with the highest water pressure.

Safety first

The force that removes dirt and grime can do serious damage to your flesh if it gets in path of the spray. Wear long pants, sturdy footwear and safety goggles to protect yourself.

Never point the spray at other people or pets, or put your hand in the path of the spray.

Be aware of power lines and electric outlets and, if you can, avoid contact.

Also, stay off ladders while power washing. The recoil from squeezing the trigger could make you lose your balance.

Follow the detergent instructions

If you opt for detergent, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You might need to wet nearby plants with plain water before and after to protect them.

Power wash, baby!

Now you’re ready for action! Work in small sections, starting at the bottom and working your way up. This will help avoid streaks.

Hold the wand so the nozzle is about 4 feet away from the siding and move in closer as needed. Direct the spray at a 45-degree angle. Spraying at an angle moves the dirt off the surface rather than driving it in. When spraying overhead, spray to one side to avoid getting dripped on.

Move the wand in sweeping, overlapping strokes. When power washing wood decks, don’t spray too closely; the powerful spray can damage wood.

Wrap it up

When you’re done cleaning your house and deck, take care when disconnecting the power washer from the hose. Turn off the water, squeeze the trigger to release the water pressure and then uncouple the house from the machine.

Then, pour yourself a nice tall glass of something cold to drink and enjoy the sparkling results!

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