Should You Pressure Wash House Before Painting?

Pressure Wash House Before Painting?


Wonder if you should pressure wash exterior home before painting? Giving you reasons this is done before any paint applied. First important steps to prepare exterior house for painting. Increasing time it takes to paint your house yourself, but worth every effort described below.

Having a clean slate to work with is number one. Just like an artist having a clean canvas, a home on much larger scale. I know you'd like to get with painting, but pressure washing first, will do a number of important things before picking up a paint brush.

Do I Have To Pressure Wash House Before Painting?


Well, best painting practices for your exterior is yes, you should pressure wash before painting. Do so will clean dirt, dust, any debris from substrate, giving your prized paint coating a clean surface to adhere. Also, not trapping this foreign matter under paint, never to be seen again.

Different Areas Take Longer To Dry

Depending where you are in the country, different areas such as Denver, Phoenix, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Portland, Seattle, Boston, Chicago, New York City all have different humidity factors which determines how long you need to wait after pressure washing, letting substrate dry.

If unsure, a good way to figure out if surface is dry is take a small piece of plastic cellophane placing over surface in question. Taping all four edges to surface, waiting a day. Coming back, if no moisture has built up underneath plastic sheathing, you're pretty safe knowing exterior surfaces have dried back out.

Once properly dried, you can proceed with steps preparing to paint home's exterior.

I know this may be a lot to ask, but it's not everyday your home gets a brand new exterior paint job. Matter of fact, today some of the best exterior paints will last a lifetime, if all proper steps have been followed.

But getting back to pressure washing before painting your home's exterior, many advantages lay camouflage, with all impending work at hand. Here are some good thoughts to think about if you rent a pressure washer, getting the biggest use out of your daily rental fee.

Just remember, you're not trying to peel paint, only lightly rinse off dirt, cobwebs, wasp nests, and any foreign matter. Even if you can't see it, does not mean it's not there. Once you start rinsing exterior off, you'll see what I'm talking about.

Cleaning Gutters


Working from top to bottom, this is a great time to clean out those gutters also. Knowing this can be quite a mess, but having a pressure washer at your disposal, you can quickly clean exterior, having cleaned gutters at the same time.

After you've cleaned gutters, and have painted your exterior, gutters will drain properly, not harming your valuable exterior painting efforts either.

Best Pressure Washing Soffits


After cleaning gutters, coming down, great to rinse off soffits where many bugs make a nest. I've even seen hornets having a very large nest, also cliff swallows, barn swallows and the black-billed magpie build nests under soffit areas.

You may time washing after the young has flown the coup. But who cares about hornets, unless you don't want to get stung.  A way around this is wearing a painter's Tyvek suit, and a bee vale. Nevertheless, those critters have to go before painting, and pressure washing is the key, allowing you to apply best paint for soffits.

Cleaning Exterior Walls

Coming down from gutters, fascia, also soffits, it's time to rinse, cleaning exterior walls. Starting from one corner, working across, hitting every square inch. You'll see all the dirt, and grim coming off, to your amazement. An almost invisible layer of grim, until you help it with a high pressure wash. Knowing this is clean as a whistle, before doing anything else.

Pay attention to bottom edges of siding, also any nails that may be sunken in. This is where moisture can penetrate, further damaging. If siding has swelled out too much, pressure washing can damage it beyond repair. So, when cleaning siding walls, pay very close attention.

Prepare Exterior Windows For Painting 


Not only pressure washing gutters, siding, & trim, but removing window screens, is a great time cleaning those cracks and crevices where windows slide up & down. No telling how many critters make a home there, getting rinsed away.

Never wanting to use pressure washer too close, can easily blow out screens, as well as harming wood. Would recommend standing away, keeping spray tip at least 3-4' away. If using Red single stream tip, back even further. Preparing any wood windows for painting, this is first step you need to take.

Pressure Wash Before Scraping


Always best to pressure wash before scraping is done. This allows everything to dry properly, if any scraping is needed. Dried paint is much easier to scrape than wet gummy type. However, pressure washing will give you a good clue where you need to concentrate your scraping efforts few days later.  Around eves, trim, windows, & bottom of door areas.

You do not need to scrape all paint off before painting exterior, only where paint has failed. Pressure washing first will also help remove a lot of that dust & grim away before picking up a paint scraper. Don't know about you, but I like working in as clean environment as possible.

You can see much better any cracking, chipping, peeling, blistering, or bubbling which needs to be removed after washing process has been completed. But again, not trying to wash off failed paint, as you'll do more damage to wood, than manually hand scraping once dried.

Remembering after pressure washing is done, completely dried out, you need to apply a good bonding exterior primer on any bare wood surfaces. This ensures you premium paint will adhere properly.

Great Time To Clean Concrete


Working from top to bottom, can never forget sidewalks, driveways, also concrete patios using your pressure washer. Not only having a superb exterior paint job, but cleaned concrete makes a huge difference of overall perspective.

Best we've found is using best homemade deck cleaner, cleaning concrete also. A mixture of a few scoops of Oxi-Clean® laundry detergent with cold tap water in a 5 gallon bucket works best! Making your concrete area like the day it was poured.

Here Are Some Useful Outlets With Pressure Washers & Supplies

Knowing this takes a bit longer to paint your home's exterior by yourself, but let's face it, you want it done right don't you? This being first important step how to prepare exterior homes for painting.

So yes, you are best served pressure washing exterior before painting your home. Only touching the surface of reasons why you should. Here in Denver, pressure washing is a standard with exterior painting.

Even if it's raining, pressure washing is not delayed. Only if it's lightening, seeing hail, will deter rinsing off an exterior to another scheduled time. Actually when it's raining, this is best time to pressure wash concrete. Just wear a slicker suit & you'll be fine.

Pressure Washing Commercial As Well As Residential

Depending upon the size, commercial painters Denver, Houston, or even Kansas City may use multiple higher volume pressure washers. Also working from top down, utilizing same cleaning techniques for homes, listed above.

Commercial structures no different, except only bigger most of the time. Remembering several commercial jobs we've done, which matter of fact have more debris to clean, only by pressure washing first. Whether it is exterior walls, piping, bar joists, awnings, metal ceilings, or work bays, all must be cleaned very well, before any paint is applied.

Hope you've enjoyed knowing if you should pressure wash your home before painting outside. Knowing if you paint over dust & dirt, primers & paint will not bond near as good.

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