The new DIY culture is beneficial for a plethora of reasons, from promoting new skills to be learned to helping people save cash. In some cases, however, do-it-yourself methods can be riskier business, particularly in home care. When it comes to power washing your house, going the DIY route can be much more costly and dangerous than it is worth.
Water Damage to Your Walls
Experts agree that the biggest risk when power washing your own house is creating water damage to your walls. Some commercial pressure washers can reach up to 4,000+ PSI, making it easy to shoot water up into the siding of your home. Wet flooring may only be an inconvenience, but water hitting your wiring and insulation is destructive and dangerous. Shorting out your home’s wiring system is not worth a cleaner exterior. Sometimes the wetness takes a long time to evaporate and is impossible to remove on your own, resulting in mold, cupping and crumbling.
Ruining Your Wood
Among the biggest mistakes that amateur power washers make is washing too close to the wood of a home. Although your wood may be treated and technically waterproof, that does not account for the intense pressure of a power washer. Power washers have been known to damage wood by not only blasting off paint, but even digging in holes that damage your siding. The wood grain of a house can be ruined after a single pressure washing session, especially when aimed directly at bare wood.
Blasting Mortar Away
A brick-built pig house may have been useful in fairy tales, but mortar is far from indestructible. In fact, when blasted with a power washer, mortar can soften and even fall out. Older homes are even more susceptible to the damage since lesser quality of bricks may have been used. Homeowners with this issue face re-pointing their homes, which costs around $25 per square foot and easily adds up to thousands of dollars when damage is rampant across the home.
Lead in Your Environment
One scary result that sometimes happens when lead exteriors are improperly power-washed is the distribution of lead. Lead paint should never be removed with a power washer. The process does not result in true removal but instead blasts the lead across the yard, adding it to the soil where children can become exposed to it. It can become attached to your garden, affect the neighbors and even harm your pets. No matter how small lead paint chips seem, the danger they present is very large and very real.
Window and Siding Damage
Broken windows and missing shingles are not fun to repair, but they can be caused by power washing your home. Older windows and siding may not be able to withstand the pressure, but sometimes even newer homes can be easily damaged, depending on the materials used in building and the amount of pressure used. Without years of commercial experience, homeowners with the best intentions can still break or loosen their own shingles, siding and glass, resulting in thousands of dollars worth of damage that could have easily been avoided.
Homeowners should not be afraid of power washing, when done properly it can restore many homes to their natural beauty. It is often better, however, to hire a professional pressure washing contractor, who will complete the job without damage. An insured, experienced power washing company can use the correct amount of pressure and specialized cleaning agents to create optimal results. Get in-touch with Eco-Clean for your next house washing or power washing project.