Pressure Wash Your House Exterior Before Painting

Why You Should Pressure Wash Your House’s Exterior Before Painting It—and How to Do it Properly

Thinking about your next exterior paint job? Before you even think about it, check the siding of your house first. Even if you see it clean, you should still clean it thoroughly because it’s not always what it seems to be. It’s always safe to clean it and one way to do so is by pressure washing. This is by far the best method you can do at your disposal. Just a word of caution—pressure washing isn’t for beginners.

If you’re not experienced, the high water pressure can easily damage the siding or the sheathing and wall cavities beneath the siding. But worry no more! In this article, we will discuss how to properly pressure wash your siding before a paint job, and why it is a vital part of the process.


Why You Need to Clean Your Siding

To put it simply, clean siding means your exterior paint will last longer and lesser issues in the long run. Don’t be misled—paint will stick fine on dirty siding, but by painting dirty siding, you will almost certainly shorten your paint’s lifespan. Painting the exterior of your house is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor, so you will want to make sure to get the job done right the first time.

Furthermore, cleaning your siding can potentially double the lifespan of your paint, so it is well worth your time, money, and effort. When siding is properly washed, paint can last 7-10 years, or potentially longer.


Pressure Washing or Hand Washing?

Cleaning your siding by hand could be effective if you have the time and energy to do it manually and meticulously. Hand washing is often more effective—the greatest results will be achieved through handwashing with soap, brushes, and water. Unfortunately, though, it is very time-consuming to wash the whole exterior of a house by hand. So, we recommend that you go with the pressure washing method if you don’t have that much time.

An adequate pressure washer will do a quality job, and take up less of your time. This method is simply easier and more practical for the average homeowner plus it’s a good option for anybody looking to prepare their home for a new exterior paint job.


Don’t Use Pressure Washers to Strip Paint

When you pressure wash the siding of your house before a paint job, the goal is to clean it, not to strip the paint away. Most pressure washers are strong enough to take off the paint. But we don’t recommend using the tool to strip off the paint. For the best results, you should separately strip old paint with a scraper, heat gun, or sander after you finish pressure washing. Aside from that, using it to strip off the paint can easily damage your siding, especially wood and vinyl surfaces.


Be Cautious

When you pressure wash the exterior of your home, be cautious of the following dangers:



Pressure washers can cut into concrete and brick and in return, can harm all types of siding, including vinyl. To avoid this, maintain a good distance from your home when spraying—you don’t want to crack or chip your surfaces. Stand anywhere from at least 2 to 6 feet away, depending on your machine’s PSI levels. For extra caution, use a fan spray nozzle. A stream nozzle has a needle-sharp spray that can rip and tear your siding—take the necessary precautions to avoid this!



Sometimes, high pressure can drive water up between the siding boards and soak the insulation of the interior of the wall. This usually happens when you spray at a low angle or have a pressure washer too high of a PSO. You want to avoid this unnecessary headache. So, never spray at an upward angle to the siding. Also, keep an eye on other openings, like heating exhaust vents, air vents, etc.


Washh Can Help You Pressure Wash Your Sidings Safely

If you need pressure washing services in the greater Charlotte area, go with the local company you can trust. If you’re interested to learn more about Washh Pressure Washing Services, give us a call at (704) 321-8000 or contact us online.