If you see orange-red powder on the exterior surfaces of your home, you likely have a rust problem. Rust is not just unsightly but if left alone, it can also lead to structural problems. To protect your curb appeal and property values, it’s important to address rust issues whenever they appear. One of the best ways to remove rust is through pressure washing. Here’s what you need to know about pressure washing rust removal.
In this article:
How to Remove Rust in Your Home
Rust, or iron oxide, forms when metals are exposed to air and water. Exterior walls, driveways, siding, and outdoor equipment are constantly exposed to natural elements so it’s common for these surfaces to develop rust.
However, no homeowner really wants to have rust all over their property. Rust makes your home look orange and rough, which can significantly decrease curb appeal and property values. If left unattended, rust can start to eat away the surfaces — affecting the structural integrity of your home.
There are many ways to address rust in your home. You can use ingredients such as white vinegar, lemon, and baking soda which are most likely already in your pantry. There are also different rust removers that you can buy in your nearby hardware store.
However, these rust remedies will require a lot of time and patience, especially when you’re dealing with large surface areas. There’s also no guarantee that they will remove all the rust stains in your home. If you want a quick but very effective way to remove rust, pressure washing is the way to go.
The Process of Removing Rust with Pressure Washing
Pressure washing has become the go-to method for removing rust. It uses high-pressure water to blast away the rust from different surfaces.
This alone is already effective in removing rust. There’s no need to use harsh and toxic chemicals on exterior surfaces such as concrete driveways, walkways, patios, and garage floors.
However, more delicate surfaces — such as vinyl sidings, wood decks, brick walls, and asphalt shingles — can become damaged by high-pressure water. They will require a more delicate cleaning procedure called soft washing.
Instead of high-pressure water alone, soft washing combines low-pressure water with eco-friendly and biodegradable cleaning solutions to remove rust.
Here’s how to use pressure washing and soft washing to remove rust in your home.
1. Prepare the Area
Nearby plants, glass windows, furniture, and other items may become damaged when exposed to high-pressure water. Cover these areas with a tarp before proceeding with pressure washing.
2. Wear Safety Gear
It may not seem like it — especially if you are new to pressure washing — but the stream of water coming out of a pressure washer is strong enough to cause serious bodily harm and injuries. It’s important to wear protective gear such as safety goggles, a face mask or respirator, waterproof gloves, and steel-toe boots when using a pressure washer.
3. Use the Appropriate Equipment
Your pressure washing equipment will depend on the surface that you are working with. It’s not advised to just use one setting for all your exterior surfaces. In general, though, you need a pressure washer that produces about 2,000 to 3,000 PSI. Anything less may not be able to remove rust in your home.
You also need to think about which nozzle to use. For instance, a 15-degree nozzle (yellow tip) will discharge a more powerful stream of water compared to a wider, 25-degree nozzle (green tip).
4. Perform a Patch Test
Even with concrete surfaces that can take a beating, you still need to proceed with caution. Before going all out with pressure washing, perform a patch test first. This is to ensure that the surface can handle the high-velocity water stream.
5. Remove Rust with Pressure Washing
If you are ready, use the pressure to remove rust from your exterior surfaces. Maintain a six-feet distance and aim your pressure washer wand directly onto the surface for the best results. Also, start from top to bottom then left to right to prevent streaking.
6. Apply Protective Sealant
Once the rust has been removed from your exterior surfaces, consider applying a sealant. This will add a protective layer to your surfaces so that it is more resistant to rust in the future. You’ll be able to extend the lifespan of your exterior surfaces.
The process of soft washing is similar, but with a few minor adjustments. Just like pressure washing, though, you need to prepare the area and wear protective gear. Here are the succeeding steps.
1. Use the Appropriate Equipment
For soft washing, it’s best to use a lighter-duty pressure washer that can produce 500 to 1,000 PSI. If you accidentally use higher water pressure, you may end up damaging delicate surfaces such as brick and glass. Soft washing is also used with wider nozzles such as the 45-degree (white tip) and 65-degree (black tip) nozzles.
2. Apply Rust Remover
Apply your chosen rust remover onto the affected surface. The cleaning solution will loosen up the rust so that it can be easily removed with a soft washer. If you are using an acid-based solution, make sure to follow label instructions on proper usage.
You may need to dilute the solution with water. Once applied, allow the solution to sit on the surface for 5 to 10 minutes. However, do not let the solution dry out.
3. Remove Rust with Soft Washing
Use a soft washer to rinse the exterior surfaces. The rust will wash off naturally. Remember to maintain a safe distance and aim directly at the surface. Go from top to bottom and then left to right to avoid streaking.
4. Apply Protective Sealant
After removing rust from exterior surfaces, apply a protective sealant to prevent it from coming back.
Benefits of Professional Rust Removal Services
Even with easy-to-follow instructions, bear in mind that pressure washing can be more complicated than it appears. If you are new to pressure washing, there will still be a lot of trial and error involved.
You also cannot discount the possibility of damage due to improper pressure washing techniques. So even if you wanted to save money, you might end up doing more harm than good to your exterior surfaces.
For peace of mind and guaranteed results, consider the benefits of hiring professional rust removal services. Here’s what you can expect from a company like Washh.
- Quick and Efficient Results: Professionals have years of experience under their belt. Mastery of pressure washing and soft washing enables them to remove rust from your exterior surfaces quickly and efficiently.
- Professional-Grade Equipment: Qualified technicians have the latest technologies and equipment. They have heavy-duty pressure washers, complete accessories, and effective cleaning solutions to properly tackle rust issues in your home.
- Tried-and-Tested Cleaning Techniques: There is no guesswork involved when you hire professionals to remove rust. Technicians already know which cleaning techniques to use on different surfaces of your home.
- Highest Safety Standards: A professional company will always have the highest standards for performing rust removal jobs. They will spare no expense just to ensure the safety of their workers, as well as clients and their properties.
- Insured and Bonded: Clients have peace of mind knowing that technicians that come to remove rust are insured and bonded. There’s no need to worry about potential errors or property damage.
The Bottom Line
Pressure washing can effectively remove rust in your home, but only when it is done right. Save yourself time, energy, and money by hiring a professional company to do the job for you. If you need a professional rust removal pressure washing company in Charlotte, NC, Washh is here to help. We have over 10 years of experience so you can expect superior results from our team of technicians. Give us a call at 704.321.8000 or fill out our online contact form here.
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