Pressure Washing Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

Pressure washing your home's siding, deck, driveway and other surfaces will make them look fresh and clean and also remove damaging mould and mildew; this can then keep those surfaces in good repair and mean less maintenance over time. While just about any homeowner can manage their own pressure washing for those surfaces, the job can be more complicated than you may realize. Note a few tips for pressure washing, so you ensure you get the job done right and don't cause any damage to your home's exterior surfaces.

Choose the right nozzle

A nozzle will help control the pressure but also the gallons per minute of the water being used. A nozzle with a very small opening may create more pressure but a slower flow rate, whereas a nozzle with a thin and wide opening will mean more gallons per minute and more pressure. A rounded opening will mean more gallons per minute but less pressure.

Each of these options will have a different application; more gallons and less pressure makes for quick work of rinsing a large area since you're spraying more water at once. More pressure but a slower water flow will mean not wasting water as you concentrate on one small area that needs cleaning. More pressure and a higher flow rate together are needed for deep cleaning a very large surface, such as a deck or driveway.


Your home's exterior surfaces might need a pre-soak for a thorough clean. Shop for a pre-soak detergent you can use on grease and oil stains, mould and mildew build-up and any areas with heavy dirt. Note how long you let the detergent soak before rinsing it away, so it has time to work but doesn't dry up and leave behind any residue.

Check on detergent dilution

When you buy any detergent to use on your home's exterior surfaces, note if it needs dilution. If you don't dilute it properly, this could mean stripping sealants or leaving behind a residue on surfaces, so be sure you follow dilution instructions carefully.

Keep the washer moving

Even if you're concentrating on a stain or some built-up dirt on a surface, you want to keep the wand of the washer moving. Keeping it in one place can mean causing damage to wood or concrete, even if this damage is not immediately visible; that material could get soft or you could be eroding a sealant with the washer. Moving the wand back and forth will disperse some pressure while still cleaning that area as needed.