Pressure/power washing is a very good technique to clean home exteriors. If done correctly, it could make your house look shiny and new. However, using this method on windows could be a bit tricky, as windows are delicate and prone to scratches and shattering. This HomeQuicks guide explains the best way to power-wash windows.
Never use detergents that aren’t compatible with the pressure washer. Using regular detergents or non-compatible solutions could prove damaging to the components of the machine.
Pressure washing is a method which requires a fuel-powered or electric-powered machine, that sprays water with immense pressure to clean tough stains and residue from home exteriors. Although pressure washing is energy consuming (more in cases of a fuel-powered washer), it’s ideal to do this once or twice a year, or even prior to re-painting your house.
Before using a pressure washer, it’s very important to understand a bit about its technicalities, including its capacity, types of nozzles, power input (fuel/electric), and the like. Knowing this is necessary, especially if you’re using a pressure washer for the first time.
Take a look at how to clean windows with a pressure washer, and some precautions that you will need to take when using it.
Get a Pressure Washer
To begin, you would obviously need a pressure washer. If you’re into washing your house hardly once or twice a month, renting one is the best option for you. In case you wash you house or car quite frequently, you could buy a portable 1200 psi model, which costs somewhere around $100 – $150, and is suitable for all domestic purposes.
Also remember to buy a washer with a detergent dispenser; this feature would also prove useful when washing exterior walls, and patios.
Learn to Use the Washer
The first most important thing to do is to read the user manual. This would educate you towards the basic operation of the washer, like powering up, adjusting the pressure, switching nozzles, etc.
Once you know how to use it, you need to take certain safety measures.
- The water blade from a washer is very strong as well as sharp when certain nozzles are used. Never aim the washer on a human, as it could cause serious injuries.
- Always wear safety glasses for protection.
- Start the washer with low or no pressure, to avoid a kickback or recoil.
- Hold the washer at a considerable distance from the surface being washed, to avoid damage. This depends on the water pressure; more pressure = greater distance, and vice versa.
- Ensure that the nozzle tip is firmly attached and locked before pressing the trigger. In case the nozzle tip isn’t correctly attached, there are chances that it might fly off and cause damage.
Preparing to Wash
Now that you’re ready with the washer, you need to perform certain checks before actually beginning with the washing. Always remember to wash the windows separately, and not along with the exteriors, as the pressure requirements for both vary. Higher pressure could shatter your windows, besides a lot of water entering your house.
- Make sure there are no holes or gaps on or near the windows, as this might result in water seeping.
- Place a rag or towel on the inside to soak, if at all water seeps inside.
- Pour compatible detergent solution in the washer.
- Set the lowest possible pressure setting on the washer, and use a wide-angle (45 or 60 degrees) nozzle to clean the windows.
- Test the pressure intensity by spraying on a non-window area, and ensure that it is appropriate and not too powerful (adjust pressure accordingly).
Washing the Windows
Hold the trigger gun at a 45-degree angle, and start washing the windows in a side-to-side fashion. Cover the whole window in this manner, and then move to the next.
Also, spray the ledge and sills to clear any deposits of dirty water. Never aim directly at the windows, or keep spraying on a certain spot for a long time, to avoid damage of any sort.
Pressure window washing, in a nutshell: Gather the necessary equipment, learn to operate the machine, take all the safety precautions, and finally, wash those dirty panes. Power wash your windows at least once in six months, to get rid of dirt and debris, allowing for better visibility and more light.