Should I Pressure Wash Before I Paint?

Pressure Washing

Repainting the exterior of your home is no small feat and you never know just how much of a project it can be until you get started with it all. That said, there are certain things that you can do to help you reduce your work in the long run, avoid nasty surprises, and receive the best results for all of your hard work. Pressure washing your property is important because any dirt and debris left on the walls during painting will eventually come off, taking the exterior paint along with it unless you remove this dirt and debris from the start.

Remove Debris

As you make ready to continue the deep cleaning process, be sure that you wash away any large, loose debris such as mud and wet down the entire surface. It is important that you either hire a professional for your power washing needs or choose a moderately high pressure tip strong enough to blast away dirt and other particles without causing damage to your siding. In most cases, it is a good idea to utilize the green or yellow tips and red tips are to be avoided if you want to ensure that your siding is left intact.

To obtain the optimum safety and efficiency, be sure to stand about 10 feet from your walls and then slowly move in closer to the property for more impact. The closer you get, the higher the pressure applied, and that pressure will similarly go down if you should move further from the contact surface. Be sure that you cover all areas you wish to paint and avoid missing any spots that may cause you trouble in the long run, although you will easily be able to tell where you have not washed.


Using an environmentally friendly and pH-neutral detergent, you should apply the 4.0 size tip, which is typically black, or a 40-degree white tip and then use this to apply detergent to your walls. If it is hot and very dry out, be sure that you quickly apply a second coat or rinse the detergent quickly so that you do not risk the liquid drying entirely. If it is not very hot and you are not at risk of the detergent drying too quickly, you may allow it to settle for about 10 minutes. You should work using an upward sweeping motion.

Rinse and Dry

Return to your original pressure washing settings and rinse all areas with detergent, clearing it along with any loosened dirt and debris. Once this is done, be sure to look carefully over the entire exterior and then spot rinse any areas that appear to have leftover detergent or debris. This should allow you to avoid any problems in the future that may shorten the lifespan of your paint.

Once you completely rinse your house, you must absolutely allow the siding and all wet areas to dry entirely before you can begin to paint. Wood siding will take significantly longer than vinyl or aluminum siding to dry but you must be patient. The paint applied after your home is dry will last longer, look better, and be more cost-effective in the long run.

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