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We just talked to one of Carly's friends, her dad was with her (not Carly's). We were talking about power washing. He said a Sherwin and BM rep told him never to power wash his home. Power washing forces water behind the siding and that is what causes houses to rot. :blink::eek:

Damn and all these years we power washed I'm just learning now to just skip that important step.

I didn't ask for any names of the reps. I'm pretty positive it's a HO that read this online and is now an expert.
 

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If I had the choice I wouldn't pressure wash a house either. I think it can do more damage than good if you get slightly complacent. I soft wash would be better. Just like on a car. Scrub the dirt, grime, and air pollution of the house.
We made the switch to soft scrub (truck brushes) years ago. It's something clients often ask about...based on previous experience.
 
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Maybe the guy was talking about vinyl siding? I worked for a guy once doing interior while he pressure washed his vinyl sided building in spite of me telling him he shouldn't.

When water started pouring down from a ceiling the next day, I got more work out of the deal.:)
 

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I'd argue that not washing is one of the leading causes of paint failure. Based only on my experience. I can't count how many peelers I've encountered that has dirty, contaminated siding underneath the layers of paint that are peeling.

Done competently, pressure washing is harmless. Done poorly, and it can cause great damage.

BTW, I use my pressure washer to downstream soap, and rinse at a relatively low pressure.
 

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I'd argue that not washing is one of the leading causes of paint failure. Based only on my experience. I can't count how many peelers I've encountered that has dirty, contaminated siding underneath the layers of paint that are peeling.

Done competently, pressure washing is harmless. Done poorly, and it can cause great damage.

BTW, I use my pressure washer to downstream soap, and rinse at a relatively low pressure.
aside from a brush this is the most effective method. Powerwashing at high pressures can actually push dirt, dead wood, and other contaminants into wood siding (and decks). Using a proper detergent and letting it do some of the work is the best thing to do (again-decks too.) A light scrub with the appropriate brush and a low pressure wash does the most good with less potential for damaging by "impacting" contaminants into the substrate. Or flat out gouging the heck out of it at 3800 PSI.
 

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This debate has been around as long as the pressure washer itself. While the concerns and risks of pressure-washing are valid, I agree with Excel, and I've got a few Pro Washing friends who've washed thousands and thousands of homes with repeat business for longer than a decade. They didn't get it by forcing water behind siding and causing rot.

The same principle in this argument can be applied to any number of advancements/changes in our trade. Look at spraying. In the hands of someone careless, not only could they achieve poor results, but they could potentially cause thousands of dollars of damage in overspray to the customers home as well as any other surface within reach. Does that mean that we don't spray? No. It just means that we take proper precautions and take time to educate our customers that it can be done safely with great results, and much more efficiently than the alternatives, (not in every case, of course). The resulting time saved in the efficiency, be it spraying paint or pressure-washing, is passed on to the customer in the form of a lower price.
 

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We made the switch to soft scrub (truck brushes) years ago. It's something clients often ask about...based on previous experience.
I have never power washed an exterior. We have always accomplished the cleaning by hand. A structure is built to take water from above...not from below. I see so many guys on the ground blowing water up the homes skirt.
I wouldn't go as far to say that it will rot out the siding, but I just have always believed a soft washing was a better and more effective alternative. I also like the control...but that's a personality thing lol...

It's funny, years ago I was quite friendly with a Ben Moore rep. If he had a complaint regarding paint failure on an exterior the first question he would ask was..."did you power wash it?". If you said "yes", he would tell you the house was too wet when you painted and resulted in the failure. If you said "no", he would tell you it was too dirty resulting in the paint failure.:)
 

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I do more washing than painting, but joined on here as my demand for paints/stains/sealers increased, and wanted to learn more than painters I've worked with in the past taught me.

Soaps and properly diluted chems + a low pressure rinse has been working great for me for 3+ years. This is for cleaning general bugs, dirt, mildew/algae. Different method(s) would be used for if there is peeling paint present.

The construction company I worked for would install their siding with ways for moisture to escape like the pic below here (good idea to check how siding goes up in your area to make sure it's the same)


Like others said, you absolutely can cause water and or physical damage using a pressure washer, on anything. Also said above you can get by with a garden hose, some soaps, and some mechanical cleaning.

For my 4 gpm machine i use 40 gpm tips, and for my 8 gpm setup i use 60 gpm tips for lower pressure chem application and water rinsing.

It can get a lot more involved than this, a good rule with pressure washing is: when you have a hammer everything is not a nail.
 

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I have never power washed an exterior. We have always accomplished the cleaning by hand. A structure is built to take water from above...not from below. I see so many guys on the ground blowing water up the homes skirt.
I wouldn't go as far to say that it will rot out the siding, but I just have always believed a soft washing was a better and more effective alternative. I also like the control...but that's a personality thing lol...

It's funny, years ago I was quite friendly with a Ben Moore rep. If he had a complaint regarding paint failure on an exterior the first question he would ask was..."did you power wash it?". If you said "yes", he would tell you the house was too wet when you painted and resulted in the failure. If you said "no", he would tell you it was too dirty resulting in the paint failure.:)

He probably was a car salesman in a previous life. :yes:
 

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johnnyb is dead on. Rarely if ever use the tips that come with the machine. That would be "pressure washing" for sure. The soap/bleach solution should be doing most of the work.

Like many folks on here, I soft wash using a 4 'way J-rod of tips (soap low, soap high, rinse high, rinse low) with sizes designed for a machine using many more GPMs. I do often use say a 40-8 or 4010 for fence boards, decks, etc. with my 4 GPM machine.

I think the general public is, for the most part, aware that old school pressure washing is not what's best for their home.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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If I had the choice I wouldn't pressure wash a house either. I think it can do more damage than good if you get slightly complacent. I soft wash would be better. Just like on a car. Scrub the dirt, grime, and air pollution of the house.
Agree, even the power wash manufacturers recommend using a pump garden sprayer a soft brush and rinse with a power washer. I'm sure most professionals are aware that injecting water under pressure up to 3000+ psi up and on to a surface that is designed to keep weather out is not good practice. Great for concrete but can be compromising in the hands of an inexperienced handler.
 

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15 years of pressure washing hundreds of houses per year. Incidence of damage caused by improper technique... 0
And that is because you have 15 years of experience. It does happen though, and my personal belief is that way too many people get their hands on powerwashers that are way to powerful without knowing what they are doing. If I could, I would get everyone of those people to hire a professional like yourself instead of buying their own.
 

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I have never power washed an exterior. We have always accomplished the cleaning by hand. A structure is built to take water from above...not from below. I see so many guys on the ground blowing water up the homes skirt.
I wouldn't go as far to say that it will rot out the siding, but I just have always believed a soft washing was a better and more effective alternative. I also like the control...but that's a personality thing lol...

It's funny, years ago I was quite friendly with a Ben Moore rep. If he had a complaint regarding paint failure on an exterior the first question he would ask was..."did you power wash it?". If you said "yes", he would tell you the house was too wet when you painted and resulted in the failure. If you said "no", he would tell you it was too dirty resulting in the paint failure.:)
Sounds about right.
 

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Pressure washing houses improperly happens all the time. Guys simply don't use there brains. It is one of those things if you don't know what you are doing you can make huge mistakes. Let the chemicals do the work. I use jomax most of the time let it sit there about 15 minutes and rinse it off with the water hose wallllla your done. Instead guys pressure wash to close, get the water behind the siding, ect.
 
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