Attention, homeowners: If you haven’t added power washing to your home maintenance checklist, you probably should. Power washing, also called pressure washing, involves the use of a high-pressure water spray to clean a surface—and you’ll be amazed by what this nifty technique can accomplish when applied to the filthy exterior of a home. (Spoiler: The outside of your house is way dirtier than you realize.) In fact, routine power washing is widely recommended by home maintenance experts, and it can even increase the value of your property. So how often should you power wash your house, exactly? The short answer is at least once a year—but there’s much more to know, so read on for the full scoop.
How Often Should You Power Wash Your House?
In general, it’s a good idea to power wash your home one to two times per year as a part of your routine maintenance regimen. Still, there’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to how often you should get ‘er done—namely because there are a variety of factors, including climate and pollution level, that determine how quickly any particular house gets dirty.
For this reason, Hubert Miles, the professional home inspector behind houseinspectioninsider.com recommends simply assessing the accumulation of dirt on your home by running a finger along the siding: “If there is enough dirt to fill your fingertips in a one-second stride, then it is time to set up an appointment with your professional pressure washer cleaner.” Or bust out your personal equipment if you have it and really know what you’re doing. (More on that later.)
Finally, it’s worth noting that the best time to power wash a home is when the weather is warm and sunny, as those are the conditions that encourage speedy drying—so be sure to keep the forecast in mind when you’re scheduling your appointment.
Is Power Washing a House Worth It?
If you’re asking this question, there’s a good chance you have never watched a power washing demonstration on YouTube. We suggest you see for yourself because the results are remarkable and oh-so rewarding to witness in real time. Long story short: Yes, power washing is totally worth it. After all, almost everything requires a proper cleaning from time to time and the exterior of your home, which is constantly exposed to the elements, is no exception.
Power washing will leave your home looking brand new—and it can even have benefits for your health because it effectively removes mold and mildew that can trigger allergies and exacerbate existing health conditions like asthma. It’s also a great idea to give your home a good power wash if you plan on selling or repainting it since a sparkling clean property attracts more buyers and paint sticks better to clean surfaces.
That said, power washing is only worth it when it’s done right. In fact, the pressurized water is powerful enough to damage siding, strip paint and remove mortar from brick buildings—and those are just a few of the problems you might encounter when an unqualified person is put in charge of the job. As such, it’s wise to test your DIY talent on a different home improvement project and hire an experienced professional to do the power washing.
How Much Does Power Washing Cost?
The price of a professional power washing will depend on the size and condition of the home, as well as where you live. Pricing can be done by the hour, at a flat rate or per square foot. For the latter, you can expect to pay anywhere between $0.08 and $0.35 per square foot, but extremely dirty or stained exteriors can cost more than twice that. Bottom line: It’s hard to say what the total cost will be, so make sure you get an accurate quote from the person you plan to hire before you proceed.