Is it OK to power wash wood siding?

Author: Austen Ferry  |  Last update: Saturday, July 2, 2022

Cleaning wood siding
A high-pressure power washer can dent metal, and on wood, it can force water under the surface, which can damage a piece of wood siding. It can also damage whatever is under the wood siding and potentially cause mold.

What is the best way to clean wood siding?

Clean wood siding with a garden hose

When using a garden hose, it is recommended to use a solution of water and cleaner, which is often a mild detergent, and scrub the siding with a sponge, cloth or a soft-bristled brush. Be careful not to push too hard with a brush as this can damage the siding.

Does pressure washing damage wood?

Wooden decks are highly vulnerable to severe damages when you subject them to power washing. The pressure that the pressure washer exerts on the deck surface leads to splintering. This problem mainly occurs when there is a section on your deck where the woods show the signs of split apart.

Does Powerwashing damage siding?

A pressure washer can quickly ruin vinyl siding by cracking it with the high-pressure stream of water, so it's necessary to know which pressure-level and nozzle to use. Starting low and gently working your way up is the safest bet.

How can I power wash my wood without damaging it?

Power pressure washers are great for outdoor cleaning, but if not used properly they can damage wood and other surfaces.
To prevent pressure washer damage:
  1. Use a pressure washer rated at 3,000 PSI or less.
  2. Choose a wide angle spray tip (40 degrees).
  3. Keep wand tip a consistent 12” – 16” from the surface.

House Wash with Wood Siding

Should you power wash wood?

Ideally, power washing a wood deck will not ruin the wood and etch or erode the softwood fibers. However, when wood gets wet, the fibers may become raised, creating a rough surface. This is a particular problem on handrails, where the raised fibers can lead to splinters. Make sure the wood is dry before sanding.

How do you power wash wood siding?

Wash the siding area with the pressure washer. Insert the detergent tip, which is often black, into the pressure washer wand and apply detergent as needed. Rinse the siding using the pressure washer and clean water as a final step. Use a soft bristled brush attached to an extension pole to clean heavily soiled areas.

Is power washing good for your house?

No matter the surface, power washing your home is the best way to get rid of mold, mildew and stains on your home's siding, driveway, deck, and fencing. A fresh look is a great way to feel pride in your home and is a way to contribute to your neighborhood's community.

How much damage can a pressure washer do?

As I discussed, they have the ability to go up to 40,000 PSI, which can punch a hole straight through structural steel. Any physical contact with these pressure washers can immediately sever a limb or damage an organ, depending on where the point of contact is.

Does pressure washing damage house paint?

For power washing a painted finish or siding, we recommend using a nozzle of 15 or 25 degrees – marked yellow or green, respectively – for a powerful stream that won't cause damage if used correctly.

Can you pressure wash pressure treated wood?

Decks made from South American hardwoods, such as ipe, cumaru, and tigerwood, will hold up to a power wash just fine. Those made of pressure-treated wood—typically Southern yellow pine, a soft wood— are generally okay, too, assuming you don't hold the nozzle too close.

What is the difference between pressure washing and power washing?

The main difference with power washing vs. pressure washing is the heat. The jet wash in a power washing machine uses heated water, whereas the water in a pressure washer is not heated.

Why you should not pressure wash your deck?

If you have timber deck boards, a power washer's pressure may cause splintering and damage to the timber fibers. If the timber surface already has some splintering, pressure washing will only exacerbate the issue.

Should you power wash cedar siding?

Can you pressure wash cedar siding? Yes, you can pressure wash cedar siding by using a low PSI pressure washer or adjusting a pressure washer to its lowest PSI setting. This protects the cedar from being damaged from too high of pressure because it is softwood.

How do you get green algae off wood siding?

  1. Obtain a 1-1.5 gallon hand sprayer.
  2. Mix in the sprayer 25% solution of bleach with water. ...
  3. Drench the siding where algae, mold, and/or mildew is present and let solution sit for 20 minutes or so and rinse off with a garden hose.

How do you remove mold from wood siding?

Similar to the process for cleaning mold off siding, cleaning mildew off siding is simple. Use a solution of 75% water to 25% white vinegar and apply with a sponge to the areas with mildew. Rinse clean with a low-pressure garden hose.

What happens if you pressure wash yourself?

The strong spray from a pressure washer can cause serious wounds that might first appear minor. Wounds that appear minor can cause a person to delay treatment, increasing risk for infection, disability or amputation.

What should you not do with a pressure washer?

Never pressure wash humans, pets, or plants. The force of water coming from a pressure washer can cause physical harm — even penetrate skin—and will most certainly destroy your plants. When you pressure wash appropriate surfaces, always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from debris.

What PSI will break skin?

In order to breach the human skin the ejection pressure has to be at least 100 pounds per square inch (psi)8 while most high-pressure guns and injectors reach pressures of 2000 to 12000 psi3. The puncture wound is small, inconsiderable and not distinct.

Can you pressure wash wood furniture?

DON'T use a pressure washer.

Save this powerful cleaning tool for your deck. Power washing can do more harm than good to patio furniture, since the force of the water can strip the finish (particularly on wood). In most cases, a garden hose and a little elbow grease is all you need.

Can you power wash wood shingles?

This should remove mildew and algae and reveal that buff tan color. You can scrub off any persistent dirt or grit with a nylon bristle brush. Non-professionals should not pressure wash shingles. High pressure can remove wood fibers and drastically shorten the life of the shingles.

What is the best time of year to pressure wash your house?

In general, houses should be power washed at least once a year any time between March and November. As it gets later in a calendar year, you'll want to make sure your home is taken care of before the freezing temperatures and winter weather arrive.

Can you soft wash wood siding?

Dirt and other organic material can stain home siding. The mold, mildew and moss can even cause permanent damage to the paint and surface of your siding, possibly threatening its structural integrity. At CHS Clean, we use the proven soft pressure washing technique to effectively clean home exteriors.

How do you clean wood outside?

Scrub the wood down using soapy water or a combination of detergent, bleach, and water to clean the wood. Always remember to protect yourself with proper safety equipment from the fumes of the cleaner and any mold spores. If the wood isn't cleaned the first time, don't be afraid to restart the process.

Can you pressure wash black mold off wood?

Pressure washing will easily power away all the mold spores along with any debris/dirt that hides on your deck. However, too much pressure may damage the surface, leaving it fuzzy. Just stick to the directions that come with the device and you'll soon find your deck cleaner than it's been in years.

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