Topics covered in this post:
1. Can you clean the 2nd floor level without a ladder?
2. What is the right nozzle to shoot the soap to the 2nd story of your house?
3. What is the best mold remover?
4. Is the cleaner safe to use on vinyl?
How to pressure wash the 2nd floor of your home without a ladder
There are a few things to keep in mind when using a pressure washer. Some people that are inexperienced believe extreme water pressure alone is the what it takes to get their vinyl clean. Trying to spray mold off of your house with high pressure is the wrong approach, and in fact the proper way to do this is with a low pressure nozzle and the right cleaning agent. The right way is to shoot powerful soap that is made exactly for this situation up to the mold that is out of reach with a low pressure nozzle. You get the soap up there and let it do the work. This is what the pro’s do. The detergent should be responsible for 90% of the cleaning, not the high pressure force. This detergent breaks the bond between any organic growth or dirt from the vinyl, allowing for a gentle low pressure rinse to remove the mold, dirt, and stain. Using this proven method the average residential home owner can pressure wash their home quick and easy just like a professional does. Let’s look at some of the pressure washing equipment you will need to pressure wash your vinyl siding using the contractors method.
What is needed to power wash your home’s 2nd floor and higher
1. You have to use the right nozzle to get soap to the 2nd floor
So you were able to shoot the soap on to the 1st story level of your house with the black nozzle right? So what do you use to shoot the soap higher than that to wash the 2nd story level of your house? You use either pink or blue nozzles, and I talk about them below. The other nozzles won’t work because they are high pressure nozzles and you must have a low pressure nozzle that can shoot far, like the black nozzle but with more distance, to activate the soap dispensing action in your pressure washer. When you switch between tips the pressure washer senses the pressure change. The black tip has a larger orifice and will let more water through causing a low pressure situation. The other 4 tips white, green, red, and yellow have small orifices causing a high pressure situation. The pump can tell when you put the low pressure black tip in and starts the soap flowing. When you change to one of the other 4 tips it senses high pressure and turns off the soap.
The key to turn on the soap on with a low pressure tip and shoot it to the 2nd floor is to buy a 0 (zero) degree tip that has a large enough orifice that it will cause a low pressure situation and tell the pump to turn the soap on. To clarify – the red tip you have has a zero degree hole in it that will shoot water up to the 2nd floor. Unfortunately it is a high pressure tip so the soap won’t turn on. If the hole was bigger the pressure would be low enough for the pump to start spraying your detergent or soap. So you need a nozzle like the red one that has a bigger zero degree hole.
The key to success
So you ask where do I find a low pressure zero degree tip that will shoot soap up to the 2nd floor level. The color for the tip you need is either blue or pink. This is the secret the professionals don’t want you to know. This is a link to Amazon.com where you can buy the tip you need to clean the mold and dirt off of the 2nd story level of your home.
2. Cleaning Detergents that will remove mold without scrubbing or high pressure
There are so many house wash cleaning products on the market today. I would stay away from what Home Depot and Lowe’s sells because they just don’t work. They are rather over priced and normally don’t yield the most professional results.
The best cleaners to use when pressure washing:
1. Zep Pressure Wash Soap (I swear by this soap)
2. Simple Green House and Siding Cleaner (My 2nd favorite)
3. 10% Bleach from the pool section at Walmart
Important note on using bleach: Do not mix anything with it besides water. I mix my bleach at a 1 to 6 ratio. One part bleach to six parts water. Most pressure washers with soap injectors say to not use bleach. I guess it tears the valve orings up. If you decide to use bleach and you don’t have a pressure washer with a soap injector or you don’t want to take a chance on tearing up your soap injector valve then a Downstream Pressure Washer Chemical Injector is the answer.
How to Apply The Soap
When looking for a pressure washer, you will need to make sure it has a chemical injector. Look for a pressure washer that comes with a chemical injector attached. Here is a basic rundown on how the injector works. The soap will go through the pressure washers pump when the soap nozzle (black nozzle) is installed on the wand and the trigger is squeezed. You can spray in the grass and see the soap start coming out. As mentioned earlier this nozzle has a larger orifice which drops the pressure. This drop in pressure opens up a valve on your injector thus allowing the soap to be pulled through the line.
The Pressure Washing Process
1. Make sure you pre-wet all plants, decks, windows, and anything else that is sensitive to your cleaning detergents. Make sure you are using a nozzle that is not black, blue, or pink when you prerinse the plants.
2. Once your work area is pre-wetted, start applying the soap using the black nozzle (soap) to the house. You don’t want to apply so much that you’re wasting detergent. Apply enough just so it all covers every part of the siding. It’s best to apply bottom to top, this way you can see exactly where you have applied the detergent.
3. Switch back to a white, green, or yellow nozzle, and rinse any plants, decks, or windows that have been sprayed with the detergent.
4. Wait 2-3 minutes. In warmer times of the year, you shouldn’t have to wait as long. Colder temperatures slow down the cleaning process.
5. Using a white, green, or yellow nozzle rinse the soap off of the siding. Start from the top and work your way downward. Remember if using a high pressure nozzle hold the sprayer level and rinse spraying directly at the siding the siding. Meaning, siding overlaps and you don’t want to force water behind the vinyl siding. Try not to spray up or the water might go under the siding and cause mold behind it. Low pressure nozzles are a different story. To rinse I would use the pink or blue nozzle on the 2nd story and black on the 1st. If you use high pressure to rinse (sometimes it’s necessary) you can purchase this pivoting coupler to reach higher and still spray level at the siding.
Important note: do not apply so much detergent that by the time you are rinsing it has dried on the home. You always want the detergent to be wet.
1. If the detergent is not wet, it is not working.
2. Bleach may etch glass if left dried for an extended period of time. Rinse the windows way more than you feel is necessary.
3. Continue this process 1 side at a time. By the time you have finished you should feel much more comfortable and be much more efficient next time around.
Do you need a good pressure washer?
This pressure washer has a Honda motor. I have one with a Honda motor and love it! It starts easily every time. It sprays at 3100 PSI and 2.5 GPM which is very good. If you want a higher flow above 2.5 gallons per minute you will have to invest more than what they are asking for this pressure washer. This gets you very close to 3 GPM for a very good price. It comes with a reservoir for your cleaning agent as well. It is a very good pressure washer and if you need to know more follow this link the read the Reviews on Amazon.com.