Is Power Washing Bad for Your House? [Guide for Homeowners]

July 13, 2023

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House pressure washing is a topic that has different opinions. Some people think it can be bad for a house, while others believe it is a good cleaning method. It’s important to consider different factors and understand both sides of the argument before making a decision.

There are some people who believe house pressure washing is bad because it has the propensity to cause damage. Those in this camp claim that too much pressure can result in paint stripping, nicks on siding, or cause water to penetrate through small gaps. They also worry that low-pressure washing can also cause issues such as landscape damage. Then, there’s the concern over harming delicate materials like wood and vinyl.

But there are also folks who feel pressure washing a home is good when done right. Many say it can remove dirt, grime, mold, and stains. Removing those substances boost the house’s curb appeal. It’s also a faster and more efficient way to clean compared to other methods. Those who have previously pressure-washed their homes agree that it helps keep surfaces in good shape and prolongs the life of building materials.

Whether house pressure washing is bad or not is a complicated question. It’s important to think about the risks and benefits and to use the right technique and equipment. By considering both sides of the argument, homeowners can make informed decisions and keep their houses looking nice and lasting longer.

When you look at your house and you see dirt and grime on the walls, your mind might jump to the idea of using a power washer. After all, power washing seems like a quick and easy solution to clean things up. It’s like giving your house a big, powerful shower!

But have you ever stopped to think: Is power washing bad for your house? The short answer is no.

Pressure washing is not bad for your house when it’s completed by a seasoned professional. The dangers of pressure washing arise when homeowners attempt to DIY the project themselves and end up using the wrong settings and PSI. 


is power washing bad for your house

What is House Power Washing?

House pressure washing, also known as power washing, is a cleaning method that uses a high-pressure water spray to remove grit, grime, mold, and loose paint from a house’s exterior surfaces. It involves a machine that boosts the water pressure significantly higher than your regular garden hose. In fact, the pressure can be up to 50 times stronger than the air pressure at sea level.

Components and Features

A typical pressure washer has the following components:

  • A motor or engine: This can be electric or gas-powered and generates the force to create high water pressure.
  • A water pump: This component sucks water from a faucet or tank and pushes it out at high speed.
  • A high-pressure hose: This specially designed hose can handle the pressure of the water without bursting.
  • A cleaning attachment: This could be a trigger gun or a wand with a nozzle at the end to direct the water where you want to clean.

The Power of Pressure Washing

Pressure washing is not only efficient but also environmentally friendly because it uses less water compared to the regular hose and often doesn’t need chemicals to clean effectively. By adjusting the pressure, the water spray can tackle various types of dirt and surfaces. Light dirt and cobwebs may require lower pressure, while hardened grime, mold, or loose paint may need higher pressure.

The Variety in Using a Pressure Washer

Depending on the model of the pressure washer, you can:

  • Adjust the pressure to suit different surfaces such as vinyl siding, brick, wood, or stucco.
  • Change the spray pattern by adjusting the nozzle. This could be a wide fan for large areas or a narrow stream for more focused cleaning.
  • Use detergent for more challenging dirt or stains. Some models have built-in compartments for detergent that mixes into the water spray.

*Please be sure to use pressure washer safety if operating yourself.

power wash house

Is Power Washing Bad for Your House?

Now, to the main question: Is power washing bad for your house? The short answer is it can be. When used incorrectly, power washing can cause damage. Imagine trying to wash a delicate porcelain dish with the force of a fire hose. It might clean the dish, but there’s a good chance it will also break it.

The Dangers of Power Washing

So, what are the specific dangers of power washing a house? What should you not pressure wash? Those are  great questions that we’re going to answer below:

  • Water intrusion: High-pressure water can penetrate through cracks, gaps, or compromised seals in windows, doors, or siding. This can lead to water intrusion and potential damage to the interior of your house, including walls, insulation, and electrical components.
  • Damage to siding and paint: Excessive pressure or improper technique can strip off paint, chip away siding materials (such as wood or vinyl), or cause the siding to warp or become loose. This can leave your house vulnerable to moisture, pests, and other elements.
  • Window and door damage: If the pressure washer nozzle is directed at the wrong angle or too close to windows or doors, it can crack or break the glass, dislodge seals, or damage frames.
  • Roof damage: Did you know that using highly pressurized water on a roof can cause shingles to break and even fall off? The same holds true for tiles. It’s important to use the right power washing equipment on your roofing system to avoid causing damage like cracks and leaks.
  • Surface erosion: Certain surfaces, like delicate wood, older masonry, or soft stone, may be more prone to erosion or damage from high-pressure water. The force can strip away protective layers, expose underlying layers, or wear away the surface material.
  • Damage to landscaping: One of the most disheartening things that can happen during pressure washing is the destruction of the surrounding landscape. You need to be mindful of just how forceful the water is and that it can easily take out plants, flowers, and vegetable gardens. Not to mention erode soil and uproot small trees.

The Safe Way to Pressure Wash

Okay, we’ve covered a lot of scary stuff. But don’t worry; power washing isn’t all bad. It can be a great way to clean your house, as long as it’s done correctly.

  • Use the appropriate pressure setting: Adjust the pressure washer to a suitable level for the surface you are cleaning. Different materials require different pressures.
  • Maintain a safe distance: Keep a reasonable distance between the pressure washer nozzle and the surface being cleaned. Start from a greater distance and gradually move closer to find the appropriate distance that effectively cleanses without causing damage.
  • Use the correct nozzle: Different nozzle types create different spray patterns and pressures. Choose the nozzle that suits the task and surface to avoid excessive pressure.
  • Protect vulnerable areas: Cover electrical outlets, fixtures, and delicate surfaces that may be prone to damage or water intrusion. Close windows and doors, and use plastic or waterproof materials to shield vulnerable areas.
  • Be cautious with roofs: Avoid pressure washing the roof unless you have experience or consult a professional. It can be challenging to control the force and direction of the water, increasing the risk of damage.

What About Soft Washing?

Soft washing is a method of house cleaning that utilizes low-pressure water along with specially formulated cleaning solutions. Compared to traditional pressure washing, soft washing offers several advantages when it comes to safety. Firstly, the low-pressure water used in soft washing minimizes the risk of damage to delicate surfaces such as siding, stucco, or painted surfaces. This gentle approach ensures that the integrity of these materials remains intact, reducing the chances of cracks, chips, or warping.

Secondly, soft washing incorporates the use of biodegradable and eco-friendly cleaning solutions. These solutions are specifically designed to remove dirt, mold, mildew, algae, and other stains effectively. The chemical agents used in soft washing are typically milder compared to the high-pressure water used in pressure washing. As a result, they are less likely to cause harm to plants, landscaping, or the surrounding environment.

Furthermore, soft washing helps in preventing water intrusion into your house. Since the water pressure is significantly lower, the risk of forcing water through gaps, cracks, or compromised seals is minimized. This is particularly important for vulnerable areas such as windows, doors, or roofing, where high-pressure water can potentially cause leaks, water damage, or even electrical hazards.

Lastly, soft washing promotes a safer working environment for both homeowners and professionals. The reduced pressure decreases the likelihood of injuries from accidental slips or falls caused by powerful recoil. Additionally, the use of specialized equipment and techniques in soft washing ensures that professionals can maintain a safe distance while effectively cleaning hard-to-reach areas of your house.

In summary, soft washing provides a safer alternative to traditional pressure washing for house cleaning. Its low-pressure approach minimizes the risk of damage to delicate surfaces, while the use of eco-friendly cleaning solutions reduces the impact on the environment. Soft washing also helps in preventing water intrusion and creates a safer working environment for professionals. If you’re looking for a safe and effective way to clean your house, soft washing is an excellent choice.


a pressure washer using high tech equipment

When in Doubt, Seek a Pro!

When it comes to pressure washing your house, hiring a professional can offer numerous benefits. First and foremost, professionals have the knowledge and experience to ensure the job is done correctly. They understand the appropriate pressure levels, techniques, and equipment required for each surface, whether it’s siding, decks, driveways, or roofs. With their expertise, they can effectively remove dirt, grime, mold, and other stains without causing damage.

Additionally, professional pressure washing services can save you valuable time and effort. Cleaning the exterior of your house can be a time-consuming and physically demanding task, especially if you lack the necessary tools and experience. By hiring professionals, you can free up your time to focus on other important tasks or simply relax and enjoy your day, knowing that experts are taking care of your house.

Another advantage of hiring professionals is the peace of mind they provide. They are equipped with the proper safety gear and take necessary precautions to protect themselves, your property, and its surroundings. They understand the potential risks associated with pressure washing, such as electrical hazards, water intrusion, or injury, and take steps to prevent accidents. This allows you to avoid any potential liabilities or damages that may arise from attempting the task yourself.

Lastly, professional pressure washing can enhance the overall appearance and value of your home. By removing built-up dirt, stains, and mold, your house will regain its original beauty and curb appeal. Whether you’re planning to sell your property or simply want to enjoy a cleaner and fresher-looking home, professional pressure washing can make a noticeable difference.

Hiring a professional for house pressure washing services brings several advantages. Their expertise ensures the job is done correctly and efficiently, saving you time and effort. Professionals also provide peace of mind by prioritizing safety and taking necessary precautions. Moreover, their services can significantly improve the appearance and value of your home. So, when it comes to pressure washing your house, considering professional assistance is a wise decision.

Wrapping Things Up

So, is power washing bad for your house? It can be if used incorrectly, but with the right knowledge and precautions, it can also be a powerful tool for maintaining the cleanliness and curb appeal of your home. Always remember to handle power washers with care and respect their strength.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to double-check with a professional if you’re unsure about power washing your house. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to taking care of your home!

About Largo Pressure Washing Services

Largo Pressure Washing Services is your one-stop shop for affordable, top-tier power washing. We offer a variety of exterior cleaning services for residential and commercial properties. Once we’re through, we guarantee your home will have better curb appeal. Please get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment. We’re one of the top pressure washing companies in Florida. You can reach us at (727) 758-2424.

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