Is Pressure Washing Vinyl Siding Safe?

The short answer to the question is a resounding “YES!”, but it does come with some strings attached. Pressure washing vinyl siding can be a safe way to clean your home and adds years to the lifespan of your walls’ exterior surfaces, or it can be a fast-track to siding damage – it all depends on who is behind the washer.

The learning curve for pressure washers isn’t friendly, and amateur attempts practiced on your vinyl siding could cause some very ugly scarring. However, finding qualified pressure washing professionals can be more challenging than it sounds. In this era of unregulated online classified listings, anybody with a department store brand pressure washer can throw an ad up proclaiming that they are experts. Since you are ultimately putting your house in the hands of strangers, you need to make sure that you are dealing with trusted and highly-trained professionals. For this reason, we recommend turning to established franchises like Window Genie; with decades of experience under our belts, and the best tools dangling from them, you can be sure that your home will look its best and have its lifespan increased rather than diminished! 

Vinyl Siding on a House with Water on it

If, however, you decide to take the DIY route, we can help there too. The following tips will help you stay safe and save money when pressure washing vinyl siding on your own:

         First the right equipment. You can find pressure washers in many different places. Big-box department stores carry cheap models, while hardware stores typically have higher quality versions available. Garage sales, rental shops, and family equipment loans are the most common way that people get their hands on their first pressure washer, and that can be a problem. Outdated or unregulated models could pose a safety hazard both to you and your vinyl siding. Try to find models with modern safety features such as: quick-release triggers, warning labels, ground-fault circuit interrupters, temperature control switches, unloader valves, back-flow protection, rupture disks, and thermal overload motor protection. If your model lacks any of these, look elsewhere!

         Do your homework. Make sure to read all relevant safety manuals from the manufacturer before you start pressure washing vinyl siding. This will help reduce the time it takes to learn how to use your equipment, and familiarize you with all safety processes.

         Mind electrical hazards. Ensure that electric pressure washers are properly connected and grounded at all times. Also beware of shock hazards around the house, and make sure that you are wearing rubber-soled shoes for extra protection.

         Follow fundamental rules for safe use. Regardless of the model you are using, some safety rules remain constant. Don’t operate pressure washers indoors. Never point the washer at people or animals. Wear eye protection at all times to guard against any dirt or contaminants dislodged by the jet of water. Wear hearing protection. Maintain your pressure washer regularly to avoid any serious equipment failures. Follow all appropriate instructions that come with the cleaning detergent you have chosen.

         Use the right techniques. It is difficult to prescribe any single techniques because of the huge variance between pressure washer models, but there are some general guidelines that we can share. Always start with a wider fan pattern, and keep the nozzle moving. Always hold it at the distance recommended in your user manual. Avoid blasting directly into corners, beneath the lip of a window, or into dryer and attic vents.

Want more details about pressure washing vinyl siding? Visit our pressure washing page to learn more, or to schedule your professional appointment today.

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2 thoughts on “Is Pressure Washing Vinyl Siding Safe?”

  1. Thanks for helping me understand that it would be best to read the manufacturer’s manual to ensure that we clean it safely with a pressure washer. With that in mind, I will make sure to ask the contractors who will install the sidings in our home to give me a copy of the manual. This will be very useful since we will be replacing the old ones. It has been there for thirty years as per the previous owner of this house.

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