How Often Should a House Be Pressure Washed?

By using a high-powered stream of water, pressure washing strips your home's exterior of dirt, dust, and grime and gives your home a brand new look. However, most people don't know how often a house should be pressure washed.

The simplest way to know when to pressure wash your house is to run your finger along the siding to determine the amount of dirt present. If there is enough dirt to fill your fingertips in a 1-second stride, then it is time to set up an appointment with your professional pressure washer cleaner. 

That's just the tip of the iceberg! I'll be giving you an extensive guide about pressure washing your house, so keep reading.

How Much Does It Cost To Pressure Wash A House?

The cost of pressure washing per square foot amounts to anywhere between $0.08 and $0.35 in the United States. Of course, the actual figure will depend on where you live. Pricing strategies for pressure washing are determined by the square foot, per hour, or a flat rate. 

It's common to see pressure washers charging customers using the square foot. 

You may also be charged between $0.40 to $0.80 per square foot if there are challenging stains, dirt, or mold. If the pricing strategy of your pressure washer is on an hourly basis, you could be charged between $60 to $100 an hour.

A driveway or sidewalk would take about an hour ($60 to $100), a roof could take between two to three hours ($120 to $300), while decks, patios, and porches could take between about one to two hours ($60 to $200).

How Often Should You Clean the Exterior of Your House?

If you own pressure washing equipment, the manufacturer may recommend that you have a fixed schedule on when to pressure wash your house, which could be yearly or bi-yearly.

The rate at which your house gets dirty will depend on a few factors. Such factors include:

  • the weather you're having
  • the type of climate in your area
  • pollution in your area
  • the type and condition of the exterior siding.

In addition, you'll have to consider the paint condition, type and make of sidings installed, and even the type of roofing you have.

Modern paint, roofing, and siding will resist mold, dirt, and algae better since they are specifically designed to withstand the elements and protect your house. Having these means you won't need to pressure wash your home frequently.

So how do you know when your house needs to be pressure washed? Like I said earlier, the most straightforward answer on how often you should pressure wash your home is when it needs it. But, I have a more detailed answer below:

How To Tell If Your House Needs Pressure Washing

1. In areas where the temperature is high, you will most likely need to pressure wash your house every few months (especially during dry periods). You have to consider your area's climate, like temperature, humidity, and local flora play a large part in how dirty your home will get. 

2. You may need to pressure wash more often if you live near an area that gets moderate to high vehicle traffic or a dirt road. Pollution is another factor that will determine how quickly your house will get dirty. 

3. You should pressure wash your house when you plan to sell it. It'll look more presentable and can even get you a better offer.

4. It's a good idea to pressure wash your home when you have exterior projects planned. Paints adhere better to dry and clean surfaces which you can obtain from pressure washing.

5. Some conditions require you to pressure wash your house regularly. If you have asthma or other respiratory illnesses, you can't let mold and mildew grow unchecked as the spores they produce may be dangerous for you. 

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When is the best time to pressure wash your home?

In most cases, the best time to pressure wash your house is on a warm and sunny day. This will allow the sun to dry your house thoroughly. However, it would help if you also considered pressure washing your house after the season changes. This enables you to strip away any leftover dirt and debris and thus ready your home for the next season of living.

How Long Does Pressure Washing Take?

Pressure washing a house can take anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours. One also has to consider an additional 15 to 30 minutes used to set up and pack the necessary equipment.

Pressure washing is done in two parts: The first involves applying the cleaning liquids. The second part involves rinsing (pressure washing) the exterior. 

You'll have to wait for some time after applying the cleaning liquid before rinsing to ensure that you will thoroughly remove dirt and mold.

The most crucial factor that determines how long pressure washing your house will take is the size. 

Small houses (1200-1500 square feet) can be pressure washed in about 30 minutes, while larger houses may require 2-3 hours to complete the process. Of course, the experience of the personnel, their numbers, and type of equipment also play a role. 

Below are typical times to pressure wash a house:

1200-2000 sq/ft1 story Home30-45mins
2000-2500 sq/ft1 story Home45-60 mins
2500-3500 sq/ft2 story Home1hr-1hr15mins
3500-5000 sq/ft2 story Home1hr15mins-2hrs

Is Pressure Washing Good For Your House?

Pressure washing is good for your house if done correctly. Pressure washing will remove grime, unsightly stains, and bird droppings from your house. This makes your house sparkling clean and increases its appeal. And if you intend to sell your house, pressure washing can help you increase the value of your home.

I've heard people complain about the dangers of pressure washing houses. But the truth is that pressure washing your house is safe if it is done by a professional.

The real danger is when an unqualified personnel pressure washes your house. In inexperienced hands, pressure washing can destroy window screens which will cause leaks in window seals. Also, pressure washing may remove your paint. This will be a problem if you intend to clean your house. Now, you'll have to think about repainting.

Pressure washing can even damage the siding or even knock it loose if done incorrectly. In addition, a pressure washer can blast away the mortar on brick houses if the personnel doesn't know what they are doing. Sometimes, you may end up with soggy carpets, wet attics, and mold.

Now, you can see how important it is to get a professional when you want to pressure wash your house. In the hands of a professional, pressure washing has several benefits, which we will discuss below.

If done by a professional, who will keep your home in tip-top shape, and potential future problems will be dealt with. For example, pressure washing solves the multiple problems that can be caused by mold and mildew.

Mold and mildew, when left unchecked, can penetrate the walls of your house and can even affect your interior decoration. And should mold and mildew makes the jump inside, the spores they produce can be quite dangerous to anyone with asthma or other respiratory illnesses. 

Also, pressure washing comes in handy when you intend to repaint your home. The existing paint could be removed by pressure painting, and the surface will dry and clean after the process. This makes repainting easy and properly done.

At low pressure, you can also pressure wash decks, railings at low, wood, and vinyl fences. Pressure washing at medium pressure is good for asphalt, while high pressure is best for concrete driveways, metal patio furniture, and stone.

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Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started HomeInspectionInsider.com to help people better understand the home inspection process and answer questions about homeownership and home maintenance.

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