First house wash on tuesday

so i landed my first house washing gig on tuesday…
im hoping i dont wreck the house with this 4000psi monster:o
anything i should look out for? the house is stucco with some painted wood siding on the front. its not in bad shape so i wont be using any chemical. just rinsing with the pw i guess.

We do not clean much Stucco here. I would idle down and start with low pressure to begin the job though.

Trevor, you took the post right off my keyboard! I have a customer who needs her dryvit siding done and wants to know if I know the right pressure to use and if I’ve PW’ed that type before. I haven’t but need to convince her that I know what I’m doing to even have her consider me. I already am set up for downstreaming, but would also like to know what the limits are and what chemicals if any to use. It’s super dirty, being on a busy U.S. highway.

With siding cleaning, I mostly do a handscrub (brush on a pole) with a mild dishsoap in my water. I’ve powersprayed the sides of a local Walgreens before and noticed the Stucco wanted to chip off in chunks, so be carefull! I reccommend starting small, and if it doesn’t work try handscrubbing (you might have to charge more but it isn’t that hard, I promise:)

Stucco or EIFS (Dryvit is a brand name) are the kinds of siding that really need softwashing. To much pressure can break seals around windows and doors or worse yet crack the surface causing it to break loose from the substrate which will lead to sections coming off in the next freeze thaw cycle.

I thought using the right tip is key. Didn’t Thad post that these engines don’t like being idled down?

Only done a few stucco cleanings.

Used less than 500 psi
Used a non-bleach cleaning agent (sprayed bottom to top) and of course test the cleaning agent in small spot first

Contact Micah or look up his old treads about house wash.

I would agree using the right tip is important, however a white tip at 40 degrees can still do damage with too much power up close. I have never had a problem idling down our direct drive machine when I felt it necessary.

I gathered from the thread: [B][I]Average times for soft washing stucco?[/I][/B] that 3 gallons 12.5, 2 gallons water, and simple cherry is about right for stucco. And from [B][I]Dangers of Sodium Hypochlorite?[/I][/B] that 100 psi or for a 4GPM unit a 10GPM 40 degree nozzle is safe. Can someone reconfirm this?

I definately agree with that housewash mix, I personally dont think its possible to do a soft wash without some chemical, and do a great job as far as tips go I typically use 4 different ones a 00 degree 40 orifice for soap high a 25 degree 40 orifice soap low 00degree 10 orifice rinse high and a 25 degree 10 orifice rinse low

I have washed a lot of stucco over the years and you do NOT want to rely on pressure. Yes use bleach. It should take anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute to start killing any mildew. Simple cherry mixed with it will help. On stucco you want the chemical to do the work NOT the pressure. Use a 25 or a 40 degree tip to rinse. Just keep the plants and landscaping wet and you should be ok

funny, will you be soft washing it? im still skeptical about spraying chems all over a house…

so basically when soft washing i would focus on one side of the house at a time and…

spray all wood surfaces and vegetation down with water
run back to the truck and put my down streaming injector in the house wash mix bucket
run back to apply the bleach to the stucco
run back to the truck to pull the injector out of the bucket
then wait a minute or two and rinse everything throughly

is this the correct process?

Or you can leave the downstream in the mix and just switch tips. Without using chemicals all you’re doing is wetting the house., kinda like taking a bath with no soap. Doesn’t do much good

yes, soft washing. It’s actually a commercial bldg. I responded to her tonight and hopefully allayed her fears enough to give me the go-ahead.
Google Maps

If you use the right tips you don’t have to keep pulling hose out. I truely believe you can’t properly clean a house without chemical

Hey Dan,

I don’t do pressure cleaning but I do know that Dryvit is some pretty touchie stuff ! It isn’t concrete based like Stucco. Dryvit is a different type of material then stucco sort of like fiberglass, and you need to be very careful with pressure washing it. Here are couple pages from a site I found !

Dryvit Systems Inc - Dryvitcare

Dryvit Sytems Inc - Cleaning & Recoating DS152

Dryvit - Home - EIFS - Insulated Cladding Systems


Thanks Dange. I looked up the links. Dryvit company says to mostly avoid using acid when cleaning, except in extreme cases of mold or mildew. Just about everyone here is saying 12.5% SH is the way to go. I’m not sure what the ph is when downstreamed, but I’d be worried about repercussions if something different goes wrong and somehow the finger is pointed at me because I didn’t follow manufacturer’s directions.

Bleach is a Ph of 12 before downstream I have never thought of bleach as acid but I could be wrong. But one thing I know if you are going to softwash u need chemical to do the job correct. The hardest part of pressure washing is knowing what chemical to use on each surface.