Over time, exterior brick and mortar walls can become dirty with dust, smoke,
mildew, algae, bird droppings, mud, etc. Pressure
washing is an excellent way to clean them!
Also, if you'd like to sell your home, pressure washing is an excellent, easy and cheap way to increase the curb appeal of your home and yard!
Here are some professional tips to keep in mind:
Before you begin pressure washing, examine your walls to check for outdoor light fixtures, electrical outlets, jacks, etc.
You might want to remove the lighting fixtures, if possible, but you definitely want to make sure the remaining objects are protected and sealed from water!
Also, I like to cover nearby plants and shrubs, just in case.
Needless to say, cracks must be repaired before the wall can be pressure washed.
MY TIP: It sounds very obvious, but please take an extra minute to make sure all of your nearby windows are tightly closed. Trust me,
it's more than worth it to double-check this! Having a window open just a crack can allow for a huge amount of indoor water
For safety's sake, always wear goggles and never pressure wash while standing on
Use that will enable you to reach high, while still standing safely on the ground. Always keep in mind.
And there are some amazing, time-saving flat surface cleaners that are ideal for vertical surfaces. One is shown on the photo above.
There are some excellent detergents or chemicals on the market to help us
homeowners clean walls. I've really found that these detergents greatly cut down
on the time it will take for you to clean - and you'll achieve better
results. Just make sure you use detergents &
chemicals that say they can be used with pressure washers. Never use home-made recipes or bleach!
Make sure you use your low-pressure (black) nozzle to apply your detergent.
And that you allow the fluid to sit on the dirty surface for a few minutes.
Detergents need time to work - follow the label's directions
for your very best result.
Always begin power washing your vertical surfaces by holding your white nozzle 3-4 feet away from the dirty surface. Then slowly move the nozzle closer, IF needed.
Change from the white nozzle, to a more powerful nozzle, only if necessary. Pressure washers are so powerful that they can easily damage - so proceed slowly and carefully.
As I always say, a little practice makes perfect, but here's a general guideline for brick and mortar walls:
Your Washer's PSI Rating and Closest Nozzle Distance from Surface:
2,000 to 3,000 PSI --- 12" to 24"
3,000+ PSI --- 18" to 30"
Also, vertical surfaces are washed efficiently by working from top to bottom, spraying horizontally in 3-4 foot widths.
MY TIP: If your wall is made of old, historic or handmade bricks, I would use caution. Because of their age, the blocks can be very porous and soft, and they can be easily damaged by the force of the pressurized water. Also, very old mortar can crack or become dislodged. I would get a professional opinion first, before trying to pressure wash.
If you'd like to read my important Pressure Washer FAQ's and Troubleshooting Tips, click here.