You may not have noticed, but a lot of dirt can accumulate on the patio in your back garden. It may also be in plain sight on your driveway or even your deck. If you’ve never pressure washed any of these surfaces, it may be time to do so before you put your home on the market. We’ve talked extensively about the outside appeal of a home, and if a potential buyer schedules a showing and notices the dirt and grime on these surfaces, their eventual bid could be a lot lower, but how do you safely pressure wash? This guide can help.
The Patio and Driveway
Before you get started, make sure you move any garden furniture, plants, or other decorative items off the surface of your patio and driveway. If you have any spills like oil or grease, you’ll want to use something to soak it up like cat litter. Once the stain has been removed, be sure to sweep it up. Add detergent to the right chamber on your pressure washer, then begin spraying. You’ll want to point the stream of water downward toward the patio or driveway, then use broad, sweeping motions with the wand across the surface. If you have a water broom attachment, this is the place to use it. In areas where you see serious dirt and grime buildup, you may have to make several passes in that area. Be sure to direct the nozzle into the cracks and crevices to help clean them.
Mishandling a pressure washer on your patio or driveway means the job takes longer. Mishandling it on your deck, though, could actually damage it and hurt you in the process. The first step is to remove any furniture, children’s toys, or even loose debris from the deck area. Add detergent to your pressure washer, then apply the detergent water mixture to your entire deck with long strokes that overlap each other. Stop pressure washing once you’ve covered the entire area, and use a scrub brush to work across space. Make sure you don’t let it dry on your deck, though. Then, using a wide spray nozzle, begin spraying the deck with pure water, moving with the grain of the wood. Don’t get any closer than about half a metre. Once the deck dries, you may want to add a protective stain to keep it clean while potential buyers look at your home!