Proper and thorough preparation is the key to good house painting in Danville, whether you are doing interior or exterior painting. But unlike prepping the interior walls, prepping exterior walls requires more effort since the siding is the first line of defense in protecting your home. It takes a lot of beating from natural elements like dust, dirt, soot, moisture, rust, wind, and sunlight.
It doesn't hurt if you regularly maintain the condition of your home's siding; in fact it can help quite a bit. Maintaining it ensures that the siding will serve its purpose of beautifying and protecting your house. Washing the siding is indeed imperative for a good painting job later on -- there is no alternative or shortcut for this.
There are two ways of washing and cleaning the siding: hand washing and power washing. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Hand washing - You need several things if you decide to wash the siding by hand: a bucket of water, TSP (trisodium phosphate), a brush, and a clean rag. You may also even need a detergent and/or bleach to clean mold and mildew which thrive on the siding. You may also use a hose for quicker rinsing and possibly a ladder.
Hand washing is more effective and thorough compared to power washing. It also offers the opportunity to check and inspect for any stubborn dirt, mold and mildew, and damage on the surface, as well as to repair them. You should have plenty of time to devote to this task if you want total adhesion of paint to the siding.
If there are advantages, there are also disadvantages of cleaning the siding manually. It is too laborious and it also takes a lot of time so it may not be the best option for those who want a quick cleaning job. Plus, hand washing is also potentially risky as it may involve climbing ladders to reach the higher or more inaccessible areas of the house.
Power washing - This method requires fewer tools compared to hand washing. All you need is the power washer or pressure washer, a powerful mechanical sprayer used to get rid of dirt, dust, soot, grime, mud, etc. from the surface. You may buy the power washer or rent it.
One of the great things about using a power washer is that you can get the job done in less time. It also eliminates the need of climbing ladders as the high-powered sprayer can reach the higher parts of the house.
However, do not expect thorough cleaning with this method. You may still find leftover dust and dirt on the siding as it dries. And if you're not careful with using the power washer, you may cause damage to the siding and even break a window or two. Make sure that you use the power washer at the appropriate pressure levels to avoid such damage. And of course, do not power spray the windows directly (even if you are tempted to clean them too, perhaps to save more time and effort).
If time is important to you and you want to get the job done quickly or if the painting season is about to end and you want to do it sooner than later, then power washing is the more feasible option.
There is no right or wrong way to clean the siding -- it is up to you whether you choose hand washing or power washing. Both of them have benefits, but both of them also have potential risks so it is best to use either method with care.
Whichever method you choose for cleaning the exterior surface of your home, it is important to do it properly to ensure a good finish when you begin house painting in Danville.