Regularly power washing your home's siding will keep it looking clean while also extending its longevity by removing contaminants that may degrade it over time. If you have a pressure washer and are comfortable using it, this is a project you can tackle yourself in the span of an afternoon. However, you'll want to keep these tips in mind throughout the endeavor.
Stand on a stable surface.
The power washer will "push" backwards. If you're not standing in a balanced manner, this could push you backward, leading to injuries. Try to avoid power washing on a ladder or from the edge of stairs if possible. If there are areas that you can't reach from the ground, have someone hold the ladder for you, and be sure to hold on with one hand while washing with the other.
Use only detergents designed for your siding.
If you have aluminum siding, use a detergent intended for aluminum. For vinyl, use a detergent designed for vinyl. Using the wrong detergent can cause excess wear and tear to your siding, negating the point of power washing in the first place.
Spray on low pressure.
More powerful pressure washers typically have several settings. For the purposes of cleaning your siding, it's best to start with the lowest pressure setting. You're less likely to cause older vinyl to crack this way, plus it will be safer for you, since there's less push-back from the washer. If you have a pressure washer with one setting, don't worry—usually, that setting is a lower one suitable for projects like this.
Keep electrical connections dry.
Pay attention to where your pressure washer is plugged in. You don't want to get the electrical connections wet and risk a shock. If you have an outdoor outlet, do not pressure wash directly over that outlet while the unit is plugged into it. You'll need to plug the pressure washer in elsewhere when you wash that section.
Wear eye protection.
Even if you're very careful, there's always a chance the water will hit an uneven surface and bounce back at you. Water traveling that quickly can cause an eye injury, so wear goggles while you're pressure washing.
If you have any concerns about the safety of pressure washing your home, consider hiring a service such as Nothing But Clean Window Cleaning to do it for you. Oftentimes, companies that offer power washing also offer services like gutter cleaning, so you may be able to get everything done at once.