Pressure Wash With Perfection: Simple Tips And Natural Recipes To Clean Your Home's Fiber Cement Exterior

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From the initial purchase and buying furniture to cleaning and maintenance, it is easy to see the challenges of home ownership. Unfortunately, many homeowners place emphasis on the interior of their house, but forego maintenance on their home's exterior. This can be detrimental to their home's value and curb appeal. Thankfully, using a bit of knowledge and a pressure washer, your home's fiber cement exterior can be clean, attractive, and well maintained. Using this guide, you can pressure wash the exterior of your home using natural recipes that are safe and effective.

Pressure Washing

Hire a service that uses a washer with 2100 PSI, or Pounds per Square Inch, of water pressure, or purchase, rent or borrow a washer to do the work yourself. A higher amount of water pressure will remove dirt and debris, but it can also damage your fiber cement pieces. In addition, higher amounts of pressure will force water behind your siding. This will result in damage from prolonged exposure to moisture and possible mold.

In most cases, you will have gutters surrounding your home. Since gutters and soffits are visible parts of your home's exterior, pressure washing these areas is also necessary. Before washing, remove all debris from the inside of your gutters. Inspect the vinyl areas, or soffits, under your gutters and roof's ledge, as well for signs of debris before pressure washing.  The small holes of your soffit and fascia are important for ventilation, so do not use excessive amounts of water when pressure washing.

To prevent damage to your fiber cement siding, roofing shingles, soffits, gutters, or wood surfaces, be sure to hold your sprayer wand at a 45-degree angle. Also, stand a few feet away from your home's exterior when washing.

Recipes for Cleaning

A visit to your local hardware or home improvement store offers a massive selection of cleaners. While many of these are effective for removing dirt, debris, and mold, they can also harm the environment, surrounding landscaping, and your health. Using natural ingredients that are less toxic ensures an eco-friendly and safe cleaning experience.

Baking Soda

Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, quickly dissolves dirt and debris off a surface when it makes contact with water. To use on your fiber cement siding and other exterior surfaces, combine the following in an outdoor sprayer:

  • 2 gallons of water
  • 2 cups of baking soda

Pump the handle of your sprayer to create pressure and douse exterior surfaces. Allow the baking soda solution to sit and soak areas of your siding for 30 minutes. Then, rinse with your pressure washer.

Vinegar

If you live in warm, moist areas, you may develop patches of mold on your home's fiber cement siding and other exterior surfaces. If you are a homeowner who wants to quickly remove this unhealthy growth, your first inclination may be to use bleach. Although effective, bleach is unsafe for the environment and your health. Due to the 5 percent acidic properties found in vinegar, it is naturally antibacterial and antiviral. Use the following recipe to safely and effectively remove mold from your home's exterior:

  • 2 gallons of warm water
  • 2 gallons of white vinegar

Wearing rubber gloves and safety goggles is a smart way to prevent prolonged exposure to the mold, even when outdoors. While wearing this protective gear, spray the vinegar solution on any areas of mold or stubborn dirt accumulation. Allow to soak for 30 minutes before spraying with your pressure washer.

Maintenance on your home may seem time consuming and expensive. However, focusing on your home's exterior is smart. By using this guide for your home's fiber cement siding and exterior areas, you can protect your investment. 


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