Powerwashing and Prepping the Fence

The outside of the house is in desperate need of some TLC.  And that’s where we’ve been since we haven’t been blogging lately.  This tends to happen when you focus all your energy on renovation projects on the inside…


When my parents visited a few weeks ago to help with the bathroom they brought along their pressure washer so we could tackle the grungy, dirty, ugly yard.  And we definitely put it to work.
One power washer tackled a little bungalow, a two-car garage, a privacy fence, a wooden porch and a stamped concrete patio in one day.
Do you wash your house?  Am I the only one?  Because really, I’ve never seen a neighbor outside with washer fluid and a hose.  I think this should be done annually, but I took a year off from maintaining the exterior of my home.  Maybe that’s why it’s so bad…
I washed the exterior of the house only two years ago and it was already pretty nasty again…See the grimy roof line below?  I hate looking up and seeing this.
You can actually see above how quickly and easily the dirt is removed.  I’ve tried using the hose to loosen the dirt, and the grossness doesn’t budge.  Add a little bit of water shooting through a gun at bullet speed and the dirt disappears.  The left side of the picture shows the dirt-free zone completed with only one swipe of the power washer.

The great thing about a power washing is that you don’t really need soap to get the job done.  However, I would recommend spraying soap on, letting it sit and then blasting the dirt off.  It does help loosen to loosen the dirt before it’s blasted off.  I didn’t take any other pictures of the before and after, but believe me, the house glowed.  Bonus…if you use soap (I use Windex Outdoor Cleaner) it also washes the windows so it’s not necessary to take a sponge and squeegee to the windows.  Psst…I would recommend not pointing the power washer on the windows as the pressure can break the window seal (this is not good).  Stick with a hose and the Windex Outdoor Cleaner to protect your windows.

While we had the pressure washer out, we took a few minutes and power washed the stamped concrete patio as well.  The stamped concrete patio is starting to show some wear so it’s time to reseal.  Before we can reseal it though we needed to clean up the dirt and grime.  We didn’t use a cleaner – just used the pressure washer and got it prepped to be sealed with a few swipes of the gun.  There was a distinct line where we had cleaned!
The house and patio were in need of a good cleaning.  But the fence – that was really desperate.
Can you believe I scrubbed this fence only two years ago?  It was already covered in green stuff (algae??) after only 24 months.  The fence needs to be re stained, and I have plans of tackling that project later this summer.
Before I can stain the fence though, the surface has to be cleaned and prepped for a new coat of stain.  It was recommended to use Olympic Premium Deck Cleaner (about $16) at full strength to get the results I was looking for.  I picked this up at Lowe’s and ended up using the entire 2.5 gallon bottle to clean the single side of my 6′ privacy fence that wraps around my back yard (which surrounds a little less than 0.1 acre).  I sprayed the solution onto the fence with a garden sprayer, let it sit for about 20 minutes then rinsed it off with a plain hose.  And then it looked like this…
It only took about an hour to spray down and rinse off the entire fence and the result was immediate.  (The Olympic solution smelled just like bleach so I’m a little curious if I could have saved myself $14 and bought a bottle of Clorox).
We have spent two full days this spring making the outside a bit nicer to look at.  And hopefully with only two more days working outdoors we can get this list completely crossed off.
Some people love to garden…I really wish I was one of those.  Give me some low maintenance perennials and I’m a happy girl.
  • Trim tall trees (September 2012)
  • Repave driveway (August 2012)
  • Replace garage door (December 2012)
  • Repair lawn (May 2013)
  • Trim bushes (May 2013)
  • Clean out landscaping (May 2013)
  • Mulch (May 2013)
  • Power wash house, fence, patio and porch (May 2013)
  • Seal concrete patio
  • Stain porch
  • Stain fence
  • Replace garage light

The house is clean, the concrete patio is bright and the fence is spotless. Until it rains. Now we have some staining and sealing to do. Does anyone know how to stain a fence??

I swear, the house is either clean or we are out having fun.  It’s one or the other.  Wouldn’t it be nice if all houses came with a drain in the middle?  You could just hose it down with a power washer and cleaning would be done in 5 minutes.
Do you want to try power washing, but don’t have a dad with a pressure washer? 😉 You can rent one at Lowe’s or Home Depot on a daily or hourly basis. It really cuts down the scrubbing work you might have to do!

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