How To Clean Vinyl Siding With A Pressure Washer

Although vinyl siding requires much less maintenance than other building material types, it still needs some attention to look its best. Over time, the siding can become discolored with dust, dirt from gardening beds, bird and insect waste, and even mildew and mold. A pressure washer is an obvious choice for cleaning it, as no one wants to get out a scrub brush and a bucket of water to clean their whole house.

Before you start spraying, however, take the time to learn the proper way to clean vinyl siding with a pressure washer safely and without damaging anything on your home or landscaping.

Inspect the Surfaces and Area First

Pressure washing cracked, indented, or loose siding or trim is a recipe for damage. The high pressure of the water coming out of the tube can knock off loose caulking around windows and force moisture through cracks into your home.

Also, take a close look at the plants and landscape accents in the area you want to pressure wash. Cover them with tarps so no damage occurs. Also cover electrical outlets, hose attachments, and lighting fixtures carefully.

Pick the Right Pressure Washer and Detergent

Both electric and gas-powered washers exist with varying strengths. The type you choose depends on the size and height of your house and what you feel comfortable using. The choice of detergent is important for the end result, too. Use only those soaps specifically formulated for use on vinyl siding and with the machine you select.

Apply the Soap to the Surfaces

Just as you wash anything else, the first step is getting the soap or detergent onto the surfaces. Use lower pressure and sweep the wand back and forth smoothly to cover all the vinyl siding with the soap. Then, wait a while for the soaps to work on the dirt and grime accumulated over the months or years.

The Optional Scrubbing Step

Some pressure washers come with a scrubbing brush attachment to help you remove tough grime or stains. Before rinsing off all the detergent, use this brush to loosen up stuck-on dirt. They push out soap in a foamy consistency as you use them for even greater cleaning power. There are even brushes that rotate for more power and less tiring arm-work.

Rinse Everything Under Pressure

After the soap works for up to 10 minutes, it is time to use the pressure washer to remove it and the accumulated dirt. This is usually done with higher pressure than the soaping step. Start with less, however, until you get used to how things work.

Do not spray straight at the surface. Instead, stand at an angle and keep the end about two or three feet away from the vinyl siding. Spray downward as much as possible instead of up under the vinyl planks. Not only will this help you clean the siding without a risk of damage, but it will also prevent spray back directly at you. Use a ladder for the upper floors so you do not spray water under the siding where it can cause mold or damage to the structure of the house.

Congratulations! You have now cleaned your vinyl siding with a pressure washer successfully. The siding will dry naturally on a sunny day. However, take a look around the house carefully to check for puddles or trapped water anywhere that can cause problems. Finally, put the tarps away and unwrap the outlets and light fixtures to enjoy your house looking almost as good as new.

Choosing the Right Headphones for Noisy Work Environments

Once hearing is lost, it can never be restored. No matter what age you are, hearing loss has the potential to profoundly affect every area of your life. Most people associate losing their hearing with growing older. While this can and does occur, a 60-year old can easily have better hearing than a 25-year old.

You may wonder how this is possible. Many teens and those in their early twenties feel their physical attributes are endless and invincible. Thanks to ear buds and a penchant for loud music nearly one out of five teens has some hearing loss. Damage to your ears can occur with exposure to one loud event, although it commonly is a cumulative effect. Meaning months or years of exposure to loud noise builds up, gradually leading to hearing problems. If you’re going to be listening to music on the job – and for safety’s sake, even if you’re not – consider your options and go for closed-back headphones to reduce your risk of hearing loss.

Minimize Noise Exposure

Many people assume there is little they can do to avoid the cumulative effects a noisy environment has on the ears. Far more damaging than ear buds and loud music, industrial-related noise is the leading cause of hearing loss and impairment. Your job may damage your ears in ways that will not necessarily show itself immediately. Often, decades go by before the true extent of job-related hearing loss is noticed and measured.

Ear buds, open-backed headphones and other popular ear devices are discreet and appropriate for some situations. However, when you work around machinery, outdoor tools like jackhammers and leaf blowers, construction equipment and other tools that make varying degrees of noise, there is only one headphone that works to help you keep your hearing in good shape. Closed-back headphones are your best option to decrease to noise that causes hearing loss.

Sounds Known to Damage Ears as Opposed to Normal Sounds.

When your ears get exposed to over 85 decibels, you run the risk of damaging the fine hairs within your ear that regulate hearing. Wearing closed-back headphone when operating a chainsaw greatly lessens you risk of harming your ears. If you choose not to wear headphones while using a chainsaw, expect to experience hearing loss after about 15 minutes. Here is a list of noise-makers that lurk in the background, hoping to catch your ears without protection.

  • Tractors are least offensive as they emit just slightly over the 85-decibel cutoff.
  • Next, running a table saw or operating a combine both hit about 90 decibels.
  • A hand drill produces about 95 decibels of noise.
  • Working around a circular saw really starts to see loud sounds accruing over 105 decibels.
  • Rock bands average nearly 125 decibels and chain saws are just over that amount.
  • Gun fire registers at 150 decibels or above and can instantly cause noticeable, severe hearing loss in one or both ears. Firecrackers and explosions fall within the same range.

A refrigerator humming might produce 45 sound decibels and a normal conversation registers about 60 decibels. Heavy city noise runs around 85 decibels. Remember, 85 decibels begin the point hearing loss begins. Motorcycles emit 95 decibels, running your MP3 player at maximum sound throws 105 decibels directly into your ears. Sirens run at a decibel level of 120.

Time and Distance Matter with Noise Exposure

The length of time your exposure occurs as well as how close you are to the offending sound plays big factors in the extent of your hearing loss. Wearing closed-back headphones in situations where you know the decibel level will exceed 85 is your best, and often only, defense.

Unfortunately, unexpected loud bursts of noise cannot always be anticipated and thus, avoided. If you do to the gun range closed-back headphones are standard equipment. However, you may be within a few feet of someone deciding it would be clever to set a firecracker off right near you. When you are not at work or being in a social setting, naturally you are not prepared for exposure to loud noise.

The best you can do to protect your hearing is wearing closed-back headphones at work, while performing hobbies, doing landscaping or renovating your home.