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.

How To Choose The Best Electric Fireplace For Your Newly Remodeled Living Room

Many homes are constructed with a built-in fireplace, and this feature can easily add charm and personality to the space. A fireplace may also be used to generate warmth throughout the cold weather season, and it may be a focal point for décor in the room. If your home has not been constructed with a fireplace, you can still enjoy all of the spectacular benefits that this feature can provide. Rather than endure the expense and stress associated with adding this major component to your living room as a fixed feature during your remodeling project, you can choose an electric fireplace as an affordable alternative. These are plug-in features that have the look of a real fireplace. They may produce heat and have the realistic effect of flames. If you have decided to install an electric fireplace in your remodeled living room, these tips can help you to choose the right model to purchase.

Determine the Ideal Location

Before you can select a new electric fireplace to install in your living room, you need to choose the area where you intend to place it. This step is essential because the location may limit the size of the feature that you select. It may also limit the style that you choose. For example, if you have a smaller living room, you may discover that you need to purchase a combination feature that combines an electric fireplace with an entertainment center or bookshelf. If you have a larger space, you may purchase an elaborately decorative fireplace with a full mantel design.

Measure the Space

Electric fireplaces are available in a wide range of sizes, and they vary based on length, width and height. When you are measuring the available space in your living room, remember to leave ample space around the feature to accommodate flow of traffic through the room. In addition, because this feature may produce a substantial amount of heat, it is not advisable to place some items next to it. Ensure that you leave a reasonable perimeter around the electric fireplace on all sides.

Consider the Desired Style

Your remodeled living room likely has impressive style that is appealing to you and that is reflective of your personality in some way. An electric fireplace can become a major focal point in the room. Because of this, its style should perfectly accentuate the interior design elements in your space. Some electric fireplaces have a mantel façade that gives them the look of a real built-in fireplace. Others have a pedestal or box-like design that clearly makes them look like new additions to the space. Remember that some electric fireplaces also serve a functional purpose because of their dual purpose as furniture. For example, you may find an entertainment center that can hold your electronics and that also has an electric fireplace component. The style and finish of the fireplace should be reviewed carefully before you finalize your buying decision.

Look at the Flame

Some homeowners prefer that their electric fireplace looks exactly like a wood-burning or gas-powered fireplace. They want the logs to have a realistic look, including with red, glowing embers below it. If this is important to you, pay attention to the appearance of the logs and the flame. Most flames burn with blue, yellow and orange hues, so the most realistic electric fireplace will also have these colors in the flame. It may be difficult to accurately determine how realistic the flame appears to be through online images. Consider reading reviews to gather more information about this important factor.

Focus on Functional Controls

One additional feature to focus on when you are purchasing an electric fireplace is the controls. Many more affordable electric fireplaces have a push-button ignitor on the side of the unit, and they light up in the same way that a backyard grill may. More modern electric fireplaces may have a connection that allows you to flip them on and off via a light switch on the wall. Some even have a remote control feature, and this makes it truly easy to adjust the settings on the fire without having to get up out of your cozy spot on the couch.

Your remodeled living room would not be complete without a beautiful fireplace located in a central area of the space. Even if your home was not originally constructed with a built-in fireplace, other options are available. Use these tips to select a lovely electric fireplace that may be a cherished addition to your room.