What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pressure Washer

Many outside surfaces can be cleaned using eco-friendly soap and a garden hose with a spray nozzel or brush attachment.  Our last house was vinyl sided that was sadly in need of pressure washing.  We had it pressure washed for $200 which was an excellent discount because it was done through one of our friends who owns the pressure washing business.    A couple of years ago Canadian Tire had a pressure washer on sale for $129.99 so I made the executive decision to buy it.  The reasoning was that a pressure washer would take care of a lot of the outside cleaning needed here including vehicles without having to hire it out.

Simoniz 1600 PSI pressure washer
The pressure washer is a Simoniz 0091S 1600 PSI unit.  It is light weight enough that I can wheel it around.  The pressure is strong enough to easily clean windows, trim and it does a nice job on the vehicles.  I like that it is fairly compact so storage isn't an issue either.  There are a couple of sprayer attachments and a separate hose to hook up to a cleaning solution.

Pressure washing is an easy DIY project for cleaning most outside surfaces.  It easily removes built-up grim, moss and mildews with little effort.  Some items though cannot stand up to the pressure of pressure washing as the poor little gnome by the window found out.  He now needs a new suit of clothes.  Pressure washing can also loosen older mortar, strip any loose paint and damage vegetation.  So caution should be used when directing the pressure washer spray.

brick cleaned by power washer
Our property is heavily treed which means we have light moss and mildew on some exterior surfaces.  Normally we get enough air circulation and dry enough weather during the summer months that neither moss or mildew presents much of a problem.  This spring brought more rain than originally predicted.  Over the past month we have had high heat and humidity followed by a fair number of afternoon/evening thunderstorms.  Some of these thunderstorms have been quite violent.  The result this year is we are seeing moss and mildew growing on surfaces we normally would not see.   Pictured is the window sill that has been partially cleaned of both moss (top) and mildew (facing).  The pressure washer makes quick work of cleaning surfaces of both without using any cleaning agents. 

wood cleaned by power washer
The pressure washer is working to clean our current staircase project.  I was surprised at how well it removed loose paint while cleaning exposed wood quite effectively.  I'm actually impressed enough that I am considering trying to return the staircase to natural wood which would look quite nice.  Once we do a bit more cleaning on the staircase we will know whether we can get the wood to a point it could be stained then varathaned.  I'm almost thinking a two toned wood stain might work depending on how the wood comes out.  Painting is likely the more feasable option. 

Garden Gnome