A Beginner’s Guide to Pressure Washing Your Garage

There’s no doubt that the winters we experience here in Wisconsin are messy. Between the various forms of precipitation spanning from normal snowfall to freezing rain, the sharp and bitter winds, random stretches of “nice” weather, and everything in between, Wisconsin winters definitely have a mind of their own. And with that comes the mess every homeowner must deal with each spring: Debris, dirt, slush, rocks, salt, and more buildup on various points of your property, home, and garage exteriors that, if left untreated, can result in wear, tear, and ultimately expensive damage to your estate.

One way you can combat these nasty but unavoidable elements is by performing routine maintenance and cleaning of your home and garage exterior. One of our personal favorites we like to recommend is power washing! Here are our best tips to get started so you can power wash your garage and home exterior like a pro this spring to maintain and increase the value of your property as well as your curb appeal.

Understanding Power/Pressure Washing

Power washing is an effective way to return your garage to a “like new” state, especially if it’s been a while since it’s experienced a deep cleaning. While power washers are very, well, powerful, they are safe and easy to use by most.

There are two different types of pressure or power washers available for consumers: gas and electric. Determining the right one for your garage will come down to knowing the materials to ensure the most efficient equipment is used without any damage. Another thing to consider beyond your garage’s exterior walls (and door) is what else you’ll be using the power washer for, like a concrete driveway or flooring. Gas power washers tend to be more powerful than electric models. In some cases, they are strong enough to remove paint! Electric washers tend to be quieter and more eco-friendly than gas power washers but have many of the same features.

Another thing to note when looking into power washing is that the terms “power” and “pressure” tend to be interchanged. While they are similar there is one main difference to be aware of when choosing a product. Pressure washers use ground-temperature water whereas a power washer uses a heating element to warm the water before it is sprayed. Due to the heating element, power washers are often more effective at removing stains with living bacteria, like mold. Hot water also tends to be most effective when removing mud, grime, or other stubborn stains from a surface.

After deciding which power washer model will work best for you, you’ll need to determine the right nozzle attachment. There are a few different types of nozzles. A 25-degree nozzle is best used for heavy-duty jobs like cleaning buildup from concrete, so if you are looking to not only power wash your garage exterior, but also the floor and driveway, you’ll want to make sure your nozzle has this level. For the actual exterior, a 40-degree nozzle is the best general-use nozzle that will ensure the best outcome for a variety of surface materials including more fragile ones like glass windows and garage doors.

Getting Started

Now that you have decided on the type of washer and nozzle(s) you need, the next step is to do the power washing! Since power washers are very strong and can shoot water at 30-80 times more pressure than a standard gardening hose, it’s important to take proper safety precautions. We recommend wearing protective eye gear, some sort of head protection like a helmet or hard hat, and cut-resistant gloves when operating the system. For optimal safety, do not leave a pressure washer on idle for more than a few minutes and if you’re not spraying anything, it’s best to turn it off until you’re ready to use it again.

When you’re ready to use your pressure washer, hook it up to your water source, ensure everything is tight and secure, and then power on. It’s that simple!

Benefits of Power/Pressure Washing Your Garage

If we haven’t made it obvious yet, here are the main benefits of pressure washing your garage exterior to get you excited about this year’s spring-cleaning endeavor!

  • Return your exterior to “like new” conditions, which helps maintain your curb appeal and property value! Power washing is an easy and efficient way to clean various types of surface buildup without needing to replace or redo things like roofing or siding.
  • There are a variety of settings and nozzles to help tackle all types of buildup, giving you versatility! It’s best to start with a lighter, more gentle nozzle and work your way to something more heavy-duty if needed.
  • It’s quick and affordable! You can invest in your owner power washer for regular maintenance on your home exterior and even your cars or you can easily rent power washers from local and chain hardware stores.
  • It’s easy enough for people of various skill and coordination levels to handle. There aren’t a lot of “bells and whistles” and the equipment is fairly straightforward.
  • There’s no limit to how much power washing your garage can handle! Especially if it’s a newer garage that you take care of regularly. Power washing is something you can do every spring and fall without causing drastic wear and tear on your garage materials.

Next Steps

If you’re ready to freshen up your garage exterior this spring, pressure washing is a great place to start. Giving your garage a thorough cleaning, inside and out, will help you get the most out of this space. However, if your current garage is outdated, damaged, or just not doing it for you anymore, J.D. Griffiths is here to help! We offer garage makeovers and remodels as well as complete teardowns and rebuilds to give you the detached garage you need for decades to come. Give us a call today to book your free quote for a remodel or new build – 414-362-7222!

J.D. Griffiths has proudly served the greater Milwaukee area since 1947, building our reputation as the premiere detached garage and garage door experts. Check out more resources, examples, and information on our garage builds, renovations, door installation, and service jobs to learn more.