Increase your home’s value with a good pressure washing
Would you like to increase your home’s value by 5-10% by only spending a couple of hundred dollars?
Silly question, I know.
If you look through just about any home remodeling, real estate, or home valuation guide, you’ll see that “curb appeal” is a major factor in determining the value of a home. Increasing the curb appeal is one area that almost always returns more than you invested and pressure washing is at the top of that list.
For a moderate price, your home’s value can increase as much as 5% by having it professional pressure washed. If you’re selling a $250K home, the difference between selling it after a professional pressure washing and selling it with a dirty roof, dingy siding and windows, and unkept looking sidewalks and driveways can be immense. A local realtor says he has seen as much as a $25,000 difference on a $250,000 home…about double our 5% estimate. Aside from simply de-cluttering the front of a house, pressure washing is about the least expensive effort you can undertake to get the largest gain in price.
If you take a look at the below pictures (not a customer of mine, just found this picture on the internet), it’s plain to see that the curb appeal transformation is dramatic.
So what needs to be pressure washed and how should it be done?
Below are the different areas you’ll want to consider and some suggestions of what to look for and what to be careful with. Our strong recommendation is to hire a professional as doing this yourself is extremely time consuming and there are a lot of areas where expensive mistakes can be made.
- Roof: Roofs come in many different styles but they all have one thing in common – damage to a roof is expensive and you need to ensure nothing is being done that may cause damage. So, on a roof, low pressure is almost always used. If high pressure is used, tiles can be lifted and they can also be stripped of their coating…generally causing a lot of havoc.
- Composition Tiles have “roof sand”…that grit you’ve seen fall out of your gutters from time to time. This Roof Sand has heat deflecting properties so if they are blown off by high pressure, your roof is less efficient. Instead, low pressure and correct chemicals should be used to clean whatever is up there. Many roofs end up with mold on them in areas that don’t get a lot of sunshine. Your pressure washing professional should be using the correct chemicals for this or other stains that may be up there.
- Cedar Shake roofs should be cleaned very carefully and then, after cleaning, it is normally recommended for them to be oiled. This oil preserves the look of the cedar shake as well as it’s water repellant abilities. If you have a cedar shake roof, be sure to talk to your pressure washer to see if they can either oil them afterwards or if they can recommend somebody who can.
- Sidewalks: Sidewalks and driveways can withstand higher pressures and often respond well to nothing more than moderately high pressure and a little cleaning agent. Sometimes, if a sidewalk is very old or very badly stained, even more pressure or stronger agents may be used. You should talk to your Pressure Washer and ask them how they intend to go about cleaning your sidewalk.
- A good pressure washing professional will be able to detect cracks or other loose areas of a sidewalk and not use high pressure near them. A novice will happily spray everything with high pressure and end up chipping off parts of your sidewalk or driveway. If you know of loose areas that might be a problem for high pressure, be sure to let your professional pressure washer know about them before they get started.
- Siding: The siding on your home may be damaged by high pressure, depending on what type of siding it is. Again, you should talk this over with your pressure washer to ensure you understand the process they intend to use. If they mention high pressure you may want to find another contractor. Dented or peeled siding is not good for your home’s value.
- Windows: For obvious reasons, high pressure cleaning for windows is usually a bad idea. The only time higher pressure should be used on a window is when they are on higher floors and the extra pressure is needed to actually get to the window. Low pressure and correct use of cleaners is the best answer for cleaning windows. Oh, and make sure the window is closed.
- Foundation: The foundation of your home, if it’s showing, can collect a lot of grime and dirt. Every time you mow the lawn near the home, dirt and grass are kicked up in the air and some accumulate on the siding and the foundation. Over the years, this results in a foundation that can look unkempt and dingy. Many people focus on cleaning the siding of their homes but neglect the exposed foundation. Care should be taken here as the foundation is normally cement or other type of hard material so the pressure used to clean your foundation can harm your siding or windows.
- Fence: A power washed fence can make a huge difference in a home’s curb appeal. We’ve all seen the grayed out, faded wooden fences that make the rest of the property look old and faded out. A good pressure washing on that faded out fence will rejuvenate and bring new life back to the fence. It’s important that when pressure washing a wood fence, the stroke of the pressure washer follows the grain of the wood. Typically this means long slow up and down strokes along the grain from top to bottom.