Having your exterior repainted is an important part of your home maintenance routine that ensures your siding stays protected and your house remains appealing. However, before you do any exterior painting in San Diego CA, you need to make sure that the surface to be painted is clean.
Preparation is a crucial part of the painting process, and cleaning the surface is just one of the required prep steps. But should you wash the exterior surface every single time you need to repaint it? Well, if the exterior of your house was washed recently and it’s relatively clean, you may not need to wash it again.
Even so, always check to confirm that there are no dust or residue particles on the surface –you could do so by running your fingers on the surface to see if you will pick up dust and residue. Even a newly constructed house would still need to be cleaned before painting can be done.
Generally, your exterior siding collects dust, debris and other forms of residues over time, and paint doesn’t stick well on such dirty surfaces. Without proper cleaning, the paint will start peeling, cracking or flaking prematurely due to poor adhesion.
Exterior Siding Cleaning Options
You have two main options when it comes to cleaning your exterior home siding:
Handwashing is probably the most common but slowest method of cleaning exterior siding. Typically, you need a bucket of water, a brush, a rug and TSP (trisodium phosphate). If the surface has lots of dirt or is infested with mold and mildew, you might need bleach or detergent.
For mildew infested exteriors, start by treating and cleaning the affected areas with a mixture of 1-part of bleach and 2-parts of water before cleaning other areas. This prevents further spreading of the fungi to other unaffected surfaces. Using a garden horse can also be considered as hand washing. But keep in mind that hand washing can be quite laborious, especially if the exterior is significantly dusty.
Power washing, aka pressure washing, is the easiest and most robust method of washing your home’s exterior. It gets rid of stubborn dirt and grime that often get stuck in fine hairline cracks and crevices. So if you want to quickly wash off dirt, mud, soot, dust, and any other impurities that stick on the surface effortlessly, consider using a pressure washer.
If you have a quick project or simply need to save some time, you can buy or hire a pressure washer, or have professionals do it for you. However, if you have never used a pressure washer to wash a siding before, you should probably leave the whole exercise to the pros. Because chances are you might use excess pressure and damage the surface or other delicate features such as window panes.
Both hand washing and power washing have their own pros, but they also present risks as well. Hand washing may require the use of step-ladders when cleaning the higher areas of the house. If you’re not experienced working with ladders, there is a higher risk of falling.
Allow the Siding to Dry
Once the cleaning has been completed, always allow the siding to dry completely before painting. Applying paint on a wet surface often leads to paint blistering, cracking and peeling due to poor paint adhesion. If you’re hiring a professional painting contractor, you should preferably allow them to clean the siding for you.
The Bottom Line
If your siding has any signs of dust, debris, mildew or paint residue, you need to have it thoroughly cleaned before exterior painting to ensure a quality and durable paint job.
Need professional help repainting your home in San Diego? Ron Rice Painting & Consulting can help. Simply give us a call today to get started.