Be careful when power washing buildings and fences, as some materials are more delicate than others (like windows!). Grab the 1500 PSI pressure washer and use the 40 degree nozzle to clean soft wood painted surfaces, aluminum siding and windows. Brick, stone and vinyl can handle the higher pressure of the 1600 PSI model. For stucco, stick to the milder cleaning power of WORX Hydroshot described below.
Lightweight 1500-1900 PSI
For regular maintenance and light household cleaning jobs, a lightweight pressure washer will do. These feature a PSI ranging from 1500 to 1900 and would be enough to get rid of light dirt and stains. This is the safest pressure washer PSI rating for all surfaces, but it’s not ideal for getting rid of tough stains.
Low pressures are ideal for cleaning delicate surfaces around the exterior of the home. Gutters, soffits and windows tend to be more fragile than your deck or driveway, for example. As such, they require more attention and care than the rest of the exterior of the house.
When NOT to pressure wash vinyl siding
If you have a home that was built before 1978 and has not been remodeled with new siding since then, the exterior may contain lead paint. Local building codes may require you to hire a professional to remove it. Pressure washing or sanding is a danger to the environment and to yourself.
Ditto for asbestos. Pre-1970s homes sometimes have what looks like concrete panels at the base of the house. These may contain asbestos. Disturbing it with pressure washing or other activity could stir up asbestos fibers that are dangerous to breathe.
● How much psi do you need to clean vinyl siding in your home?
You must use a pressure washer set at 1300-1600 psi to clean vinyl siding. Use soap for better cleaning. Start with a low psi setting and some distance, then slowly increase the pressure. When you find a good pressure setting, keep it there. Use a green 45 degree or white 60 degree nozzle and brush for heavily soiled areas.
Vinyl siding is beautiful, but the parts of your home covered with it often accumulate more dirt and dust. And on more colored facings, it is also much more visible. Homes located on dusty roads, tropical climates and new developments are also exposed to more pollution and dust. This can soften vinyl coverings, while mildew can spread quickly and get trapped in damp conditions.
Which PSI and GPM?
You will want a powerful cleaner with at least 2.3 GPM. The PSI is irrelevant for this job as the nozzle and how far you are holding the wand from the surface will determine this. All 2.3 GPM pressure washers have at least 2,600 PSI.
Pressure washers are affordable and useful, and that’s why we think buying one is your best bet. Renting one from Home Depot can cost you $100 a day. A brand new one from Amazon will set you back $300. So if you use it 3 days in a year, you paid for it. But, of course, you will have to assess your own situation and make the right decision for you.