Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

 
 
or
Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 LCD 1770
2 kstreett 240
3 Guest_9020487 110
4 Guest_9190926 105
5 Member Services 100
6 ahowell 95
7 KnowledgeBase 95
8 skbloom 80
9 Guest_98024861 70
10 Guest_9311297 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 8/31/2013

How much should it cost to pressure wash a 1,500 sq ft home?

House is 1 story brick/clapboard bungalow with lots of windows, in good condition.

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question


20 Answers

Voted Best Answer
8
Votes

It is obvious that some folks have no clue what they are looking at in that picture I posted earlier. That is a low pressure (100psi) detergent application. Hasn't even begun the rinse process. Not a final product. An "action" shot DURING the process.

Poster has zero clue. Anyone needing a scaffold or ladder for that job simply knows nothing of the washing industry nor its common practices.

We are Memebrs of UAMCC and PWRA. Have the largest subscriber base on my youtube channel dedicated to teaching pressure washing contractors.


We wash over 1000 houses per year. All safely with low pressure and with feet firmly on the ground. Most Angie's list reviews and Super Service Awards in our area.


Again, be sure to hire a Pressure Washing Company and not a lawncare or painter. While some may be capable, in our experience, generally NOT the case as proven in this very thread.


May sound harsh, but the truth quite often is.

Source: 

Answered 1 year ago by jmkreisle

-5
Votes

Typically there is a tremendous range of cost here, becasue you are dealing with everything from a teenage with a portable electric pressure washer in the trunk of a 30 year old Corolla to painters with full company overhead, company trucks, insurance, license, bonding, etc.

I have seen it range from $0.17 to over $1/SF (and for this type of work, SF is counted as outside edge to outside edge of house, ground to top of wall at rafters, without deducting for doors and windows and such).

For a realistic professional job, including detergent prewash and post-wash window squeeging, expect about $0.45-0.70/SF.

Before getting it pressure washed, you should have the caulk seams checked and touched up, if needed - so the pressure washing is not forcing water into the gaps. This will typically run about $200 additional for a normal house, but can be more if the existing caulk is stripping away and needs to be stripped or gouged out before recaulking. Professional painters typically include this in their bid, leading to the $1 range pricing, so be sure each bidder is bidding the same scope of work - apples to apples with respect to caulk touchup, prewetting followed by detergent prewash followed by pressure wash followed by pressure washing off the walk, patio, deck etc to remove dirt from the walls, finishing up with window squeeging. You should also specify any plantings or decorative yard items that need to be covered to protect them, and be sure to move things like lawn mowers, patio furniture, etc away before they start or it will end up all dirty.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

6
Votes

A basic House Wash consisting of only cleaning away topical dirts, molds, mildews and algae is typically done with low pressure and quality detergents. Only the amatuers are still blasting full strength pressure on these surfaces.


Your example is brick and clapboard. The clapboard certainly needs to be cleaned with low pressure(100psi) to insure no damage to paint and seals. The brick can handle a bit more pressure but not always needed with proper detergents.


That said, a 1500 sqft home like your should be in the ball park of around $350 to wash. A pro with high flow equipment can clean this in about 2 hours.


For the benefit of other readers, a house this size requiring Vinyl Siding Cleaning can be washed in less that an hor and you can expect to pay a minimum of $200 to $300 depending on the area of the country you are in.


Source: 

Answered 3 years ago by jmkreisle

0
Votes

How much should it cost to pressure wash a 1,800 sq ft home?

House is 1 story brick house on thre sides of the house, and hardie plank on the back side of the house, back cover patio, and 8 windows.

Answered 2 years ago by cochino12

-7
Votes

Wow - that picture by jmkreisle says it all - vertical pressure washing movement as opposed to only horizontal leaving vertical striping on the left side of the photo, and pressure washing from ground rather than scaffolding or manlift so not only not getting good effect at higher points but also shooting a lot of water up under the lap siding which can wet the interior of the wall - perfect example of how NOT to do it, and probably why he says around $0.20/SF price.


BUYER BEWARE - do some research on right way do do it, then talk to contractor about how he is going to do it BEFORE accepting his bid - should come out real quick if he knows what he is doing or not.

Answered 1 year ago by LCD

6
Votes

Jmkreisle is right. Hire PRESSURE WASHING company for pressure washing needs. Many folks hire landscapers or painters to do that, and cheap people pay twice. Do your research first...


Here is a perfect example of why you should hire right people for the project. Pressure washing done by painters...The way cleaner is applied to the siding makes professional pressure washing guy cry.

Answered 1 year ago by HappyCustomer2

3
Votes

Hello!


I ran a 20+ employee exterior cleaning company in Michigan for many years and LCD is making me very nervous. He is clearly not a pressure cleaning professional. Soft washing is industry standard (and produces far superior results) and LCD doesnt even seem to know about it.


Steer clear of painting and other companies when dealing with house washing. It is far to risky to hire a "zoro" pressure cleaning guy. He could destroy your homes exterior in minutes.


i am wholeheartedly with jmkreisle

Answered 1 year ago by BirdsbewareMI

5
Votes

Hiring a professional is a must. An experenced contractor utilizes many different techniques to clean various types of surfaces. Chemical application at low pressure with a high volume low pressure rinsing, often reffered to as soft washing, is a tried and tested technique that some of the largest and most profitable pressure washing companies are using. Cleaning in this mannor allows trained techs to do much of the work from the ground rather than scaffolding or by using a man lift.

Cost will vary depending on things like the substrait you are cleaning, accessability, landscape packages, etc. jmkreisle is right on with his techniques and pricing. In addition, using contractors who are members of organizations such as the UAMCC or PWRA is a great way to find qualified contractors.

Source: 

Answered 1 year ago by lseitz

2
Votes

jmkreisle is correct and very a very knowledgeable source for power washing, whether it be soft washing homes, cleaning drives/parking lots or getting whiskey fungus off of brick buildings. I have used his tutorials to both learn new and confirm my own processes. As a female who is 5.5 and 120 lbs, I can attest that you do not need to climb on ladders or erect scaffolding to clean a home. The soft wash process is an industry standard. I have no trouble hitting the peaks of houses from the ground and getting them shiny and clean. I don't even have a ladder on my truck. The old saying "work smarter not harder" really applies in this industry. Using high pressure on vinyl can damage it, either by knocking a hole in it or blowing panels off. Too high pressure on concrete can ruin it. Old grout on brick can be damaged. The list is endless. There are times when high pressure is required, but with most houses it is not. We spend a lot of time educating our customers, many of whom are worried because of the horror stories they've heard or seen for themselves. A landscaper/yard person or window washer does just that - yard work or windows and are often very good at what they do. But they will tack on "power washing" just to give one more option. They don't know anything about power/soft washing or the standards/processes we utilize. The people in our industry spend a lot of time developing wash solutions, specialty chemicals (rust removal, mineral deposits, etc) specifically for our industry. We have folks who have created tools because they saw a need. We take pride in the work we do and are constantly looking for ways to make it even better. Use a professional! You WILL get your money's worth.

Source: 

Answered 1 year ago by skbloom

0
Votes

I agree with jmkriesle on this. Today professional washers use high volume and low pressure to safely "pressure wash" homes without damage.


His technique shown in the image he posted is the right way to pressure wash a home's exterior. In this method, very low pressure is used, and the solution is applied to the exterior only.


Using this method, cleaning solutions are gently applied to the siding and allowed to run downward, not shot up underneath. This may not be recognizable by amatuers or painters who are not pressure washing professionals.


Professional pressure washing companies today are capable of cleaning multiple story buildings SAFELY from the GROUND without the need for ladders. This means without the worry of someone climbing around on wet ladders blasting with high pressure risking damage to themselves, and the things they are trying to clean.


A house like the one described above needing pressure washing in Jacksonville Florida, can easily be cleaned with ultra low pressure cleaning methods. Our company would charge a similar rate to that as described by jmkriesle.

Source: 

Answered 1 year ago by adamultrasoft

0
Votes

Pricing can vary by region. Methods do not. Soft washing a home with low pressure is the best option out there to get your home exterior cleaned. Soft wash methods get the home clean with no damage. Using too much pressure can result in damage to brick surfaces, painted surfaces, and vinyl siding. Proper detergents and low pressure application allow the home to be cleaned safely from the ground. Our company provides pressure washing in Lakeland, FL using only low pressure techniques.

Source: 

Answered 1 year ago by mikindle

1
Vote

As the owner of Professional Houston Pressure Washing company there's not much to add to what jmkreisle has said, as well as some of the other professional exterior cleaning companies. The uneccessary use of a lift, ladders, or other means for a job like this is not only cost prohibitive, but can often times cause the very damage that LCD is referring too, along with other possible damages. The amount of pressure needed to clean and rinse that type of structure you should be able to put your ahnd in front of the nozzle without injuring yourself. Proper cleaning solutions, professional equipment, and educatred personnell are will provide you with a longer lasting and over all better cleaning than a traditional power washing methods.

jmkreisle is well known and respected in the exterior cleaning industry. He has freely given of his time and resources and trained 100"s of successful contractros via his you tube chanell, as well as other media and forms of communucation. He does this not only to help contractors be successful and improve the industry, but to also inform property owners of safe cleaning practices for the proetction of their property against needless damage.

Source: 

Answered 1 year ago by Druck

0
Votes

Kreisle is right, soft washing using detergents safely from the ground is the industry standard for professional pressure washing companies. The methods LCD mentioned are not only outdated, but also an unnecessary risk to the house being cleaned as well as the safety of the crew. Non pressure cleaning is the preferred method for all surfaces of a home including brick, vinyl, EIFS, stucco, even asphalt shingle roof cleaning.

Source: 

Answered 1 year ago by Guest_9587845

2
Votes

Michigan Pressure Washing is also providing soft washing service to wash vinyl sided homes. They washed thousands of homes, and I assure you Mr. LCD, that the process explained by Mr. Kreisle is industry standard, safe and efficient.

Source: 

Answered 1 year ago by HappyCustomer2

1
Vote

Wow - certainly brought out the comments from the pressure washing companies here. All I can say is it sounds like they protestith too loud - a bit sensitive about the quality of their work maybe.


There are certainly some good cleaning companies out there - many of the old-time professional ones that do commercial building especially. However, from my experience I have a generally low regard for the "profession", because I would say probably about 80-90% (whether members of a pressure washing association or not) do a marginal to substandard job. The ultimate test is the white glove test - take a white wet rag or paper towel and wipe the surface when they are just "done" - in a vast majority of cases it will come away seriously dirty, sometimes not even at all white any more - black or gray, showing the "cleaning" was more a wetting than a true "cleaning".


For proper cleaning of a surface, especially before painting, yes they push just pressure washing as the cheapest. But that is sort of like putting some soapy water in the sink or on a dirty plate and dipping the dishes in it and hitting it with the spray nozzle, without any scrubbing - does not do a very good job. To get a truly clean surface, it should initially be wetted (so the detergent surfactant will spread evenly over the entire surface, then detergent solution (and algae or mold remover and/or algaecide/fungicide if needed) sprayed on it, let sit the right amount if time for the product to let it act on the dirt or growth, then HAND SCRUBBED to break up and actually remove the dirt from the surface and to scrub out the deep-seated dirt and staining. This step is "old school" as a couple of the comments said - but just because the "current practices" ignore it does not make them right. Then commonly a second wash with detergent solution and a second pass with scrub brushes (always "with" the lay of the product, never "across grain"), then jet or pressure washing to remove the remaining dirt and chemicals.


Yes it will cost twice as much as a typical pressure washing job, which might be OK for a general house cleaning to make it look cleanear, but at least for a repaint I strongly recommend a hands-on scrubbing job.


That is the prep method that gives you 20-30 year paint adherance for an older or dirty house.


And yes I know about "soft cleaning" - just another way of saying use only as much pressure as needed for the job without risking cutting into the building products.


One the comment I made of the photo showing the initial wash pass being done vertically on the siding - I stand by my comment - any cleaner that used passes crosswise to the lay of the product would be booted off my job for incompetence, because it makes for a visible streaking that will commonly never go away and can even shadow through single-coat paintjobs.


The screaming about using ladders or scaffolding or manlift from several contributors shows the general mindset of the pressure washing companies - they have no idea of the damage they are doing by pressure washing from ground level on lap type sidings, and have probably never seen the water infiltration into the wall. I have frequently seen pressure washing companies blithly spraying from ground level and driving the water into the eave openings and attic (sometimes to the point of staining of ceiling drywall) when washing the top of the walls or the underside of the roof overhang, and also it is common to see them wash a wall and move on, then see water dripping out from under the siding along the top of the foundation and above windows and doors for a couple of minutes, revealing the water that penetrated up under the lap siding while they were washing. Lap sidings, with VERY few exceptions, have little or no waterproofing against water coming up under them, so it just penetrates right to the water barrier - if you are lucky enough to have one, or into the insulation and wall if not or if the barrier is old and deteriorated. Plain and simple - with lap type products, the water should hit the surface downward, not upward, to prevent water infiltration.

Answered 1 year ago by LCD

0
Votes

This one passed my white glove test. I was really happy with results, and guys at Michigan Pressure Washing did several more projects around my house since then. Little embarrassed that I let my house get so dirty, but after 2 years, I still have the cleanest house on my street lol There is some truth in what LCD mentioned, but hiring company with years of experience, and employees who have a lot of common sense will help avoid any issues. I wish everyone to have the same experience with their provider as I did with Michigan Pressure Washing company. They got an awesome and honest review from me here on Angie's List. Thank you.

Source: 

Answered 1 year ago by HappyCustomer2

1
Vote

There is a big difference in prepping a house for painting versus cleaning a house. Our House Washing service is only for clenaing and NOT for prepping for painting. In fact we do not offer a "prepping for painting" service. We encourage customers to always hire a painter that performs his own prep work. This eliminates any confusion if a awarranty issue were to come up. The painter can't blame the prepper and the prepper can't blame the painter.


Experienced exterior cleaners know how to clean from the ground without causing water intrusion. Trying to scare someone that their house is going to be flooded or ceilings damaged because they don't use ladders or man lifts, or water is forced in the soffits is a diservice to the customer. I have been cleaning for 30 years and never once caused any type of interior damage when cleaning from the ground. Inexperienced workers from ANY trade can cause damage.


Here are picture's of a home we have been cleaning for a few years now. Never caused any damage and all cleaned from the ground. No brushing, no ladders, no lift required.







Source: 

Answered 1 year ago by Druck

0
Votes

100

Answered 1 year ago by cpttaz

0
Votes

Pressure washing isnt rocket science as some make it out to be. I have a painting pressure washing business and yes I am a painter not just a pressure washer. Its very simple. My P.W can get as high as 4,000 psi but I never use more than about 800 psi unless im doing driveways than I turn it up. I take a pump sprayer half bleach, half water and a couple of squirts of dawn detergent. Keeping the surface wet before u spray the chemicals is important. If you spray on dry it will leave streaks. Then I simply rinse off. The pressure u need will be determined by the user. Not blasting just low pressure washing. I charge $ 125 for single story houses and it takes me 2hrs.

Source: HYDRO WASH & PAINT

Answered 1 year ago by Shamrock

0
Votes

After being in the industry for many years (and making some mistakes along the way) the comments by LCD are the wisest.... by for. Not to say that the other comments are'nt helpful because they are. If you used the right solution, the siding will be practically be clean before your start up your washer therefore low pressure is all you need The horizontal movement of the wand, mentioned by LCD said alot for their overall knowledge of this subject and if you wanna know if it's cleaned put it to the white rag test.

Source: blodge

Answered 2 months ago by blodge

0
Votes

blodge - thanks for the vote of confidence - I certainly took some flack on this question for sure, but that is what happens when you point out the proper way to really do something the right way, versus the "that is common practice" crowd. And I won't even talk about a pressure washing job which leaves vines clinging to the wall.


Unfortunately, common practice commonly means cheapest for the person professing that, not the best result for the client - like the so-called primer and paint in one products, which negate the very purpose of a primer. Same type of throwback occurs when you talk about wet curing concrete driveways or slabs or such too - most contractors say spray some curing compound on it and it is good without any wet curing, even though wet-cure for 3-7 days has long been proven to result in roughly a two-fold improvement in endurance of the concrete - more in heavy frost action areas.


As you say - one of the most important things in washing a house (by pressure washer or hose or whatever) is moving the water directly in line with the alignment of the siding - so horizontal for lap siding, up and down for vertically oriented batten and board or T1-11 or shakes/shingles (though you have to be REAL careful pressure washing them - generally better to use a 125 psi air compressor on a jet washing tool for them to avoid grooving the wood) for instance. As can be seen even in the "after" shots in the previous posts in this blog, the vertical swiping applying the detergent still shows through in the after pictures because it results in vertical variations in the cleaning.


Another VERY common thing you see when washing with detergent is applying the detergent while washing - which does not give the detergent time to penetrate and soften the bond of the dirt on the surface. The procedure should be prewetting from bottom to top so the detergent spreads evenly over the surface and does not soak in differentially and also to prevent staining from dirty water running down onto the dry material from above, then detergent application by broad spray (not jet or narrow fan), let soak required time (commonly 5-15 minutes - and in hot or windy weather may require a rewetting fine spray during the soak time because you do NOT want the detergent-soaked dirt to dry on the surface - that can cause non-removeable staining), THEN wash off with a directed fan spray which generally should be done in two passes - a dirty surface washdown, then a final cleaning rinse from top down to remove the last of the dirty water AND to chase down drips and runs from top to bottom so they do not sit on and streak the surface - ALL passes following the lay of the boards.


And of course - many house washing and paint prep jobs (especially there, because a truly clean surface is imperative for a long-life paint job) ignore the fact that detergent and pressure washing will commonly not fully clean a really dirty house (especially with metal or vinyl siding) - that sometimes takes plain old physical scrubbing with a stiff bristle brush in the detergent phase to really loosen up the dirt - especially when dealing with urban smog or industrial dirt and most especially when dealing with oily dirt or a pigmentation material like downwind of a refinery or a metals smelter or such.


Oh - and if the surface needs chipping and sanding and priming - never sand before cleaning. Chip and scrape (so the cleaning gets to all finish surfaces), then clean the dirt off first so the sanding does not grind it into and embed it in the siding, then sand/repair, then do a final (commonly quicker but still needs detergent to free up the static-clinging dust) cleaning to remove the sanding dust.


Oh - and for readers not familiar with the white rag test - clean white rag is used to check for dust in a house - but on cleaned/prepped surfaces like a house or a surface to be painted a clean WETTED white rag is what you want, because just wiping with a dry cloth will not show how dirt is really on there still.

Answered 2 months ago by LCD




Related Questions


Terms Of Use
|
Privacy Policy