Pros and Cons of Using a Pressure Washer for Exterior Paint Prep

Need to wash the exterior of your home before beginning your exterior paint project? Consider using a pressure washer. Before you go rent the pressure washer or hire someone to pressure wash your exterior, you need to look at the pros and cons of pressure washing.

 Pros of Pressure Washing Home Exteriors

  • First and foremost, using a pressure washer is a great way to create a healthier environment for your family and community. It is a great way to add curb appeal and value to your property. While pressure washing your exterior, you will be getting rid of dirt, mold, mildew and stains left from leaves, sticks, rubber marks from tires, oil and rust. Some of these can cause serious health issues. Others are just unattractive. Others accelerate the deterioration of your home.
  • Another pro to pressure washing your exterior is that can restore your exterior to an appearance of like-new condition. You may find that you don’t really need a paint job after all.
  • Purchasing or renting a pressure washer is fairly inexpensive. In the hands of a professional, the pressure washer can be a great tool. Plus it is a useful tool. Capable of washing more than just your homes exterior; Can be used to remove deck stain, wash patio furniture, clean concrete, etc.

Cons of Pressure Washing Home Exteriors

  • In the hands of an inexperienced handyman, using a pressure washer can cause severe damage to your property. Pressure washing uses water at high pressure. The high pressure water is produced by pumps which are a hundred times more powerful than your typical garden hose. Pressure washing can therefore cause siding damage.
  • If the pressure washer is used incorrectly, it can etch wood, erode brick and blast mortar from joints. Even though the power washer will remove loose paint, it may also weaken the good paint surrounding the removed loose paint.
  • Other issues with a power washer can be the high pressure forces water into the pores of the wall, soaking the wall. This means it takes time for the wall to dry out before you begin painting.
  • Power washing doesn’t always remove all the loose paint, so expect the exterior to still need hand scraping after you have washed and let dry. Using a pressure washer is no substitute for hand scraping.


Pressure washing can be a useful paint prep step. Just be careful and don’t expect it to do the entire job for you. You’ll still need to do additional prep work before you apply primer and paint to the exterior of your home.

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