How to Pressure Wash Cedar Shake Siding
Unlike aging cigars in a cedar box, aging cedar siding on your home may require the occasional pressure washing.
Cedar shake siding will grow algae and mold if it's not cleaned once in a while. Algae and mold will cause deterioration and discoloration to your cedar siding.
Much like a wooden deck, you can use detergents and a pressure washer to blast the grime away and reveal the beautiful cedar color within.
1. Choose a Pressure Washer
A 3000 PSI pressure consumer-grade gas pressure washer is a perfect match for cleaning and even stripping paint from cedar shake siding.
Make sure you choose one with a good sized detergent tank. This will ensure you don't have to refill as often.
2. Mix it Up
Because you're likely cleaning mold and mildew from your siding, you'll want to use more than just water. Detergents are made for anything from concrete to wood shake siding.
Because I usually find myself cleaning more than one thing with my pressure washer, I usually just get a soap kit to cover all of my bases.
3. Suds it Up
Use a black tip to spray the soapy mix, and be sure to spray in even, overlapping strokes to avoid missing spots or leaving streaks.
If your siding hasn't been cleaned in a long time, you may want to use a brush to loosen the buildup better.
Once you've thoroughly worked the soap into every square inch of your siding, leave it soak.
4. Smooth Moves
Now you're ready to blast the soap and grime away and reveal that beautiful cedar. Use a white or green tip to deliver a moderate amount of water pressure. Yellow and white tips are much stronger and more concentrated, and will strip paint or sealant off of the wood.
When you're ready to begin, keep the wand two feet away from the siding. Then move gradually closer should you need more power.
Once again, move your wand in even, overlapping strokes to avoid missing spots or leaving streaks. Start from the top this time, and work your way down as you spray smoothly in a side to side motion.
Keep your wand angled down as much as possible to avoid getting water under the laps of the siding, otherwise the siding could buckle under pressure.
5. With Power Comes Great Responsibility
Keep your eyes open and watch where you're spraying. Don't directly spray light fixtures, windows, vents, or eaves. The high pressure of the water could cause serious damage when aimed poorly.
Once you're done, move onto the next pressure washing adventure. Clean your decking, strip off old paint, or even clean your sidewalks.