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A Comprehensive Guide to Power Washing Your Hardie Board Siding

Posted on by PortlandSEOGrowth
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Your siding is beginning to look a little drab. You can see the mildew and dirt building up in the corners, and although you’re ready to repaint, you know it needs a good clean. 

After considering your options, you decide that power washing your Hardie Board siding may be the most efficient and easiest way to get the job done. 

But can you power wash Hardie Board siding? Is it the best option? 

If done correctly, it just might be. 

Keep reading to learn whether power washing your Hardie Board siding is a good idea and our top tips to get the job done right. 

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Table of Contents

Is Hardie Board Worth the Investment?

Hardie Board, also known as Hardie Plank, is a great option for those looking for durable and long-lasting siding material. 

It’s made to withstand harsh weather conditions, so you can be sure it will look great for years to come.

Hardie Board is also affordable and easy to care for compared to other types of siding.

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Can You Power Wash Hardie Board Siding?

We recommend cleaning your Hardie Board siding with a regular garden hose — but we understand that if you have a larger area of siding to clean, it may be easier and more efficiently done with a power washer.  

If you are confident in your ability to use a power washer to clean your siding safely, we recommend you:

  • Use wipe fan tips
  • Don’t add any unnecessary detergents
  • Stick to a low-pressure spray that is less than 1500 psi
  • Stay at least six feet away from the building

But user beware if you haven’t used a power washer regularly or you aren’t very confident in your abilities, we do not recommend you power wash your siding. Instead, leave it to the professionals. 

Hardie Board siding can be easily cleaned with a regular garden hose, but under certain circumstances, using a power washer may be the most efficient way to clean your home. 

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3 Instances When Hardie Board Siding Can Be Gently Power Washed

Before grabbing your power washer — we know how exciting it can be to pull the bad boy out and get to work —  it’s essential to understand the potential damages that may occur if washed incorrectly, like … 

  • Faded paint
  • Degrading
  • Bubbling
  • Peeling
  • Etc. 

… because the pressure from the washer is too intense.

So, when can you power wash Hardie Board siding? 

Let’s look at the most common circumstances that the professionals at Elite Home Exteriors consider pressure washing necessary.

#1: Before Painting During Initial Installation

Before installing the Hardie Board, our team at Elite Home Exteriors always washes the siding to ensure any dust and construction debris is removed before paint is applied. 

After the siding has been prepped and dried, it is ready to be installed.

#2: If Dirt or Mildew Collects on the Siding

Using harsh chemicals on Hardie Board siding is typically advised against. Still, there are circumstances — like when mildew and dirt build up on the siding — when using something more than water may be necessary. 

When using a power washer to remove dirt or mildew, use a … 

  • Mild cleaner
  • Soft bristle brush attachment — do not use a metal brush of any kind
  • Low-pressure setting

… to remove the mildew and dirt without risking the integrity of your siding. If you’re dealing with mildew, be sure to follow any product recommendations and wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to avoid sustaining any injuries. 

#3: Before Repainting

Dirt, grime, grease, and debris can easily accumulate on your siding over time. When you’re ready to repaint your Hardie Board siding, be sure to thoroughly wash and dry the entire area prior to priming and painting.

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3 Precautions to Take When Power Washing Your Hardie Board Siding

#1: Watch Your Pressure and Use the Correct Equipment

If choosing to pressure wash your Hardie Board siding, you never want to go above 1500 psi — going any higher than 1500 psi risks ruining your Hardie Board siding. 

When using your pressure washer, be sure to use a wide fan tip, like the 40° wide tip, or a very soft brush. For areas that you can reach, consider wiping them down with a soft cloth before attempting to power wash the area. 

#2: Wear Appropriate PPE

Additionally, as mentioned above, wearing proper PPE and attire is vital when using a pressure washer and potentially harsh chemicals. 

Ensure that you are wearing: 

  • Closed-toe, water-resistant shoes
  • Comfortable clothing
  • A face mask
  • Thick gloves; and
  • Protective goggles 

Don’t risk exposing yourself, your loved ones, or your pets to your equipment’s harmful chemicals or high pressure. Be sure to keep children and pets away from your work area and secure any furniture or large objects you may be working around.

#3: Ask for Help With the High Spots

Even when using a power washer, there may be hard-to-reach areas that require some climbing. Whether standing on a ladder, or the higher areas of your roof, don’t hesitate to ask for help or supervision. 

Whether you’re spring cleaning or sick of seeing the dirt and grime building up on your home, asking for assistance from loved ones isn’t always convenient. We get it. 

That’s why our team at Elite Home Exteriors is here to help. If you’re dealing with dirty siding or siding that needs to be replaced, we’re ready to get the job done — and we’ll bring several team members to ensure it is done as efficiently and as safely as possible. 

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you enhance your home’s appearance today. 

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How to Power Wash Hardie Board Siding in 3 Steps

Step #1: Choose Your Equipment

If you don’t already own a power washer and are looking to buy or rent one, look for one that comes with multiple nozzles and brushes. 

We also recommend purchasing a power washer that has several pressure settings. That way, no matter what area you’re cleaning, you can be sure you’re using a setting that will clean the area without damaging it. 

Generally, power washers with 1300 to 2400 PSI — remember, you don’t need a lot of pressure to clean your Hardie Board siding —  are capable of completing any task needed at home.

Step #2: Mix Your Solution (if Needed)

Once you’ve got the equipment needed, you’ll need to find the right solution for your needs. 

Water and a little bit of pressure may be all you need to get your Hardie Board siding looking like new, but if you’re dealing with quite a bit of grime, grease, or mildew, a chemical solution may be necessary. 

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions whenever you use a cleaning solution. Many times, these solutions are highly concentrated, which is why you should: 

  • Avoid getting the cleaner on any bare skin by wearing proper PPE 
  • Mix the solution with a generous amount of water, as directed by the manufacturer

Step #3: Spray Away

You’re all set up. Now, you’re ready to get cleaning. The best, most efficient way to clean Hardie Board siding with a pressure washer is to spray it evenly, starting from the top of the building and working your way down.

When using a soft scrub brush, spray the siding, let it soak for a short amount of time, scrub lightly and rinse. 

Be sure not to let the cleaning solution sit for too long. Once it starts to dry, it may leave residue behind. 

Instead, work in small areas whenever possible, staying at least six feet away from the siding to ensure you’re cleaning and rinsing each area thoroughly. 

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Save Time and Energy – Let the Professionals at Elite Home Exterior Power Wash Your Hardie Board Siding the Right Way

Power washing Hardie Board siding is a tough job. One that can take hours — and a lot of energy — to complete. 

Instead, consider calling the professionals at Elite Home Exteriors to get the job done, so you can get back to doing the things you love most. 

If your home needs exterior work, and a little TLC, our team offers:

  • Siding installation
  • Siding Restoration
  • House Painting
  • Wood Staining
  • And more

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you restore your exteriors to look just like new. 

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