Should You Use Water Blasters for Cleaning Weatherboard Cladding?

If weatherboard cladding has been recently installed in your home, one of the first things that you need to learn is how to clean and maintain it. This will allow you to lengthen its lifespan and keep it looking good.

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A lot of homeowners have begun using water blasters to clean the exterior portions of their homes. Traditionally, this equipment was used solely by professional cleaners. But today, you can buy your own from your local hardware store, or rent one. Unfortunately, some homeowners purchase or hire one without knowing how to properly use it, even for the PVC claddings of their homes.

If you are planning to use a water blaster for the PVC claddings in your property, you should be aware that most claddings are simply unfit for cleaning with high levels of water pressure. Even low end water blasters can generate a high amount of water pressure—enough to damage PVC cladding.

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The use of water blasters can result in a few adverse side effects. For one, this type of equipment can etch out the surface of the weatherboard. These can also damage the mortar, peel off the paint from the edges of the cladding, and remove the sealant. Worse, water can be forced into the areas where moisture should not be, contributing to further damage later on as the water cannot totally dry. Further damage includes decay of the framing and other materials.

The best way to clean claddings is to use a soft brush or broom and a garden hose. However, if you have already purchased or hired a water blaster, you can still use it, but you have to take proper precautions in order to minimise or eliminate the risks involved.

One of the first things that you need to do is to read and follow the instructions. Next, check with the manufacturer whether the cladding can actually withstand high pressure cleaning. If it is all right to use high pressure cleaning, set the water blaster to the lowest setting available and use a wide spray, maintaining at least 500 mm distance between the equipment and the cladding.

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If you are having a difficult time removing dirt, do not move the blaster’s nozzle closer. Instead, use a brush or broom. Make sure that you do not point the nozzle directly at the joints or joinery to prevent damaging the sealant. If you suspect that the use of the water blaster has damaged the cladding, call in the professionals at once.

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