Average cost of pressure washing per square foot

What is the Average cost of pressure washing per square foot? Dirt, grim, and algae build-up can discolor your home and lower your curb appeal. Having your home pressure washed every two to three years can help remove this build-up and keep your home looking better for longer.

Pressure washing is generally done by the hour, with a 2,000 sq.ft. home taking roughly 2 hours to complete. Depending on where you live and the state your house is in prior to starting, this can cost anywhere from $100 to $500 on average, with most homeowners spending around $275 for the job.

Pressure Washing Costs

Pressure washing costs
National average cost$150
Average range$100 – $500​
Minimum cost$275​
Maximum cost$400

Pressure Washing vs Power Washing

When the time comes to have your home washed, you may encounter a variety of options, including both pressure washing and power washing. While they sound similar, these are two different methods of cleaning. Pressure washing uses unheated water under pressure, which has been fed through a pressurizing motor powered by either electricity or gas. It generally also involves some form of detergent to help facilitate the cleaning process.

Power washing is similar but uses heated water to clean. This can be an advantage for certain types of grime or dirt and can help remove more dirt in a shorter amount of time. It is usually not recommended for siding but is best used on surfaces like concrete that will not be damaged by the heat and pressure.

However, the company you contact to do the job may recommend one over the other depending on the condition of your home, the material your home is clad in (brick may require power washing, for example), and what the desired outcome is. Power washing may cost slightly more than pressure washing, with an average cost for a 2,000 sq.ft. home coming closer to $300 than $275.

Electric vs Gas Washer

Pressure washers come in two varieties, which is determined by what is used to power them – electric and gas. Both can produce the same amount of pressure necessary to clean your home, are roughly the same size, and similar in how they operate. The biggest difference is how they are powered. If the company you contract with to pressure wash your home uses an electric model, you need an outdoor ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) socket for them to plug into. Most companies fill the gas units either on-site or shortly before arrival. You may be charged slightly more for a service that uses gas, but you will be responsible for the added electricity on your bill. So, the costs to you will be roughly the same.

Pressure Washing Labor Costs

Each company that pressure washes homes may have their own pricing structure, with some charging per linear foot and others charging a flat fee. Most, however, charge by the hour with an average hourly cost of around $50 to $150, often with a two-hour minimum. If your house is smaller than average, you may wish to contact a company that charges by the linear foot, at a rate of around $1 to $2 a foot. Costs can be higher depending on what your home is clad in. For example, you may be charged an additional $1 a foot for brick homes and for houses with a lot of dirt or grime to remove. 

Keep in mind that the bulk of this job’s cost is in labor fees. Expect to pay around $250 in labor fees for a 2,000 sq.ft. home.

Pressure Washing by Area

The exterior of your siding is only one area that you may want pressure washed on your property. Pressure washing can also be used on a variety of other areas of your home and yard to help get them clean. Keep in mind that many companies have minimums, so you may be better off having multiple areas cleaned at once or to add these areas on when having your house washed to avoid paying extra in fees:

Area being cleanedAverage cost
Patio – 50 square feet$75
Concrete pad – 50 square feet$75
Deck – 300 square feet$100
Driveway – 400 square feet$100
Fence – 200 linear feet$200

Pressure Washing DIY Concerns

Pressure washers are available for rent at most big box stores for around $50 a day, which can seem like a big savings if you have a lot of areas to wash. And for many jobs, this may be suitable. However, be aware of a few concerns if you intend to DIY the job.

The first is the amount of pressure per area. Pressure washers are adjustable with pounds of pressure per square inch (PSI). Wood, vinyl 1, brick, and concrete each need different PSIs, and different levels of dirt or debris may also require adjustments to the PSI as well. A professional can calculate this and ensure that your property is not damaged. Doing it yourself may result in damage to your siding or other wood surfaces. 

The second issue is the material. Most roofs should not be pressure washed, for example, because it can damage them. You may not be aware of which areas to avoid, and you can damage your property.

Another issue is the nozzle. Pressure washers have several to choose from, and the more narrow the spray, the more concentrated the force. You may not realize how powerful some nozzles can be, which can cause damage.

The final concern is safety. More than 6,000 people are injured by pressure washers each year, some of them seriously.

Hand Washing vs Pressure Washing

Sometimes when a surface needs to be washed, you may need to decide between hand washing and pressure washing. In general, hand washing will take longer and require a lot more effort to do the same job than what a pressure washer could do in minutes. Hand washing your siding, for example, would also require ladders or scaffolding 2, while a pressure washer may be able to reach well above the ground without aid.

However, there are times when hand washing should be used. If you have delicate materials that could be damaged from the pressure, such as an asphalt 3 roof, hand washing is the better option. Likewise, if you have a small area that needs to be cleaned, it may be easier to simply hand wash than to either rent a pressure washer and risk damaging it or hire someone who may charge a minimum fee.

Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Painting Your House

Pressure washing is often the first step to painting your home, as the siding must be clean and dry. Pressure washing can help remove some loose paint as well, speeding up the job. Painting your house after pressure washing costs around $1,850 to $2,500.

Average cost of pressure washing per square foot

If you have an asphalt driveway, a good time to seal it would be after pressure washing. The asphalt would be free of any dirt or debris, and once dry, it can be sealed. This has a cost of around $200.

Pressure washing can help increase your home’s curb appeal. A good time to pressure wash it would be before putting it on the market or having it valued.

Check to make sure the pressure washing company you contract with has insurance to pay for any damages to your home that may occur during service.

A pressure washer can be used to clean gutters if done properly. This should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to avoid damage.

Pressure washers are capable of etching surfaces like concrete, which means that they may harm softer surfaces like cedar siding. This is the reason you should always trust professionals because they understand how to adjust the pressure and nozzle to account for softer materials.

If there are plants or landscaping near the area being pressure washed, make sure any detergents used are safe for plants and do not contain bleach or other harmful chemicals.

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