Before & After: Pressure washing goes a long way!


This wall has been bothering us for quite a while. It looks pretty gross, doesn’t it? The previous owner didn’t put any guttering on that area of the house so all the rainwater eventually ends up in this corner of the house. We tried to use the traditional method of a bucket of soapy water with a sponge but that took a lot of time to get anywhere, so we brought out the pressure washer!

pressure washing tiles 3

It took maybe an hour or two of pressure washing but the end result looks fantastic. We even cleaned up some tiles that our neighbour Gonçalo gave us for when we build a little house for the gas bottles. All we need to do now is resolve the guttering problem and paint the wall. Of course, the only downside of pressure washing is that it uses huge amounts of water and electricity, but it’s fun and quick (and our water comes from the well)! :)

A side bit about guttering

In Portugal, you can’t just walk into a hardware shop and buy guttering off the shelf. Well, you can, but it isn’t ‘the way to do it’. The best way to do it is to find the ‘style’ of guttering you want by looking at houses near you and on the guttering there will be a sticker with contact details for the person who can sell and fit it for you. The summer time is THE best time to buy guttering, as sellers will put the prices up in the winter when it is in greater demand. I can’t give an indication of prices because we haven’t gone down that path yet but I would advise you make a note of two or three sellers from the stickers on their guttering and get a quote. They will tend to always be local to the area and it is the done thing in Portugal to support the local economy.

pressure washing tiles 6

How to use an electric pressure washer

How to pressure wash things isn’t rocket science, it just requires a bit of common sense. This’ll sound daft but don’t forget that a pressure washer uses ‘pressure’, so if you aim it at the ‘wrong’ thing then it might hurt. So here are a few tips:

  • Wearing wellies is a must because the grime will fly back and stick to your feet and shoes.
  • Don’t focus the spray too intensely in one area as if you’re washing painted walls as this will chip away at the paint.
  • Start off in a small areas and work your way around (don’t go too mad).
  • And take regular breaks because otherwise you’ll end up with a case of hand-arm vibration syndrome and you might sue me.
  • And lastly, take your finger off the trigger every minute or so because you don’t want to burn out the motor (Dad’s words).

pressure washing tiles 5How *NOT* to use a pressure washer

Needless to say, I ignored my own advice and wore flip flops and had shorts on. I then got grime and yuk all over my legs, so I turned the pressure washer on myself and it felt like I was shooting myself with a hundred BB-gun pellets. I completely soaked my flip flops and went to sit in the sun to sulk while Dad took over. Crackin’ job, Dad!

If you’re looking for clear and comprehensive advice on pressure washers and how to use one, I recommend this website:

About Laura

About Laura

Laura Bailey is the owner of My Home in Portugal and has been blogging since 2013.

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About Laura

About Laura

Laura Bailey is the owner of My Home in Portugal and has been blogging since 2013.

View All Posts
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8 Responses

  1. Shooting a pressure washer onto yourself.. OUCH !!! that sounds painful. Well at least you learnt that with an electric and not a petrol pressure washer… they are much more powerful.

    But still good job Laura, the outside of the house looks like someone painted it.

    With some pressure washers usually they dont over heat as long as cold water is passing through them but if the pump continues to be turned on without any water passing through it for sure its going to overhear. However most electric washers will turn the pump off once you release the trigger on the gun…… then again some don't

  2. Hi Gavin – thank you for your advice and for finding my site! I think the child in me took over at one point and that was why I thought it was a good idea to blast myself. We got there in the end though!

  3. You should be more careful the next time, like you the child in me took over the first time I used a pressure washer and blasting seems a little more fun.

  4. Safety is mainly overlooked by a good number of buyers. But this should not be the case. You should not overlook safety as you will not want to get injured while cleaning. Ensure that the tool is in good state and will not cause you any injury. You should also further protect yourself by using protective gear like goggle, boot and hand glove.

  5. Yeah using pressure washer is very easy and it turns your hours work in minutes. Thanks for wonderful article share.

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