power washing house question(s)


ok, i've got a house with both vinyl siding and brick (real bricks) exterior.
a apparently reputable (in business over 10+ yrs) company has offered to wash the exterior with a hot water/low pressure power wash.
doing some reading on the web, it's a mixed assortment of opinions regarding the long term implications of using pressurized water streams to clean vinyl siding.
one camp says there's nothing wrong with it as long as you're not spraying up under the siding panels.
other camp, says don't do it - period.
also my concern was how fragile is brick to hot water/low pressure/mild cleaning fluid - spray streams ?
of course all the power wash websites will claim (as does this particular business), that they've done hundreds/thousands of homes with no complaints.
but you can't tell hidden moisture/mold damage when it's covered behind siding (or between a brick exterior and a Tyvek covered plywood panel).
any thoughts/opinions ?
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unless the brick is severly dirty i wouldnt do it. besides cleaning may cause mortar troubles........
isnt there another way for you to spend your money? like giving it to me?:)
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It is LOW pressure, as you said above, or high?
Low pressure shouldn't hurt anything, although one should avoid directing the spray in such a manner that it might get behind the vinyl siding.
Do not count on the water to do all the cleaning, especially if it is applied at LOW pressure, regardless of any detergent. To get the siding truly clean, a modestly stiff bristle brush should also be used.

This is the most critical area. It is the mortar joints that could be most seriously damaged by such cleaning. Low pressure is obvious given that high pressure could dislodge weakened mortar. Then you are looking at tuck-point repairs sooner rather than later. Big bux.
Just how dirty IS the brick? If it were MY brick (I wish), I would probably avoid using a pressure washer of any kind.
Simply wetting the brick with a garden hose, then scrubbing it gently with a brush should do all the cleaning necessary. I wouldn't even use detergent. Again, it's the mortar that should be given the most care.
Remember: One can spot dirty vinyl from the street but has to do a CLOSE inspection of all but the lightest brick to see dirt.

You said it. I once attached a box to the side of a vinyl-sided, old farm house. Water leaked OUT of the holes immediately after I drilled through the vinyl. One can only imagine the condition of the old, wood siding underneath.

That the brick is over Tyvek covered plywood reveals a NEW(er) brick installation. One could assume that it would drain and/or ventilate properly, but I wouldn't take the chance that I might cause damage using a power washer. I'd take it REALLY easy on the brick. Good luck!
--
:)
JR

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Sure, Find something more worthwhile to do for the place, like landscaping, upgrade your workshop, whatever. Don't fritter away money on things of such low value. Or send hallerb a nice CARE package with his choice of vintage wine and cheese... >G> <
Joe
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