My friends, it took about 10 hours of effort in total, but Operation: Pressure Wash has been completed--for the front of the house, at least.
As a reminder, here's our before:
^Isn't that pixelated baby in the background presh?
And the after:
I even washed that baby right out of there!
A leetle closer, please:
Studying the before and after in such proximity, I can't believe we lived that way for three weeks! Like animals... with filthy masonry.
Now, just in case anyone is motivated to bust out the pressure washer on your house, I give you what we in the defense business refer to as "lessons learned."
1. Work from top to bottom. If you are too excited about your pressure washer *cough* and just have to do a spot on the sidewalk *cough* to see how shiny and perfect you can make it *cough*, know that you will be cleaning that spot again thanks to the trickle effect of dirt and mud down the steps on to that gleaming patch of sidewalk. Make like Sir Isaac Newton and say yes to the theory of gravity.
2. Ants are vengeful little so-and-sos when you step in their hills or give them the teeniest splash with the pressure washer. The only option here is go out and kill them before they kill you. If you don't follow this bit of advice, they might just bite you 87 times and make you cry. Don't ask me how I know; just pass me a Kleenex and the bottle of rubbing alcohol.
3. Set a goal and stick to it, though it is difficult to quantify cleanliness. "I want it clean." OK, but how clean? There will always be dirt if we're talking about an outside surface. It's easy to get carried away here. I relate to Marc Summers on a new level after exorcising my pressure-washing demons. Ultimately I settled on two full passes and a touch-up. And I'm trying not to focus on that green sludge RIGHT THERE that I so obviously missed in the after pics. It may not be perfect, but it's still awesome.
Thanks for looking!