Restore Lost Vibrancy: Tips and Tricks for Power Washing Yard Signs

Paul West/ Backyard Maintenance

Restore the Vibrancy to Your Faded Yard Signs with Power Washing

Over time, backyard signboards exposed to the elements start to look worn, faded and dirty. Power washing yard signs is an easy and affordable way to restore brightness and readability to your weathered signs. With the right technique, you can make those old, grime-covered signs look brand new again in just an afternoon!

We’ll walk through everything you need to know to successfully power wash yard signs, from choosing equipment to proper washing methods. You’ll learn handy tips to lift away stubborn dirt and give new life to faded signs while avoiding damage.

So grab your power washer and let’s get those signs looking vibrant again!

Key Takeaways

  • Choose a pressure washer with at least 2500 PSI and a 25-40 degree fan nozzle
  • Pre-treat with cleaning solutions like soap or diluted bleach before washing
  • Work methodically top to bottom and maintain proper distance from sign
  • Rinse frequently to prevent streaks; touch up any missed spots
  • Allow to dry fully before applying protective clear coat or fresh paint

Gear Up with the Right Power Washing Equipment

Having the proper power washer and accessories makes washing yard signs much simpler. Here’s what you need to get set up:

  • Pressure Washer: Look for a power washer with at least 2500 PSI (pounds per square inch) and a flow rate of 2-4 gallons per minute. This combination provides enough pressure to clean while delivering adequate water volume. Electric or gas models both work well.

  • Nozzle Tips: Use a 25-40 degree wide fan nozzle to clean large areas quickly. Switch to a 0 degree jet for targeting small spots and stubborn gunk.

  • Extension Wand: Attach a 10-30 foot extension wand to easily reach signs mounted out of reach. This avoids hauling out ladders.

  • Cleaning Solutions: Mix up some cleaning solutions like diluted bleach or a soap solution to help pre-treat messy signs before power washing.

  • Protective Gear: Wear eye protection, gloves, waterproof boots and rain suit to guard against dirty water, debris and chemicals.

Investing in the right power washer and accessories makes your washing experience safer, easier and more effective.

Mix Up Cleaning Solutions For Stubborn Grime

Sometimes yard signs have been neglected for so long that plain water from even a high-powered pressure washer won’t cut it. Here are some cleaning solutions that help lift off baked-on dirt, mildew stains, chalky paint and other grime:

  • Soap Solution: Mix 1/3 cup powdered laundry detergent with one gallon of warm water. The soap helps dissolve grease and dirt.

  • Bleach Solution: For cleaning mildew or discoloration, make a 25% bleach and 75% water solution. Wear gloves when handling.

  • Degreasing Solution: Dissolve 2-3 tablespoons of Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) into warm water for an industrial degreaser. Rinse thoroughly after use.

  • Commercial Cleaners: Look for cleaners specifically made for power washing like Jomax House Cleaner and Mildew Killer or Simple Green Pro HD Heavy Duty Cleaner.

Soak the dirty sign with your cleaning mixture and let it sit for 10 minutes before power washing. The solutions help loosen up grime for easier removal.

Follow the Right Techniques for Power Washing Signs

Having the right power washing gear and solutions is crucial, but proper technique is also key to safely restoring your yard signs without causing damage. Follow these tips:

Work Methodically Top to Bottom

Always start at the top of the sign and make horizontal back-and-forth passes working your way down. This prevents dirty water from causing streaks.

Maintain the Ideal Distance

Hold the nozzle 6-12 inches away as you power wash. Get too close and you risk damaging the sign face. Too far reduces cleaning effectiveness.

Adjust Pressure as Needed

Use the high pressure zer0-degree nozzle to target ground-in gunk and messy spots. Drop down to low pressure for delicate materials like vinyl or wood.

Rinse Frequently

Pause to rinse cleaned areas before soap or dirty water can dry and re-deposit. Rinsing also prevents streaks from run-off.

Touch Up Any Missed Spots

Scan for leftover grime after washing and spot clean any areas you may have initially missed. Leaving dirt defeats the purpose!

Allow Signs to Dry Completely

Let signs dry for at least 24 hours before painting or sealing. Trapped moisture prevents coatings from properly bonding.

Take your time and follow this process to see dramatically cleaner yard signs emerge as you power wash!

Finish Up with Protective Coatings

After restoring your yard signs with power washing, add some protective finishes to keep them looking refreshed.

Apply New Paint

For painted signs where the color has faded, use a fresh coat of exterior latex paint in your original hues after the sign has dried.

Add a Clear Coat

Protect against future dirt and sun damage by applying 2-3 coats of clear matte polyurethane. Spray or roll on for full coverage.

Check Electrical Safety

Before packing up, inspect extension cords for damage and keep them far from standing water to avoid shock or electrocution.

Don’t skip these final touches after all your hard washing work – protective finishes help extend the vibrancy of your yard signs!

Power Washing Tips and Tricks

Let’s recap the key tips to remember for successfully restoring faded, dirty yard signs with power washing:

  • Use a power washer with at least 2500 PSI and equipped with a 25-40 degree fan nozzle.

  • Always work methodically from top to bottom.

  • Maintain proper distance and adjust pressure.

  • Apply cleaning solutions to pre-treat stubborn areas.

  • Rinse frequently to avoid streaks.

  • Allow signs to dry fully before adding protective finish.

  • Stay safe with protective gear and proper electrical precautions.

Now you’re ready to tackle your yard signs with confidence. Just grab your power washer, lather up those signs, and watch the vibrant colors and designs emerge as you blast away grime and faded paint. Your signs will once again stand out and capture attention!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get rid of mildew on yard signs when power washing?

To remove mildew from yard signs while power washing, first create a cleaning solution of 1 part bleach mixed with 3 parts water. Apply it evenly across the mildewed areas and let it soak for 10-15 minutes before power washing. The bleach solution will help break down and lift off the mildew stains. Make sure to wear gloves when handling bleach. Rinse thoroughly.

What PSI do I need to power wash yard signs?

When power washing yard signs, you’ll want a pressure washer with at least 2500-3000 PSI (pounds per square inch). This higher pressure range provides enough cleaning power to remove built-up dirt, chalky paint and stains without risking damage to the sign surface. Also use a wide fan nozzle tip for efficient cleaning.

Can I use soap to clean yard signs when power washing?

Yes, adding soap helps boost the cleaning ability of your power washer when tackling yard signs. Mix 1/3 cup powdered laundry detergent per gallon of warm water. Apply the soap solution liberally across dirty signs, let soak briefly, then power wash. The soap will cut through grease and grime that plain water may not fully remove.

How do I get power washer streaks off my yard sign?

If your power washed yard sign has streaks, simply re-rinse the area by power washing vertically instead of horizontally. Rinsing up and down avoids creating overlapping passes. You can also wipe down the sign with a clean rag afterward if light streaks remain. Prevent streaks when washing by always working top to bottom and rinsing frequently.

Is it okay to power wash wood yard signs?

Yes, you can power wash wood yard signs but use caution. Lower the pressure to under 2000 PSI and keep the nozzle farther away, at least 1-2 feet. Test a small area first. Rinse thoroughly after washing to prevent the wood from splitting as it dries. Avoid aiming directly at edges or corners which are more prone to damage at high pressure.

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Paul West
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About Paul West

Longstanding and passionate about really having family fun in the backyard. I'm no expert but I've picked up a thing or two along the way!