Listen. I’m going to have to ask you to ignore quite few things in today’s post in order to focus on what I consider to be a really beautiful update. Yes, we have badly overgrown azaleas that need to be trimmed. Yes. Our metal railings have seen better days. But the good bones are there. You just have to look past the less-than-stellar details in order to see those good bones! I know I can trust you to give me time to make this back porch really sing, and in the interim I’ll do my best to share progress along the way—starting with our freshly pressure-washed bricks.
Those photos above show the state of our back porch before John bought his new pressure washer (and, really, this is what our front porch looked like, too, even though you won’t see it in this post). Do you have any guesses as to how long it had been since the brick was clean? I genuinely have no idea, but am estimating it had been a decade or more. The bricks were thick with green and black grime, and parts of it had some sort of moss growing on it, too. It was way past time for a good cleaning, but we didn’t have a pressure washer in our inventory, so this project remained on the back burner for almost six months post-move-in.
But then John decided to treat himself to a new toy. Unlike me, John is very practical and calculating when it comes to purchases for our home. He waits and waits, researches and researches. It’s a big deal when he opts to pull the trigger on a home buy, so I was surprised to hear that he was tentatively thinking about investing in a pressure washer. My dad has one that we have used many times and love, but the bonus about the particular pressure washer that John ultimately bought for himself is that it also cleans cars.
If you know John, then you know he used to be a big “car guy.” Before fishing took over his life (he’s a full-time fly-fishing guide here in town now), his passion was cars. It wasn’t surprising for him to purchase a new vehicle every few months, and he was downright obsessed with car detailing. The car turnover has, thankfully, slowed down over the years, but his love for car detailing still remains. I’m pretty sure my car would never get washed if it weren’t for John, and he really seems to enjoy taking a quiet evening as an opportunity to wander out to the driveway to scrub and polish both of our cars.
All of the scrubbing, though, had started to wear him down, and I think he was ready for a new type of method for getting our cars (and property) looking spick and span. Enter: the Adam’s Electric Pressure Washer 2.0. Now, I’ll be honest. I had nothing whatsoever to do with this purchase, so I really can’t answer your questions about it. That said, if you have them, feel free to leave a comment on today’s post and I’ll get John to answer them. He’s done lots of research, and, happily, now that we know it works, I’m sure we can fill you in on the details if you need them. As to the car detailing capabilities, this pressure washer can basically be turned into the high-pressure nozzles you see at drive-in manual car washes. Just add soap to the included attachment, and you can douse your car in thick foam, then use the wand to wash it all away. Works like a charm!
At any rate, I’m sure the before/progress photos above of our brick porch and steps compared with the “after” photos below do this tool justice. It took an hour or two to complete the job, but the brick is now almost unrecognizable compared with the start. A couple of recommendations in case you do this on equally messy brick that’s going to take a while to clean: (1) wear ear protection because the pressure washer is loud, (2) wear grubby full-length clothes since you’ll inevitably be sprayed with icky gunk, and (3) don’t wear white sneakers, like I did, or else you’ll need to wash those, too. Eye protection wouldn’t hurt, as an aside, and if you suffer from allergies, like John does, were a face mask to prevent dust and other pollen from getting into your respiratory system.
I hate that this isn’t quite as satisfying of a job because we still need to get our iron railings refinished (and take up that ugly plastic lawn mat the previous homeowners left behind over dead grass/mud), but I hope you can appreciate our shiny like-new brick. It’s a breath of fresh air for John and me every time we step out to the back yard. It makes me want to give this little area some added decorative attention—maybe a more welcoming door mat, some outdoor lanterns, attractive hooks for a broom, etc. I promise not to go all out, but I think a little will go a long way in making this back porch look its best. As I said, I’ll keep you posted on my progress!
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