Flip This Condo #6 - Ryobi Pressure Washer Review (2,000 PSI)

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City living can get dirty.

Over the years, the exterior of our condo in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood has gotten pretty dirty, too.

Enter - the Ryobi 141900 2,000 PSI electric pressure washer.


I've been a landlord for 5 years now (although that ends in 2 weeks.)

Every couple of summers, I used to give the exterior of our house a good scrub, to knock off the dirt and mildew.

Used to.

Then, I moved 18 miles west, and I only made it back to the city condo when something actually needed fixing.

So, basically, it's been getting progressively dirtier for 5 years.

5 Chicago winters.

Here's what it looked like earlier this week:


The cement stairs leading to the front door... the cement threshold.... almost looked black.

Basically, it had an amount of grime that was truly revolting, was almost impossible to scrub away, and actually had me wondering if it COULD be removed.

Then, I bought the Ryobi pressure washer.

It retails for $180, but I was able to get it from Tyler Tool, refurbished, for $145 and free shipping.

This is a VERY powerful pressure washer - as electric power washers go.

There are gas washers that are stronger.... but I don't need that power, and I prefer the cleanliness and convenience of electric.

Anyway, after my meeting with our baseboards contractor (more on that later), I set to work power washing our Bucktown condo.

And the Ryobi absolutely SHINED.

Check these before and after shots.


That is absolutely nuts.

And it doesn't come off when you scrub it.

I was looking into some pretty harsh chemicals.... but it turns out that good old kinetic energy and H2O is the best solution.

30 seconds in, and the grime is disappearing....
Even at 2,000 PSI of pressure, this grime resisted.

In some places, it took persistence. I had to move slow, and at extremely close range. 

But after about 20 minutes, the house looked brand new. 


Look at those results! That isn't 5 years of grime being removed - it's 15.

The entrance to our condo looks better than when Ms. AAAD and I moved in in 2005.

The Ryobi 2,000 PSI electric pressure washer gets FOUR STARS.


And now, back to the Condo Renovation!

I met this morning with Bob Krol, a Chicago-based contractor we've worked with on this condo extensively in the past.

(I'll update this post to add contact information later...after clearing it with Bob!)

Back when we were first-time homeowners, Bob installed the crown molding you see in the kitchen above.

He and I turned the master closet from a small, basically unusable "walk-in", into this phenomenal show-piece closet, adding a pocket door and claiming some square footage from the master BR:

I added the shelves in the closet, though.
In fact, Bob even overhauled our entire 4-story back porch, waterproofing it, and replacing about 80% of the stairs and railings - basically, everything except the load-bearing structure.

He's going to be replacing all of the baseboards - they're small, and beat up - and it occurred to both of us that we've been fixing this condo up for a decade at this point. 

I can't recommend Bob Krol enough. He's a trustworthy, inexpensive craftsman who does great work on time and on budget.

Bob will be installing about 400 feet of baseboard in this house next week - we'll post about it.

And that should be the last handyman / carpenter project we run together at the 2117 condo.

The end of an era.

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