You can use the spray cleaner while working from a ladder -- although scaffolding is better -- but practice at ground level first; the force of the spray against the house could knock you off a ladder if you're not careful. Some of these machines come with separate containers you can fill with cleaning solutions or anti-mildew solutions. Sprayers are so powerful that ordinarily you probably won't need to use a cleaning solution; if you do, remember to rinse the surface with clean water afterward.
Start by thoroughly examining the outside of the house or outbuilding -- not just the exterior walls but under the eaves, around windows and doors, and along the foundation. Look for split shingles and siding, popped nails, peeling or blistering paint, mildew, and rust stains. Once you've identified the areas that need attention, roll up your sleeves and make the repairs.