7 Things You Should Know Before You Power Wash Anything

The use of high-pressure water to remove loose paint, mold, algae, grime, dust, muck, chewing gum, and dirt off surfaces and objects such as buildings, fences, masonry, some automobiles, and concrete or asphalt surfaces such as driveways or patios is known as pressure washing or power washing. Although the terms “power washing” and “pressure washing” are frequently used interchangeably, they are two distinct processes. Both use high-pressure water to clean surfaces, however pressure washing uses a heating element whereas power washing does not.

Heated water cleans better in any cleaning technique. Baking soda, vinegar, citric acid, or professional power washing soaps, detergents, sanitizers, or disinfectants should be used to power or pressure wash some items. Before you power or pressure wash anything around your house, there are seven more things you should know:

One: understand when to use a power washer versus a pressure washer

The thought of a thorough steam cleaning of your house, deck, driveway, or other domestic features appeals to you. Even the toughest grime and stains may be removed with hot water sprayed through a high-pressure hose. However, it isn’t the ideal option for things like brick, concrete, or masonry. All of that cleaning power comes at a cost. Power washing certain surfaces can be quite damaging. Instead, use a pressure washer and a suitable cleaner.

The Heavy-Duty Option is a Power Washer

  • Massive spaces, such as extra-long or large driveways, should be used.
  • Use when there is a lot of filth, grease, moss, weed growth, and slick surfaces from mold. Similarly to how hot water cleans dishes and floors better than cold, the heated water here can loosen away stuck-on filth outside. It also destroys mold and moss and keeps them from growing back.
  • On firm surfaces that can withstand the heat and pressure, use power washers.

Surfaces are safer with a pressure washer

  • Use for small areas such as a patio, deck, or driveway.
  • For softer surfaces, such as wood decks, siding, and tiled areas, use this product.
  • Use on masonry, concrete, and brickwork.

Two: understand the distinctions between household and commercial detergents, soaps, chemicals, and cleaning solutions.

Cleaning solutions aren’t all created equal. Knowing the differences between cleaners can mean the difference between cleaning and destroying whatever you’re power/pressure washing. Power/pressure washers employ four different types of chemicals. Chemicals are labeled according to their intended usage and the type of surface they will be applied to. Cleaners remove filth, sanitizers destroy the majority of germs (99.999 percent in 30 seconds or fewer), and disinfectants kill all organisms in 30 minutes or less.

Every surface of whatever it is you’re cleaning is unique. Each surface necessitates distinct procedures, nozzle diameters, pressure, and, in some cases, even separate chemicals. If you’re not a pro, stick to cleaners that are pre-mixed for certain surfaces, such as “Krudkutter” for house and siding versus Krudkutter for decks and fences. For driveways, concrete, and wood, there are particular soaps. Make sure you pick the appropriate cleaner for the job. You can clean items with just water and a power wash, but consider how much better every surface is cleaned with hot water, soap, and pressure.

Three: wash what you should and shouldn’t wash

Power or pressure washing is not suitable for many surfaces in and around your home. Power or pressure wash should be avoided on the following surfaces:

  • You may simply wash away laminar sandstone or wash grooves in it. It’s impossible to power or pressure wash this material since it’s too soft.
  • Anything painted — While painted goods can be washed, doing so without destroying the paint usually requires the assistance of a professional.
  • Asphalt roofing – Power or pressure washing will literally ruin an asphalt roof by removing the granules.
  • Anything ancient, regardless of what it is – Dry rot, which can be seen in old things like furniture, decks, and wood buildings, can be removed using a pressure wash. A pressure wash can soften and damage even good wood.
  • Stained wood – Power or pressure washing can literally remove the stain off wood. If that’s what you want, go ahead; if it’s not, keep in mind that once the wood has dried, you may need to re-stain it.

Four: consider the size of the cleaning area as well as the type of surface to be cleaned

Because the only difference between the two procedures is heat, it’s crucial to think about the size of the area you’ll be cleaning as well as the type of surface you’ll be cleaning. When compared to unheated water, the main advantage of using hot water is that it provides a far more efficient and effective thorough clean. For larger areas, heated water is a preferable cleaning option. A power washer is also a preferable alternative if the area you’ll be cleaning has a lot of salt, mildew, moss, or weeds.

Five: understand the distinctions between commercial and residential power washers

If you’re a true DIYer, renting a commercial power washing machine rather than owning or using a home unit to clean huge areas is a good option. Better yet, pay an expert to do it for you. In the hands of an untrained homeowner, whether the unit is a home or a business unit, you can either damage the object you’re cleaning or leave noticeable cleaning lines that detract from the item’s beauty. You could possibly harm someone or damage the power washer.

Six: power and pressure washing are dangerous – exercise caution

While the thin trickle of water may not appear to be dangerous to people, it is. It has a force of up to 2,000 pounds when it comes out of the end of that wand. It’s enough to send concrete and stone pieces ricocheting with the power and speed of a bullet at you or someone else. When power/pressure washing, keep the following in mind:

  • Never spray a water or electrical outlet with a power/pressure washer. Before spraying, secure or cover all water and electrical outlets.
  • Never spray another person with a power/pressure washer; the spray can gravely injure or even kill them.
  • When spraying, wear safety glasses, goggles, or even a full face shield.
  • Close range is fine for some applications, but until you know how the spray reacts, remain at least 5-to-6 feet away from the surface you’re cleaning.
  • Before spraying windows or soft surfaces, start with the lowest setting possible and test it on a hard surface.
  • Start at the top of a vertical surface and wash your way down to avoid dirty water dripping onto clean parts.
  • After spraying with a chemical or cleaning solution and allowing it to soak for 5 to 10 minutes, rinse with clean water immediately. Allowing the cleaning solution to dry on the surface will simply redeposit the dirt that was previously loosed. To keep it wet or moist while it soaks, spray it with a regular garden hose.
  • It’s generally advisable to engage a commercial power washing firm to clean your home, drive, or deck, depending on the size of the area, what needs to be cleaned off it, and your resources.
  • If you’re renting the unit, ask the shop or clerk to show you how to use it rather than just explaining how it works.
  • Make sure you’re using the appropriate nozzle for the job. The hardest spray comes from a 0-degree nozzle, which is great for clumps of dirt, algae, mud, and stains. A 40-degree nozzle sprays a broad area and is ideal for house siding, sidewalks, patios, and decks, among other things.

Seventh: think about the season

The majority of power/pressure washing takes place in the fall and spring. Check the weather prediction if there are a few warm days in the winter. In warm or cool weather, shooting water into cracks and crevices is good, but if you predict freezing weather within a few days to a week following pressure/washing, be careful that the water may freeze and expand, causing damage to what you’ve cleaned. Before you wash, make sure the temperature won’t dip below freezing.

Power/pressure washing is an excellent way to clean your home, but if you’ve never used one before, proceed with caution and learn everything you can about how to clean your home, car, fence, or driveway before turning on your washer.