What To Know Before You Pressure Wash Anything
Updated: May 4
Cleaning surfaces around your home, especially the big ones, is sometimes stressful. However, pressure washing is one of the safest, quickest, and most effective ways to clean those surfaces. Pressure washing uses water under high pressure to clean surfaces.
You can use it to remove some of the stubborn stains like paint, grease, algae, mold, and mud, and it is safe to use on surfaces like fences, buildings, masonry, concrete, and some cars.
You might sometimes confuse between pressure washing and power washing. Those two cleaning processes are the same in that they both use water under high pressure to clean the surfaces. However, power washing has an additional feature to heat the water.
Before pressure washing anything in your home, there are some things you must know to ensure you do it properly and safely.
Pressure Wash Vs. Power Wash
You might consider using a power washer because the hot water does a better job. However, some surfaces might not stand the heat and pressure and may get damaged instead of clean.
You should not use your power washer on masonry, concrete, or brick surfaces, but only on hard surfaces that can withstand pressure and heat. Also, only use your power washer on surfaces with extreme dirt, weed buildup, moss, and grease.
It will do a better job at getting out all the dirt than a pressure washer would. The hot water also helps kill the mold and moss, preventing them from re-growing. You should also use the power washer for big areas like a long driveway.
On the other hand, pressure washers are safe to use on softer surfaces like tiled areas, sidings, wood decks, brick, concrete, and masonry. They are also perfect for small areas like decks and patios. If you don't feel comfortable doing it we suggest having a professional do it for you check out this company on Long Island Here!
Electrical Vs. Gas Pressure Washer
Pressure washers dispense water using a pump to regulate the water pressure passing through the hose. The pump is powered either by gasoline or electricity, and you should know the difference between the two powering agents, plus their pros and cons.
Gasoline pressure washer
• They produce a wide range of GPM and PSI levels, meaning that they clean faster and better than electric ones.
• They are cordless, meaning you can use them anywhere in your home.
• They need consistent maintenance.
• They are louder than electric-powered pressure washers.
• They produce emissions, which makes it impossible to use them indoors without covering other surfaces.
Electric power washers
• They produce no emissions, making them safe to use indoors.
• Does not require regular maintenance and oil changes.
• Does not produce as much power as a gasoline pressure washer, making it slower in cleaning.
• They are not portable because they must be close to the power source.
Size Of The Pressure Washer
Whether you choose an electric or gasoline pressure washer, you must consider the size of its engine. The size determines how perfect your cleaning results will be and that nobody is hurt in the process.
Similar to all engine-powered machines, the bigger the engine, the more the power. The different sizes of pressure washers are;
• Light duty- They produce water under a pressure of 2,000 PSI. They are the best if you want to clean small items or surfaces, which also do not have a lot of grease, dirt, moss, or mold.
• Medium-duty- These pressure washers produce between 2,000 and 2,800 PSI of water pressure levels. They are perfect for cleaning surfaces like fencing, driveways, and small jobs around the house.
• Heavy-duty- These produce water pressure levels of between 2,900 and 3,300 PSI. They are perfect for cleaning big sections of concrete and can also reach the second floor of a story building.
• Professional-grade- These are the pressure washer used by professionals, and their water pressure levels are 3,300 PSI and above. Their extra-heavy-duty engines are designed to work for hours, and they are perfect for cleaning a building’s exterior prior to a new paint job.
No matter which size of pressure washer you choose, remember to consider its GPM measurement.
Nozzle Types And Sizes
The engine of your pressure washer determines the pressure of the water, and the nozzle determines the angle at which the water is sprayed. The angle is crucial because it determines how well the water cleans.
Narrow angled sprays are more powerful than large angled sprays, and the surfaces you want to clean should dictate the type of nozzle you get. Pressure washer nozzles come in universal colors that help you choose your best one;
• Red- This has the narrowest angle at 0 degrees. Since it is the narrowest water stream, it can cause a lot of damage, so you should avoid using it close to surfaces.
• Yellow- This nozzle creates a 15-degree water stream, and it is best if you want to clean concrete.
• Green- These nozzles produce a 25-degree water stream, perfect for all-purpose pressure washing around your house. They are the best if you want to wash your car, furniture, or deck.
• White- This is the most user-friendly, and it produces a 40-degree water stream. It is perfect for cleaning your sidings and windows.
• Black- With a 65-degree angle water stream, this is the gentlest pressure washer nozzle. If you want to remove stains or dirt, this is not the nozzle for you. Instead, use it to make surfaces wet.
For better results, use an attachment designed for the specific job you want to complete like;
• Surface cleaner- This attachment distributes a high-pressure water stream over large surfaces using a spinning bar. It is useful for cleaning large concrete areas like a driveway.
• Rotary nozzle- Also known as a turbo nozzle, produces a spinning 00 water stream that is useful when cleaning grimy buildup and stubborn stains.
• Pressure washing broom- Divides a high-pressure water jet into 2 or 3 jets to help cover a wider area.
• Expandable wand- This enables you to reach high surfaces without needing a ladder.
Types Of Surfaces
You can use your pressure washer on a lot of surfaces around your home, but some of the surfaces you should never pressure wash include;
• Laminar sandstone- This is a very soft surface, and it may not handle the pressure very well. You will end up making grooves in it or washing it away.
• Asphalt roofing- Pressure washing rips the granules off asphalt roofs and destroys them.
• Painted surfaces- If you need to wash your painted surfaces, do it by hand or call a professional to avoid destroying or removing the paint with the water pressure.
• Stained wood- The pressure from your pressure washer will take off the stain on the wood.
• Old items and surfaces- Old things like furniture, buildings, or cars might have dry rot on them, which makes them weak. Using a pressure washer on them will take them apart.
Some of the things that are safe for pressure washing include fences, outdoor bikes and toys, outdoor cushions, garbage cans, concrete surfaces, and gardening equipment. All you need to do is regulate the nozzle to prevent damage.
Professional Vs. Residential Cleaning Solutions
Some surfaces are hard to clean without using cleaning solutions. However, the solutions you use vary depending on what you are cleaning. The solution you use determines if you properly clean your surfaces or end up damaging them.
You may consider using your residential soaps and cleaning solutions to clean some surfaces, which may work for small surfaces that don't have a lot of dirt. For bigger surfaces that have a lot of dirt, grime, moss, and mold, consider using professional cleaners.
However, you need to know the different cleaning solutions and their purpose. Cleaners remove dirt, disinfectants kill organisms in 30 minutes, and sanitizers kill most bacteria within 30 seconds.
There are some special soaps and cleaners made for surfaces like wood, concrete, and driveways, and using the wrong ones could damage the surface.
To ensure proper cleaning and avoid damage, you should call a professional if you are not familiar with all the cleaning solutions.
Safety is key when you are using a pressure washer because the stream of water could hurt you or damage the surface. It may also chip out the surface you are cleaning, and those particles may hit you or someone else at high speed, causing serious injury.
• Before pressure washing, some of the safety precautions to observe include;
• Never spray water from a pressure washer at anybody because the high pressure could seriously injure or even kill them.
• Put on goggles or a face shield when spraying to avoid particles flying into your face or eyes. You should also protect your ears because of the pressure washer's noise, especially if you are using a gasoline one.
• Begin with the lower pressure setting, and try it on a hard surface before cleaning any softer surfaces.
• Stay at least 5 or 6 feet away from the surface you are cleaning.
• Always use the right nozzle for the job to avoid damaging the surface or yourself.
• Cover all the things and surfaces you don’t want wet.
• Never clean during winter or a few days before. That is because the water may get stuck in some cracks on the surface and freeze, causing damage to the surface.
If you are not sure how to handle a pressure washer, call a professional. That will not only ensure that you get the best results, but it also prevents any damage and hurt from happening. Give us a call or visit our website at aboveallpressurecleaning.com.