Pressure washing has quickly become one of the preferred methods of cleaning a variety of surfaces in both residential, commercial, and business locations. From sidewalks and patios to residential home exteriors, pressure washing is suitable in several different cleaning contexts. Pressure washing is an excellent way of maintaining or restoring the look of the home, with many realty agents recommending that potential sellers invest in a pressure wash to boost the curb appeal and listing price of their home.
When used to treat concrete sidewalks, pressure washing is a quick, easy, and efficient way of removing all manner of dirt or salt deposits that contribute to surface weathering. If you are worried about investing time and energy, replacing another stained deck, then pressure washing may be your answer, as it is one of the best ways to boost their longevity. Here’s everything you should know before power or pressure washing anything around your home!
Power Wash vs. Pressure Wash
The idea of a good steam cleaning of your house, deck, driveway, or other household features is appealing. Hot water shot through a high-pressure hose will take off just about the most stubborn dirt and stain. But, it’s not really the best choice for things like brick or concrete, or masonry. All that cleaning power comes with a price. Power washing can be very harsh on those surfaces. Use a pressure washer with an appropriate cleaner instead.
Size and Type of Surface
Since the primary or only difference between the two methods is heat, it’s essential to consider the size of the area you’ll be cleaning and the type of surface you’ll be cleaning. The main benefit of using hot water is that it’s a much more efficient and effective, deep clean compared to unheated water. Heated water is a better cleaning choice for larger areas. If the area you’ll be cleaning has a lot of salt, mildew, moss, or weeds, a power washer is also the better option.
While it might not seem like that thin stream of water could be harmful to humans, it’s really quite dangerous. It comes out of the end of that wand at up to 2,000 pounds of force. It’s enough to send chips of concrete and stone ricocheting at you or someone else with the power and deadliness of a bullet.
What to Wash and What Not to Wash
Not every surface in or around your home can be safely power or pressure washed. Surfaces you should not try to power or pressure wash are:
- Laminar sandstone – You’ll simply wash it away, or wash grooves in it. It’s too soft of material to power or pressure wash.
- Anything painted – While painted items can be washed, it usually takes a pro to do it without destroying the paint.
- Asphalt roofing – Power or pressure washing will make the granules off of an asphalt roof and literally destroy it.
- Anything old no matter what it is – Old things, including furniture, decks, wood buildings, etc. may have dry rot that will disintegrate under a pressure wash. Even good wood can be soft and damaged by a pressure wash
- Stained wood – Pressure or power washing can literally take the stain right out of wood. If that’s what you want, go ahead, but if it’s not, remember you may need to re-stain the wood once it’s dried.
Understand The Different Cleaning Solutions
Not all cleaning solutions are the same. Understanding the difference among cleaners can mean the difference between cleaning and destroying what you are power/pressure washing. There are four types of chemicals used in power/pressure washers. These chemicals are labeled based on their intended purpose and the kind of surface they are to be used on. Cleaners remove dirt, sanitizers kill most (99.999 % of bacteria in 30 seconds or less), and disinfectants kill all organisms within 30 minutes.
Every surface of whatever you’re cleaning is different. Each surface requires different techniques, nozzle sizes, pressure, and even different chemicals where needed. If you’re not a pro, stick to buying the premixed cleaners designed to clean specific surfaces – such as “Krudkutter” for house and siding versus Krudkutter for decks and fences. There are particular soaps for driveways, concrete, and wood. Make sure you get the right cleaner for what you want to clean. You can get things clean with just a power wash and water, but think about how much better any surface is cleaned by using hot water and soap and pressure.
Time of The Year
Most power/pressure washing is done in the fall or spring. If you do get a few warm days in winter, check the weather forecast. Shooting water into cracks and crevices is fine in warm or cold weather, but if you’re expecting freezing weather within a few days to a week of pressure/washing, be aware that water may freeze and expand, damaging what you’ve cleaned. Make sure that temperatures won’t drop below freezing before you wash.
Power/pressure washing is a great way to clean up your home, but exercise caution if you’ve never used a sprayer before, and learn all you can about how to clean your home, car, fence or driveway before you turn on your washer.
Commercial and Home Power Washers
If you’re a hardcore Do-it-Yourselfer, consider renting a commercial power washing machine rather than buying or using a home unit to clean large areas. Better yet, simply hire a professional. Whether the group is a home or commercial unit, in the hands of an untrained homeowner, you can do either damage the thing you’re cleaning or leave noticeable cleaning lines that mar the item’s appearance. You can also damage the power washer, or hurt someone.
Pressure Washing Saves Serious Time
Compared to regular cleaning methods, pressure-washing is an anti-bacteria blitzkrieg. When you invest in a professional pressure washing, you are cutting out the need to gather materials, prepare a cleaning solution of appropriate strength. You undergo a rigorous half-day or more of scrubbing. Pressure washing eliminates the need for time-consuming ladder work, allowing you to point the nozzle towards hard-to-reach areas.
Pressure washing is an essential part of your regular property maintenance. To enhance your property and wow your neighbors, contact QUALITY WINDOW WASHERS LLC today and start with a no-obligation quote. Backed by years of experience, they offer professional window and outdoor cleaning services to residential and commercial clients throughout Summerville, Mount Pleasant, and surrounding areas.