Have you ever looked at the dirt and grime that has built up on your outdoor surfaces and thought how to get rid of it?
Well, wonder no more!
Power washing is the best way to clean anything outside. It will not only make your surfaces look brand new, but it will also help them last longer. In this article, I’ll dive into the world of power washing and talk about how important it is for keeping your outdoor spaces clean and inviting. So, let’s get a cup of coffee and get started!
Power Washing Basics
How Power Washing Works
A power washer is a machine that cleans things with pressure water.
The water pressure can be changed based on the area that needs to be cleaned.
For example, concrete can stand up to more pressure than painted wood, stucco, or soft stone.
Power washing a surface outside is faster and more effective than scrubbing it by hand.
It’s also a better way to clean hard-to-reach places, like edges and grooves, for a clean and new look.
Types of Surfaces that Can be Cleaned
Power washing can be used to clean a wide range of outdoor surfaces, such as concrete driveways and paths, decks, roofs, and cars.
But it shouldn’t be used on surfaces with lead paint, and old brick, wood, or stucco should be cleaned carefully so as not to damage them.
It’s important to remember that pressure washing can hurt the quality of the water if it’s not done right.
Before you use a power washer on any surface, you should clean the area with dry tools like brooms, blowers, or street sweepers.
First, the storm drains should be stopped so that debris can’t get in.
If pressure washing with a chemical cleaner is necessary, call EHS to get a map of the storm drains near the project site.
Power washing is a good way to clean, but if it isn’t done right, it can also damage the surface.
When using a power washer, you need to be ready and careful.
First, you should use scrub brushes.
If chemicals are still needed, you can use wipe-on, wipe-off products.
If chemicals need to be used to treat a big area, certain rules should be followed.
Pressure washing surfaces like painted wood, stucco, or soft stone is not advised.
When using a power washer, you should always wear safety gear, like safety glasses and gloves.
Before you use the machine, be sure to read the directions that came with it.
Surfaces and Equipment
Pressure washing is a great way to keep your house and yard clean and in good condition.
But not all surfaces can handle pressure washing, and it’s important to use the right cleaning products and methods to keep the surface you’re cleaning from getting damaged.
Here are some tips for cleaning outdoor areas and the tools you’ll need.
Surfaces that can be power washed safely
- Wood siding, cedar shake, vinyl plank, brick, stone, and coquina can be power washed safely.
- Vinyl siding and fiber cement siding can also withstand pressure washing without much concern.
- Concrete driveways and walkways can readily withstand pressure washing.
- Wicker and metal outdoor furniture can usually tolerate power washing, as long as you use a lower pressure setting.
Surfaces that should not be power washed
- Shingles are incredibly soft and pressure should not be used when cleaning a roof. Instead, a treatment can be safely applied to kill any existing algae, moss, or lichens.
- Exterior furniture should be avoided because the risk of damage is high.
Using the appropriate cleaning solutions and techniques
- When power washing, use the appropriate cleaning solutions and techniques to avoid causing damage to the surface being cleaned.
- It is recommended to trust a professional power washing company to handle certain projects, especially if you are unsure about the appropriate pressure and cleaning solutions to use.
Equipment needed for power washing
- To start a power washing business, you will need several types of equipment.
- The basic equipment includes a pressure washer, wands, tips, pressure washing hoses, garden hoses, ladders, tarps, and brushes.
- A gas-powered portable pressure washer, cold water, rated at least 4 GPM is recommended. Hot water speeds up the job and can be a worthwhile upgrade. If you go for hot water, limit yourself to 5-6 GPM, as this can be used with a typical hose connection to city water and no.
- A power washer that provides a force of 3,000 PSI or more is needed. The higher the pressure, the better and faster is the cleaning.
- Surface cleaners are also needed to clean different surfaces. Surface cleaners were originally designed with flatwork in mind, but several manufacturers have developed versions that are made to be used as wall washers. These are smaller, hand-held units that may have vacuum connections for capturing the used wash water.
- Nozzles and sprayer nozzles are also needed. A turbo nozzle can be used on hard surfaces like concrete, while sprayer nozzles can be used for other surfaces.
- In addition to the above equipment, a trailer, van, or truck is needed to transport your tools and machines. A closed truck/van is recommended as it provides better protection from loss, damage, and theft. High-pressure washers, water inlets, and chemical sprayers or applicators are also needed.
- It is important to note that detergents intended for pressure washers should be used to clean tough stains and grime that build up on your home exterior.
Benefits and Risks
Benefits of Power Washing
- Preventative maintenance: Power washing is a preventative maintenance measure that saves money by preventing damage. Having your home or business washed on a regular basis is far less expensive than repairing the damage that can result from letting the dirt and grime build up.
- Time and energy-saving: Power washing saves time and energy. It is a quick and efficient way to clean outdoor surfaces, and it can take off old, peeling layers of product that could cause new applications some problems down the line.
- Enhances appearance: Power washing enhances the appearance of outdoor surfaces. If curb appeal is important to you, power washing could be the chemical-free answer to uncovering your home’s natural beauty. Power washing cleans up your home’s exterior and the hardscaping around the property, from algae-covered roof shingles to cobwebs under the eaves to bird droppings on the ground.
- Safe alternative to chemicals: Power washing can be used as a safe alternative to chemicals. Using chemicals on stone surfaces to remove stains or discoloration can be a risky business. Since pressure washers can remove grime and dirt while leaving stone surfaces dry, there is no need to use chemicals.
- Deep cleans all areas: Power washing deep cleans all areas of your home. Siding, brick, and driveways aren’t the only areas that can benefit from a good power wash. Your patio or deck, any concrete surface, and even your outdoor furniture can profit from this spring cleaning task. You’ll think you have a brand new outdoor space after a thorough power wash.
Risks of Power Washing
- Damage to surfaces: Power washing can damage surfaces if not done correctly. Concrete surfaces are particularly vulnerable to damage from power washing, even at the level of light-duty power washers. The pressure involved in power washing is immense, and if not done correctly, it can cause visible damage to surfaces such as lines, pitting, and overall surface deterioration. Holding a pressure washing wand too close to concrete can etch it, and etched concrete is generally not repairable.
- Damage to soft wood surfaces: Other surfaces that can be damaged by power washing include soft wood surfaces such as fences and decks. Extremely high pressure can damage soft wood surfaces irreparably, so it is important to call on a trusted and highly rated pressure washing company to ensure that the job is done right.
- Use of correct pressure and nozzle: In addition to using the right pressure and nozzle, using the right cleaning solutions is also important to avoid damaging surfaces. If you are unsure of your power washing abilities, it is best to call in the professionals. Experienced technicians use commercially-designed power washers with the ability to blast dirt and debris with both hot and cold water, and they know how to use the right pressure, distance, and nozzle to avoid damaging surfaces.
Maintenance and Safety
Frequency of Power Washing
How often you need to power wash outdoor areas depends on what kind of surface it is and how much dirt and grime builds up on it.
Most professional home builders say that outdoor areas should be power washed once a year.
This includes hard surfaces like patios, roads, and other areas.
Power washing is a heavy-duty way to clean surfaces.
It uses a high-pressure stream of hot water to remove stubborn dirt, grime, and mold from surfaces.
But the regularity of power washing can change based on what the homeowner needs and wants.
For example, power washing can be done every one to two years or as needed if public appeal is important.
Power washing business buildings on a regular basis is also recommended to keep them looking nice.
Aside from that, regular upkeep can help keep dirt, mildew, and algae from building up.
It’s important to remember that power washing can hurt some surfaces if it’s not done right.
Because of this, it is best to get pros to do the job.
But if you want to do it yourself, there are a few things you should do to keep yourself safe when power washing outdoor areas.
First, you should never aim the power washer at yourself or anyone else.
Second, you should never try to push or move things with the washer’s spray.
Third, before using a power washer, you should always test the ground fault circuit interrupter (also called a circuit breaker or outlet).
Fourth, you should always put a pressure washer that is properly grounded into a plug that is also properly grounded.
Fifth, if you have to use an extension cord, keep the power cord link of the pressure washer out of any standing water and use a heavy-duty extension cord with parts that can be used in wet places.
Sixth, keep the plugs for the power cord and the extension cord as far away from the item being washed and the water as possible.
On top of these safety measures, it’s important to wear the right clothes and shoes when power washing.
Gloves, shoes with closed toes, long sleeves, and pants can protect your skin from the water and any cleaning solutions or chemicals that are being used.
Also, you should protect your eyes.
When cleaning, it’s also important to be aware of your surroundings, such as children playing, pets, cars driving by, slippery surfaces, electrical risks, and other possible dangers.
Lastly, before using a pressure washer, it’s important to read the manufacturer’s guidelines and only use the detergents or chemicals that are recommended for the item being cleaned.
Routine upkeep can help keep dirt, mildew, and algae from building up on surfaces outside.
Here are some tips for keeping outdoor areas in good shape:
- Sweep or blow away leaves and debris regularly to prevent buildup.
- Remove any visible stains or spills as soon as possible to prevent them from becoming permanent.
- Clean outdoor furniture, planters, and decorations regularly to prevent them from becoming dirty and obstructing access to the surface.
- Trim any nearby trees, bushes, or plants to prevent them from shedding debris onto the surface.
- Apply a sealant or stain to the surface to protect it from the elements and prolong its lifespan.
Patio Cleaning: The Ultimate Solution for Your Dirty Outdoor Surfaces
Are you tired of looking at your dirty and stained patio? Do you want to enjoy your outdoor space without feeling embarrassed about its appearance? If so, then patio cleaning is the solution you’ve been looking for!
Power washing is the most effective way to clean your patio and other outdoor surfaces.
It uses high-pressure water to blast away dirt, grime, and stains, leaving your patio looking like new.
Plus, it’s quick and easy, so you can enjoy your clean patio in no time.
But be careful! Power washing can be dangerous if not done correctly.
That’s why it’s important to hire a professional who knows how to use the equipment safely and effectively.
They’ll also know which cleaning solutions to use for your specific type of patio surface.
So, don’t let a dirty patio ruin your outdoor experience.
Call a professional power washing service today and enjoy a clean and beautiful patio all year round!
For more information:
Patio Cleaning 101: Tips, Tools & Safety
Stain Removal and Cost
Power Washing versus Pressure Washing
Power washing and pressure washing are both ways to use water to clean surfaces and get rid of dirt and grime.
Power washing, on the other hand, uses water sprayed at a high pressure to remove old, flaking paint and stains from surfaces, leaving a clean, smooth surface to work on.
It can also get rid of graffiti, gum, stains, paint, rust, mold and mildew, deck stains, calcium and lime deposits, clogged gutters, and oil and grease from cars and lawn equipment.
On the other hand, pressure washing uses less force and is usually used on materials like concrete that aren’t as strong.
But if you hold a pressure cleaning wand too close to concrete, it can get etched, which usually can’t be fixed.
To prevent this, some companies use a surface cleaner to clean concrete floors.
This makes it much less likely that the worker will make a mistake and gets rid of the need for high pressure.
For tougher spots, like oil stains, you may also need a cleaning agent along with the high-pressure water.
It’s important to remember that you can’t power wash everything, and some surfaces may need to be cleaned by a professional.
Cost of Hiring a Professional
The cost of getting a professional power washing service depends on how big the job is, what kind of surface it is, and how it is cleaned. The average cost of power washing is between $0.35 and $0.77 per square foot, and most people spend around $210 to hire a professional. The average cost of pressure and power washing across the country is $281, and most pressure washing costs between $250 and $324. The average cost per square foot for pressure washing is between $0.30 and $0.80, while the average cost per square foot for power cleaning is between $0.35 and $0.70.
To be more exact, power washing a house costs between $170 and $360, and power washing a deck or driveway costs between $100 and $260. Most of the time, it costs between $220 and $380 to power wash a house, $130 to $220 to power wash a road, and $250 to $420 to power wash a deck or patio. But many companies have minimums, so if your job is small, you may have to pay more.
Things to Consider
When setting prices for pressure washing, there are other things to think about, like how the service is packaged and what chemicals are used.
Adding value for customers can be done at a low cost by combining services.
Also, it’s important to know that power washing uses hot water, while pressure washing uses water that is not as hot.
Most of the time, power washing is used to get rid of tougher, more stuck-on dirt, while pressure washing is good for simple to mild jobs.
Note: Please keep in mind that the estimate in this article is based on information available when it was written.
It’s just for informational purposes and shouldn’t be taken as a promise of how much things will cost.
Prices, rates, and fees can change because of things like market changes, changes in regional costs, inflation, and other unforeseen circumstances.
The last word on the matter
In the end, power washing is a great way to clean and restore outdoor surfaces to their former beauty. But it’s important to remember that when you have a lot of power, you also have a lot of duty. Even though it might be tempting to blast away at every surface you see, it’s important to think about the damage that high-pressure water could do. Also, it’s important to care about the environment and use cleaning products that are kind to the earth whenever possible.
At the end of the day, power washing can be a game-changer when it comes to cleaning outside, but it’s important to use it carefully. So the next time you think about using a power washer to clean your patio or sidewalk, think about the effects it could have and make sure you’re using it properly. Good luck cleaning!
Looking for a new Pressure washer?
Choosing a gadget can be very difficult if you know nothing about the technology.
Some will pay for features they do not need while others may not consider what they really want.
So I created this quick, newbie guide to help you focus on what is really important to you:
The Best Pressure Washer (For You!)
What are some ways you can keep the outside of a house clean?
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