Pressure washers not only quickly clean a surface, but can be addictive too. Some people report they just can’t stop at the patio, but they end up doing the driveway, sidewalk, deck, and even their neighbor’s walkway too! However, too much fun can backfire. There are important DIY pressure washing safety tips you need to follow to ensure a happy outcome.
Pressure Washing Risks
There are several risks that go along with using a pressure washer. Injuries can be prevented if you know how to use a pressure washer properly. Always read the instruction manual first.
Severe bodily injuries can occur if proper precautions aren’t followed. According to the CDC, the strong spray from a pressure washer can cause serious wounds that might appear minor at first. If treatment is delayed, there’s a greater risk for infection, disability or amputation. Get to a doctor as soon as possible.
Water Pressure Danger
The water pressure can cut through heavy-duty boots and the hose can be difficult to control. The fast, strong spray can throw objects that strike and injure others who are close by. The high pressure can also strip the flesh from your bone. People often underestimate the power of a pressure washer.
Electric Shock and Poisoning
Electric shock can occur if safety instructions aren’t followed while using an electric pressure washer. These machines have power cables that can crack and water can seep into the cords. This can result in electric shock and fire. Have a power source that’s grounded to eliminate any risks.
Small, gasoline-powered engines can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Never use one in an enclosed, or partially enclosed space.
Pressure washing comes with a lot of power. While this is invaluable for cleaning surfaces, it can also damage them too. Washing too close can cause permanent damage to paint and wood. Older windows and shingles may also be vulnerable to the pressure and become damaged.
Chemicals from a machine can get into the bloodstream through a cut on your skin. A small puncture can lead to a serious bacterial infection. Never neglect any wounds. Get them checked by a doctor.
Pressure Washing Safety Tips
Be sure to keep the following safety precautions top of mind when using a pressure washer.
Point the Nozzle in a Safe Direction. Make sure it’s only pointed towards the area being cleaned. Never aim the nozzle at yourself or others. Be sure to keep your fingers out of the way as well.
Read the Instruction Manual. You need to be familiar with the safety tips and unique features of the pressure washer. Potential injuries can be greatly reduced if you know how to use the machine.
Do a Test Run. Before you start using the pressure washer, take it out for a spin. Make sure there is at least a two feet clearance from the cleaning surface. Use the widest angle of the nozzle and adjust the size progressively. Hold the wand with both hands to keep it steady.
Wear Protective Gear. Most injuries caused by pressure washers can be prevented by wearing protective gear. Always put on enclosed boots, gloves, long pants, safety glasses and hearing protection.
Consider Hazards. Move obstacles in the workspace out of the way and make sure the surface is dry. You don’t want to slip and fall.
Select the Right Nozzle. Always adjust the nozzle to the proper pressure to clean a particular surface. Start with the nozzle that has the largest degree of spray. Work your way down until you find the pressure you want to use.
If you are not an experienced DIYer, it’s best if you leave the power washing to the pros.
Give Your Power Washing Projects to Us
If you are ready to spruce up your outdoor space, the professionals at Peak Power Wash can help. We can clean your home exterior or tackle your deck, sidewalk or driveway. We use a technique called “soft wash”, which uses a much lower amount of pressure and reduces potential harm to surfaces. Contact us at 443-686-WASH or visit our website to request a free estimate.