With warmer temperatures coming our way, the time is ripe for us to enjoy our outdoor spaces once again. A big part of our spring cleaning ritual is pressure washing our decks, patios, home exteriors and fences. The process can erase years of stains and save us time and money. Here are some tips if you are a DIY pressure washer and plan to tackle the job yourself.
How Pressure Washers Work
Pressure washers use a gas engine or electric motor to power a pump. The device forces water at high pressure through a concentrating nozzle. The blast washes away grime on decks, driveways, patios and other surfaces. A pressure washer can also clean chairs and some types of siding, much faster than a scrub brush or hose.
Use With Caution
The nozzles on pressure washers shoot water at 30 to 80 times more pressure and have strong cutting capabilities. Be very careful while using a pressure washer and make sure you don’t aim it at someone. Thousands of people end up in the emergency room withinjuries related to water-pressure use.
Types of Pressure Washers
Pressure washers come in two main varieties: gas and electric.
Gas-powered pressure washers quickly clean large areas, getting rid of tough gunk like chewing gum and tree sap. They are also good for heavy-duty jobs like removing paint and cleaning sidewalks and driveways. They are less expensive than their electric counterparts.
Electric-powered devices are best used on small decks and patios, outdoor furniture, and other areas that require cleaning, not stain removal. They are light, quiet and easy to store. However, their water pressure is lower which extends the cleaning time. They also must be plugged in to operate.
Battery-powered washers are perfect for lighter-duty tasks, such as car washing. They offer an amped-up alternative to cleaning with a regular garden hose.
Pressure Washer Nozzles
Pressure washers often come with color-coded interchangeable nozzles or an all-in-one adjustable nozzle. It just takes a twist to change the spray width or pattern on an adjustable nozzle. Replaceable nozzles let you customize the spray pattern with specific spray angles. These range from zero degrees for the toughest cleaning jobs, to 40 degrees for easily damaged surfaces. The 65 degree nozzle provides a gentle spray of water and is often used for applying detergent or rinsing soap. Stay away from the zero degree setting to reduce the risk of injury.
Safety Comes First
Always keep safety in mind while using a pressure washer. Read the manufacturer’s manual. Don’t use the most intense setting, which blasts out a narrow stream of water. The wider-angle setting is just as effective and is much safer. Always wear goggles, long pants and sturdy footwear. Be careful on slippery, wet surfaces. To avoid any damage, never get closer than six inches to whatever you’re cleaning. Never use a pressure washer while standing on a ladder.
If you are uncomfortable doing your own pressure washing, call in a professional to do the job for you.
Let Us Do Your Spring Cleaning
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.