Pressure Washing 101: What You Need To Know
If you’ve ever found yourself going down the rabbit hole of YouTube pressure washing videos, you already know what an amazing job those tiny hose-shaped cleaners can do on even the dirtiest floors. From the layers of grime on the floors of a New York subway station to the filthiest exterior garden walkways, pressure washers can strip down literally months of dirt in mere seconds. But while it may look like magic when you first use a pressure washer on your garden pavers, the process is actually quite simple. Most cleaning services or paver cleaning londonberry nh companies use pressure washers to quickly erase layers of dirt without putting unnecessary muscle into it or wasting time endlessly scrubbing moss and algae covered outdoor surfaces. You can even rent your own pressure washer if you’re eager to try it out yourself. However, before you start, here are a few things you should know about operating a pressure washer on your home.
There are Different Techniques
After washing a few pressure cleaning videos, you might start to imagine that there’s really nothing to the process. However, don’t be fooled by what you see: Pressure washing actually comes with a bunch of different techniques for different areas around the house or in the yard. You can use your pressure washer without any kind of cleaning aid on surfaces that are dusty rather than caked over with dirt. If you’re treating a specific stain, you may need to clean with a different pressure setting or use a cleaning agent. You can use a pressure washer that works on a PSI, or pounds per square inch, basis, which allows you to use the actual force of the water to break dirt off of a surface, or one that functions on a GPM or gallons per minute basis. This method helps wash the dirt away quickly and effectively. Different stains require different treatment, and some treatments, such as dry gas blasting, require masks to be worn.
When operating a pressure washer, it helps to know what you’re cleaning. If you’re washing dirt on a stone surface without any mildew or algae growth, you’ll be using a different method than you would on a more sensitive wood surface or a moss-ridden pathway of stone pavers. If you’re not sure about how to switch between outdoor surfaces, it helps to ask a professional when you’re renting your equipment. Your average pressure washer works to hit a surface with about 75 times the amount of speed and pressure as a normal outdoor hose, so keep this in mind when working with more sensitive and detailed areas. While pressure washers can be ideal for cleaning the dirt out of hard-to-reach grooves and details on objects like tile walkways or sculptures, using too much pressure could end up damaging the object itself.
Some Jobs Require Pros
While many types of power washing, such as regular no-treatment washing, sandblasting, and soda blasting, don’t require precautionary measures or a ton of know-how, others definitely benefit from professional attention. For instance, since working with dry ice, which can emit a harmless yet unpleasant gas, requires a certain amount of foreknowledge, jobs that require this type of treatment should be left to professionals. While many jobs can technically be taken on by homeowners with a rental pressure-washer, there’s a reason why professionals are called in to help with bigger jobs. DIY jobs can backfire when a homeowner doesn’t know what they’re doing, especially when it comes to a more sensitive surface like glass or tile. If you’re at all concerned or unsure about working with a pressure washer, your best move is to hire a professional for your home’s more sensitive areas.
You Can Choose Between Gas or Electric Models
Pressure washers come in both gas and electric models. The power source doesn’t make a huge difference in terms of function, but if you’re planning on renting your own washer it helps to know what you’re more comfortable with. While electric models hook right up to your home power supply, gas models are better for jobs that require a more forceful machine, or for cleaning areas that are hard to reach by power supply. Gas models tend to be more heavy-duty and professional, while most electric models are more accessible for homeowners who want to do the job themselves. If you’re not certain about which model is best for you, ask a professional at your local home improvement store before you rent. Describe the type of area you’re washing, and you’ll be able to get a good recommendation.