Pressure washing can be a tricky process, especially when we have never used this cleaning method before.
If you have never used a pressure washer before, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we will give you some useful tips about how to start working with a pressure washing machine and we will provide you with the answers you need before turning on your pressure washer.
What is pressure washing?
Pressure washing is one of the most effective cleaning methods that exist. It can help you clean properly and quickly different outdoor spaces that can be either small or large and also different types of surfaces.
Benefits of pressure washing
Pressure washing works for those cleaning tasks, for which the standard cleaning routine with a brush and cleaning solution doesn’t work anymore. Pressure washers work with a powerful water stream that can handle even the most stubborn of dirt. And because of that, working with a pressure washing machine should be done carefully.
If you are not careful, you can easily injure yourself or someone else when cleaning a certain spot. Also, when improperly handled pressure washers can cause structural damage on the spot you are cleaning or damage the plants at your property.
For this reason, you need to make sure you know how to work with your pressure washer, before starting any cleaning task.
If you have stubborn dirt debris at your property that needs heavy-duty cleaning, choosing to clean with a pressure washer will guarantee you efficient results. Pressure washing machines can work efficiently against different kinds of dirt: dust, soil, mud, grease, gum, wax, plant residue, rust.
Pressure washers can be used for a variety of cleaning tasks and they have many applications. You can literally clean your entire house with them. A pressure washing machine can be used for cleaning different hard surfaces: concrete patios, walkways, driveways, wooden decks, home exterior, sidings, roofs, and even cars.
Pressure washers are mainly used for large spaces where strong cleaning power is needed, but they can be also used for small spots with dirt stains that are impossible to be cleaned with standard cleaning methods.
What pressure washer is suitable for me?
The main types of pressure washers are two – electric and gas pressure washers. Each of these types has its own advantages and disadvantages.
As you know, pressure washers clean with water under pressure that flows through a hose attached to the machine. The water pressure is created by a pump inside the machine that works with either electricity or gasoline.
The power of a pressure washer is measured by two main things – PSI and GPM. PSI means pounds of pressure per square inch and GPM means gallons of water per minute.
What to look for when picking up a pressure washing machine?
Type of pressure washer
Let’s check out the different pressure washers and the pros and cons of each of them.
Electric pressure washing machines
Pros: Electric-powered pressure washers are easy to use and they can be used indoors or in covered spaces. Their lack of fumes makes them a nature-friendly option. The maintenance of electric pressure washers is pretty simple as they don’t require consistent changes of the oil or special fuel additives.
Cons: The PSI and GPM of electric power washers is lower than gas pressure washers. This makes them a bad choice when it comes to cleaning large and very dirty spaces. Their power is simply not enough to offer you the result you want.
Gas pressure washing machines
The PSI and GPM of gas pressure washers have a wide range of levels.This allows them to clean effectively with a fast speed and also to offer a big number of cleaning settings.
Another one of their advantages is that their GPM and PSI is higher than that of electric pressure washers.This means they can clean different surfaces with a quicker speed than electricity-powered pressure washers.
Gas-powered pressure washers don’t need power outlets as they have no cord, which makes the cleaning process an easy task.
The maintenance of gas pressure washers is not an easy one. Their oil needs to be changed periodically. And if you need to store a gas pressure machine for a long period of time, you need to use quality fuel additives.
The engines of pressure washers produce more noise than those of the electric ones. And they are also more harmful to the environment due to their emissions. That is why the indoor use of gas pressure washers is not recommended.
Types of nozzles
Choosing the right type of nozzle for your pressure washer is also important as the angle of the water stream depends on the nozzle type. And the cleaning effectiveness depends on the water stream angle. For example, a large-angle spray doesn’t create the same power as a narrow-angle spray.
The nozzles of pressure washers usually come in red, yellow, green, white and black, which denote the water spray strength each nozzle offers.
Choosing the right size of a pressure washer for your cleaning needs is important, no matter if you choose a gas-powered or electricity-powered pressure washer.
The total power of a pressure washing machine is determined by the size of its engine. The engine types of pressure washers are divided into four categories: light-duty, medium-duty, heavy-duty, professional.
Useful pressure washing tips for beginners
If you need to clean a wooden deck,there are some things you should pay attention to, in order to get the best results in a safe and effective way.
Don’t allow the pressure washer wand to hover over one spot for too long, as it can damage the surface. Just pass a dirt spot a couple of times with the wand. Also, try working with the wand in an even up- and-down movement and make overlapping strokes. This will guarantee you good results without getting visible lines on the surface after you finish.
When working with a pressure washer, it’s important to use both of your hands and hold the pressure washer wand securely to avoid injury for you or some property damage.
When cleaning a wooden deck with a pressure washer, avoid stopping or starting the water spray in the middle of a board. Do this at the top or at the bottom of the wooden board.
To avoid structural damage, keep the spray nozzle of the wand at a distance of approximately 46 cm. distance away from the surface you are cleaning.
Painted surfaces and siding require more delicate cleaning, so for this reason avoid cleaning those, if you are an absolute beginner. You should trust this task to a professional instead.
Because pressure washers can be noisy and they bring a risk of injury, wearing eye protection and ear plugs is a must.