6 Places to Clean with a Pressure Washer
Few cleaning methods are more powerful or efficient than pressure washing. Indeed, once you’ve seen the effects of a proper pressure washing job, you might be tempted to try it for yourself on just about every surface of your house exterior. Keep in mind, however, that the great power of pressure washing comes with great responsibility -- using the wrong settings, flubbing your aim, or targeting the wrong surfaces can damage your property.
So, when it comes to pressure washing (or power washing, which involves an added heat component), not only should you know what you’re doing mechanically -- you should also know which areas and materials to clean this way, and which ones to avoid. Here are six places to consider cleaning with a pressure washer.
1. Home Siding...Sometimes
Pressure washing your home’s primary exterior is a great way to blast away dirt, dust, debris, mold, and mildew as well as prepare it from an exterior paint job. Of course, some types of home siding can withstand the impact, friction, and heat involved in this process better than others. More specifically, vinyl, fiber cement, and newer wood clapboard siding are prime candidates for pressure washing. Power washing siding made from brick or stone is also possible, but it requires a gentler setting, as too much pressure and heat can erode the material, and the water itself can seep into the siding’s pores and cause further damage. As for aluminum siding, too much power can dent the material, so, once again, a lower setting is required here.
2. Wooden Deck or Patio
When neglected, wooden surfaces can become breeding grounds for fungi, pests, and other unwanted elements, which is why regular maintenance is so important. The most effective way to clean your wooden deck or patio is via a pressure washer. Performing this task is also crucial when preparing to apply a new coat of stain or sealant. Make sure the nozzle is not too close to the wood, as this can damage the boards. Also, clean along the wood’s natural grain.
3. Concrete Walkway or Driveway
Most concrete surfaces can hold up against the force of a power washer. This is good news, too, considering how easily concrete can get stained and harbor fungi. As always, the angle, distance, detergent, and power settings of your device must be accounted for.
Gutters are notorious for their propensity to get ambushed by dirt and debris. And because of their shape and positioning, cleaning them can be somewhat difficult. Fortunately, with the proper curved attachments, you can effectively clean your gutters with a pressure washer. When doing so, begin near a downspout, spraying away from it, and do your best to not overwhelm your downspouts with too much debris (this can lead to clogging). Additionally, follow the washer’s instructions for gutter cleaning so you don’t damage your gutters in the process.
5. Outdoor Furniture
Outdoor furniture made from plastic, vinyl, or wood can also benefit from a thorough cleaning with a pressure washer, especially if it’s thickly coated with dirt, mildew, etc. Before performing this task, make sure the furniture is sturdy and on a flat surface so you don’t knock it over, and be mindful of the area behind the furniture (the stream will likely go past the furniture every now and then). Use a low-pressure washer/setting and stand at the proper, instructed distance.
6. Garage Floors
All of the areas outlined above have been exterior surfaces, and for good reason -- using a pressure washer indoors is a recipe for disaster. That said, garage floors, which are technically interior surfaces, can also benefit from pressure washing. When pressure washing your concrete garage floor, it’s important to aim toward the driveway and not the other way around, of course. This will allow excess water to flow away from your home and minimize the risk of damaging your garage walls and interior items.
A little pressure washing can go a long way, as long as you know what you’re doing. If you don’t, research local pressure washing services to help you get the job done. At Nash Painting, we offer pressure washing as its own separate service, or as a part of our painting services. To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!