If you’re considering using a high pressure washer to clean your surfaces, there are a few things to look out for.
At a first glance, it may seem like a quick, easy (and highly tempting) solution: blasting away all the debris, junk and dirt that appears throughout your property. Cleaning large areas can also be fun when using a powerful pressure machine.
These products are also gaining widespread popularity. The international pressure washer market is constantly growing, and is expected to reach $3 billion USD by 2026.
But the truth is that using such heavy duty equipment can quite easily result in unforeseen problems that you’ll certainly want to avoid.
Below, we’ll outline the different surfaces you may consider cleaning. You can then assess whether a high pressure washer is appropriate.
You should feel absolutely free to use a pressure washer to clean a concrete driveway. This material is well-built to withstand such forceful water pressure.
If you want to clean a driveway efficiently, a pressure washer of at least 3,100 PSI is ideal. You can certainly use lower pressure washers (1,000 to 2,300 PSI) but it will take longer to get the job done.
The BAR 3513G-HJV pressure washer operates at 3,500 PSI, for example, and is highly effective at thoroughly cleaning driveways.
We recommend ‘spot treating’ the stains you come across on your driveway. This means you should apply a particular solution on the parts of your driveway where gunk has accumulated to form a particular hard stain, prior to spraying. This makes pressure washing ever more effective.
High pressure cleaners are effective at cleaning decks, especially if you are getting ready to paint or stain them.
It’s important to regularly maintain your decks, especially since a build up of dirt can diminish their value. Pressure washing can clear up any mildew, moisture, dust, grease, stains and dirt located on your decks.
However, you should be careful when power cleaning this part of your property. It is not simply a case of grabbing out the washer and blasting all the dirt away. We suggest that you:
- Ensure the wood of your deck is appropriate for high pressure washing. Some types of wood can withstand the force of the water more effectively than others. Cedar and pine, for example, can withstand a lower pressure (500-600 PSI) compared to others like merbau and jarrah (up to 1,200 PSI).
- Sweep your deck before washing (removing any excess dirt, leaves or debris from the surface). You could otherwise risk chipping the wood.
- Wear appropriate protective personal equipment (PPE) when washing. This may include safety goggles, closed shoes and gloves.
- Use the right pressure setting. Washers with a powerful 5,000 PSI setting can potentially damage your deck. Turn down your cleaner using the knob or use a lower pressure washer such as the BAR Hot Pressure Cleaner SMART to clean your deck.
Pressure washing is a very effective way to clean car exteriors, especially if you couple the wash with a pristine polish.
But there are few things to note if you wish to clean your car this way.
- Always keep the nozzle of your washer at a safe distance. If you place the washer too close to your car’s surface, there is a risk of damaging the paint.
- Ensure that the brush of your washer is in appropriate condition and suitable for cleaning a car.
- Do not use a pressure setting that is intended to strip paint.
- Avoid cleaning your car over gravel or pebbled surfaces. Otherwise, you may face the risk of small rocks bouncing and scratching the surface of your car.
- Do not allow your washer’s nozzle to remain on one single spot of your car for too long. You may end up chipping the paint.
You should generally avoid pressure washing your roof because it is dangerous and can potentially damage its integrity. This applies whether your roof is made from asphalt, terracotta, wood, corrugated iron or other material.
Using a high pressure washer on your roof can possibly lead to death or injury. Blasting water at such a high rate of power tends to throw you back and off balance. The risk of injury could be catastrophic, especially if you are standing on a ladder.
Earlier this year, a man fell off a roof and passed away after reportedly losing his balance using a pressure washer.
It can also be unsafe for inexperienced homeowners to pressure wash their homes without safety measures in place such as a harness or roof rails.
Although unlikely, using a high pressure washer can also damage the integrity of your roof structure. In rare occasions, it can loosen and even strip the tiles completely. It may also seep into the actual fabric underneath the tiles. We therefore always recommend a professional roof cleaner be employed to do the job properly.
If you’re still wondering whether to use a high pressure washer to clean your surface, get in touch with the Melbourne Jetter Centre and we’ll be happy to assist you.