It’s the time of year when we start fantasizing about backyard picnics and BBQs in gorgeous weather. If your fantasy involves clean patio furniture and a grime-free deck, you’ve probably considered doing some power washing. Before you get started, here are some things you need to know.
1. Power and pressure washing are not the same thing.
Power washing and pressure washing both use streams of high pressure water to clean surfaces. However, power washing uses a heating element and pressure washing does not. Knowing which option to use can help you get a better clean and avoid damaging your property.
Power washing is the heavier duty option. Use it for large areas like extra-large driveways, hard surfaces that can stand up to the heat, and to get rid of extreme mold, moss, grease, and dirt.
Pressure washing is safer for surfaces. Use it when you have a smaller area like a deck, patio, or driveway to clean or if you need to clean softer surfaces like tile, wood decks, and siding. Pressure washing is also safer on masonry, concrete, and brick.
2. Sometimes you shouldn’t do either.
Power and pressure washing are effective because they’re very strong cleaning options, but they may be too strong for some objects and parts of your home. Anything painted, asphalt roofing, laminar sandstone, stained wood, and anything old will probably be damaged or destroyed if you try to pressure or power wash them.
3. All cleaning solutions are not created equally.
Adding the right cleaning solution to your water will give you better results than water alone. Just be sure to use the correct solution; the wrong one may destroy what you were cleaning. Different materials need different cleaner: the soap you would use for your deck and fence has different chemicals than the one you would use for your home’s siding. Premixed soaps will list the areas it can be used on. Use the right cleaner for what you want to clean.
4. You could seriously injure yourself or others.
You may look at a power or pressure washer and think it’s basically a high powered garden hose, but these machines are actually quite dangerous. The water comes out with up to 2,000 pounds of pressure. That’s plenty of power to send chipped off bits of stone or concrete ricocheting at someone. When power or pressure washing, remember to
- never spray a person or animal - it could injure or kill them.
- use safety glasses, goggles, or a full face shield.
- wear closed toe boots or shoes.
- cover all electrical outlets.
- stay at least 5-6 feet back from the area you’re cleaning.
- start at the lowest setting and test it on a hard surface before moving to windows or soft surfaces.
- use the right nozzle for the task.
5. Cold weather may damage your property if you’ve recently power or pressure washed.
You don’t see many people out pressure or power washing in winter. There’s a good reason for that. It can take several days for an object to dry completely after cleaning, and if the water in or on what you’re cleaning freezes, it can expand and damage your property. Make sure there aren’t any expected freezes for about a week after you power or pressure wash.
With warmer weather on the horizon, now is a great time to spruce up your old home or to find a new house to make your own. Give me a call if you or someone you know has any questions about real estate! Maggie Larson Mammoth your residential specialist and owner, broker of Sierra Resort Real Estate and Sierra Resort Property Management respresenting more than 100 luxury long-term rentals.
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