Pressure Washing: The Dos and Don'ts

min read
June 8, 2022

Pressure-washing is a great way to clean your home or business, but it’s important to do it the right way. If you don’t, you could damage your property or even injure yourself. We will go over the dos and don’ts of pressure-washing so that you can safely and effectively clean your property.

Dos of Pressure Washing

Read the Instruction Manual

Many appliance manuals are less important than the pressure washing manual. It includes important information about how your pressure washer works, how to operate it properly, and what not to do with it. For general pressure washers, our list of dos and don'ts is fine, but there are certain variances between pressure washers that you should be aware of.

Start with the broadest spray angle

If you're concerned about damaging a surface, start with the widest spray angle and work your way down. A wider spray angle has less power, which means it is less likely to cause damage. If it doesn't blast away surface contaminants, narrow the spray angle as needed. The goal is to use the least amount of pressure necessary to remove the dirt and grime.

Work from the top down

Gravity pulls contaminants downward, so it's best to start at the top of a surface and work your way down. This will ensure that you're not just moving contaminants around. You can achieve this by using an extension wand or ladder.

Gear Up

Although donning protective gear while pressure washing may seem foolish, people can and do become harmed while doing so. A little rock or chip can ricochet in the incorrect direction and harm your eye. When pressure washing, use goggles (or at least sunglasses), long pants, and sturdy shoes.

Correct Nozzle Replacement

Although changing nozzles appears to be straightforward, you must first drain any surplus water before switching between new spray tips. Replace spray tips after turning off the engine and pressing the trigger.

Test Wash

Test your pressure washer on a surface you don't care about, such as an old painted deck in your backyard. You don't want to exert too much pressure on a sensitive surface, such as a visible area of your deck. By testing first, you can determine how much pressure is necessary.

Don'ts of Pressure Washing

Use too Much Pressure

One of the most common mistakes people make when pressure washing is using too much pressure. It's tempting to crank up the pressure to get the job done quickly, but this can damage your property. Start with a lower pressure setting and increase the pressure if necessary.

Stand Too Close to the Surface

You should always stand a few feet away from the surface you're cleaning. If you stand too close, you could damage the surface or injure yourself. The further away you are, the less likely you are to cause damage.

Use Water That's Too Hot

Hot water can damage some surfaces, so it's important to use the correct temperature. If you're not sure what temperature to use, start with a lower setting and increase the temperature if necessary.

Use the Wrong Nozzle

Each nozzle is designed for a specific purpose, so it's important to choose the right one. If you use the wrong nozzle, you could damage your property or injure yourself.

Forget to Wear Protective Gear

As we mentioned earlier, it's important to wear protective gear when pressure washing. This includes goggles, long pants, and sturdy shoes. If you don't wear protective gear, you could be injured by flying debris.

Use a Pressure Washer on a Ladder

You hop on a ladder and start pressure washing your roof and gutters because you need to clean them. Unfortunately, ladders and pressure washers do not mix well. When standing on a ladder, avoid using a pressure washer since it may throw you off balance. If you must use a pressure washer while on a ladder, be sure to have someone hold the ladder steady.

Use an Extension Cord with Electric Pressure Washers

A 25 to 35 foot extension cord should be included with all electric-powered pressure washers. To enhance the range, use this extension cord instead of trying to daisy chain many extension cords together.

If you're not sure of following these tips, you may consider hiring an expert to do the job for you. Pressure washing can be a dangerous task if not done correctly, so it's important to take all the necessary precautions.

At Seattle Window Cleaners, we understand the correct amount of pressure that needs to be applied to the different surfaces of your property to give you the most effective wash. Our technicians will come to your property and remove tough grime and debris and make your surfaces look like new again. Contact us today to get a free quote!

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