How to Pressure wash efficiently?

How to Pressure wash efficiently?

Pressure washing is one of the most lucrative ventures in the cleaning industry. Being widely used in industrial and residential cleaning, pressure washing is done by professionals and has gained popularity in DIYers lately. 

However, there are some common mistakes that can be avoided by beginners as well as professionals in order to increase their efficiency. In this blog, we will be discussing those mistakes, their solutions and the best practices to pressure wash efficiently. 

Let us discuss some of the most common mistakes in pressure washing

  1. Not considering the pressure rating

Pressure rating is a very crucial factor in the process of pressure washing. One of the most common mistakes that pressure washers make is using either too much or too less pressure. 

Usage of too much pressure can result in damages like splitting of the woodwork, deepening of concrete cracks, removal of paint and sealant, injury and damage to the surrounding spaces.  

On the other hand, usage of too little pressure can result in higher power consumption, less efficiency and hamper the quality of pressure washing. 

2. Not using the right surfactant or detergent 

Many pressure washers (Mostly homeusers and DIYers) think that water is enough to get the job done which is a misconception when it comes to pressure washing. Using an appropriate surfactant or detergent not only gives better results but also increases the efficiency of the wash. Sometimes tough stains can’t be removed with just water, that’s when these cleaning agents play their part. Most professionals are aware of different stains and the detergents that are used to clean them.  

3. Harming the surrounding environment

While pressure washing, there are chances that the surrounding landscaping and plants get damaged due to the chemicals present in detergent and surfactant. Chemicals tend to stick on foliage and can create holes in the plants or can entirely damage them.The surroundings should be wet using a garden hose pre and post  pressure washing to minimize the damage. Covering the landscaping with tarp can also help protect the surroundings while performing pressure washing. 

4. Pressure washing painted surfaces

Pressure washing painted surfaces can lead to peeling that can damage the property. Using high pressure on painted or stained surfaces can cause the removal of paint or stains. However, if you want to clean any  such surfaces make sure that you do soft wash at a lower pressure in order to clean these surfaces. 

5. Power-Washing Mold-Prone Surfaces

Due to the risk of mold formation, some regions and installations are not appropriate for pressure washing. Finished drywall, textiles, and other items that may contain water are included in this. Mold is common, unsightly, and frequently triggers allergic problems in those who come into touch with it. 

6. Pressure Washing in the wrong sequence

The factor that differentiates a professional from an amateur is the time and efficiency of the wash. Professionals follow certain techniques and sequences to facilitate the process of pressure washing making it faster and more efficient. 

It is recommended to pressure wash downwards rather than randomly cleaning different areas. Proceeding in any random order typically results in more cleaning in the long run because the dirt accumulates without a clear direction.

Starting with the roof, power washing should proceed to the siding, gutters, and windows. Ground installations like driveways, decks, and sidewalks ought to be its climax. A pressure washing specialist is aware of the right order to follow while performing maintenance because the objective is to work smarter, not harder.

7. Using Hot Water with Pressure Washer

The probability for problems to develop during pressure washing originates from the lack of knowledge of equipment. Power washers feature a heating element and spray hot water, which is the basic distinction between them and pressure washers.

Hot water should never be used in pressure washers because they are made to operate with tap water temperatures. Some materials can be distorted with the usage of hot water.

8. Unfamiliarity with the equipment

Unfamiliarity with the equipment can lead to a lot of damage during pressure washing. Although a pressure washer can be  used by homeowners and DIYers, it is recommended to use it once a person has complete knowledge of the equipment. Since high pressure is involved, the risk of injury and property damage is  high if the pressure washer isn’t used correctly. 

9. Washing windows using a pressure washer

Another common mistake is washing windows with a pressure washer. Since, the understanding of pressure rating is very important in performing the process, it is recommended to avoid using pressure washers for washing windows. A bit of fluctuation in the pressure can result in cracks in windows and can break these as well. Hence, windows should be cleaned at low pressure using soft washing techniques. 

10. Using the wrong nozzles

Selecting an ideal pressure washer nozzle tip is the key to increased efficiency and right technique. Nozzle tips control the pressure and spread of the water stream which makes their role crucial. One can pressure wash almost anything with the right tip and the right pressure. The pressure varies with the angle of the tip making it an essential component to understand. 

11. Using Gas-powered pressure washer indoors

Another mistake that one can commit while pressure washing is using a gas-powered pressure washer indoors. This raises a safety concern as it releases carbon monoxide that needs proper ventilation. Indoors do not account for that and hence using a gas-powered pressure washer indoors can prove to be fatal. These pressure washers are high-powered and are preferred as compared to electrically powered ones,  but one needs to work with them with necessary precautions. 

All these errors result in reduced efficiency, raises safety concerns and increases the time of the pressure washing process. However, there  are some practices we can follow in order to minimize the mistakes and maximize the output.

Here are some professionally recommended best practices for pressure washing: 

  • Choosing the right pressure washer

  • Choosing the right pressure washer is a crucial step. These are categorized on the basis of energy resources and water temperature. 

    There are two types of pressure washers in the energy resource category namely gas pressure washer and electric pressure washer. Study the pros and cons of both and choose the one which is ideal for your usage. 

    Another categorization is based on water temperature. There are two types of pressure washers on this basis: Cold water and hot  water pressure washer. Both of them find use in different applications. For ex: Hot water pressure washer is used to remove oil and grease whereas cold water facilitates the cleaning of dirt, dust and grime. 

  • Having the knowledge of nozzles

  • One must have a proper knowledge of nozzles and the pressure rating they accustom in order to perform the job efficiently.

    Pressure washers usually come with 6 types of nozzles. These are 0°, 15°, 25°, 40°, soap, and Turbo. 

    Nozzles that come in different colors and angles signifies the pressure and spray pattern of water. Let us get into the details of it.

    0° red nozzle is used to attain the highest pressure rating. The PSI mentioned on the pressure washer can be achieved by using this nozzle. Used for reaching high areas, this nozzle is ideal for removing the toughest of stains from the strongest of surfaces.

    Then comes the 15° Yellow nozzle. This also gives you a very high pressure rating and hence is used to remove mold and mildew from PVC fences. However this nozzle is not ideal for cleaning painted surfaces as it can remove the paint due to high-pressure.

    The 25° green nozzle is a go-to nozzle if you are getting started. Being an all round nozzle this can be used to clean sidewalks, driveways, vehicles etc. This nozzle can also remove stubborn dirt and dust from tough surfaces making it an ideal choice for beginners.

    Then comes the white 40° nozzle. This nozzle gives you the widest spray pattern making it an ideal choice for cleaning larger surfaces. Since the surface area increases, the water travels with lesser pressure. So, one can use this on delicate surfaces to make sure that the material isn’t damaged. 

    Another kind of nozzle is a turbo nozzle. Separated from the ordinary nozzle by its spinning quality, a turbo nozzle provides the pressure of a 0° red and the surface area of a 25° green nozzle increasing its cleaning quality to a noticeable factor. 

    Another nozzle in the set is known as the soap nozzle. As the name suggests, this nozzle helps you supply soap to the surface to be cleaned quickly and efficiently. 

    Nozzles come in various shapes and sizes and they are used for different cleaning applications. So while choosing the nozzles one must be aware of the application it will be used for. 

  • Knowledge of  Cleaning agents

  • Cleaning agents with "biodegradable" and "non-toxic" labels are complex to understand. Although they offer an impression of safety, these two do not always translate into "zero harm." The phrase "biodegradable" simply means that a specific cleaner will decompose more quickly than a conventional cleaner while without harming the bacteria in a water treatment facility. Biodegradable cleaners can nevertheless damage fish and other aquatic life, much like conventional detergents. In contrast, there is no accepted definition for the term "non-toxic," and it can be deceptive. Many "non-toxic" substances can yet negatively impact water quality. So one must understand the terminology associated with the cleaners and detergents in order to carry out the pressure washing process which is eco-friendly and harmless. 

  • Consider the right distance and correct motion

  • Distance and motion are two important aspects of the pressure washing technique. While pressure washing, one should know the correct distance to operate the washer from and choose the appropriate distance to attain best results. 

    While washing driveways and patios, direct the washer towards the drain and while vertical wash keep the motion downward to avoid spillage. 

  • Lay down tarps

  • Since chemicals are used as cleaning agents there is a chance of harming the landscaping. In order to protect the surroundings, lay down tarps before beginning the pressure washing process. Make sure the surroundings that come in contact with water are protected and covered. 

  • Maintenance of the pressure washer

  • It's essential to keep your pressure washer in good condition if you want to increase its lifespan and keep it working properly. In addition to routine cleaning, you should change your high-pressure nozzles every six months, check your oil level , remove the heating coil's scale and soot once a year, clean the water filter screen every week, and replace worn parts as soon as possible.

    Pressure  washing is an effective method of cleaning and proves to be a lucrative venture if done efficiently. Using these tips, one can increase the efficiency of the pressure washing process resulting in an improved output and cost reduction.

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