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The Benefits of Pressure Washing Your Home

A professional should always be used to pressure wash a home. There is a very high risk of damaging siding, windows, gutters, and more with improper use of the equipment.

Power washers are gas or electric machines that generate high-pressure water streams for cleaning surfaces. Different nozzles are available to adjust the water spray pattern and pressure. Contact Pressure Washing Summerville now!

Dirt, mildew, mold and grime build up on the exterior surfaces of your home and yard, ruining its luster and shortening the life of outdoor furniture, fences and wood and vinyl siding. Pressure washing can dislodge deeply ingrained dirt and mildew, restoring the surface to its original luster. It can also help lengthen the life of your paint job, by removing loose and flaking paint, and by scrubbing away mildew, mold and moss that may be damaging the surface underneath.

Pressure washers come in a wide variety of sizes and models, with gas-powered units offering higher PSI (pounds per square inch) and GPM (gallons per minute), allowing for faster cleaning of larger areas. When choosing a gas-powered pressure washer, it’s important to consider the surface you intend to clean and how much power you will need; the higher the PSI, the more powerful the unit, but the more potential damage you could do if you aren’t careful.

It’s also a good idea to choose a nozzle that suits the project at hand. The red nozzle produces the strongest spray and is best used for tough stains and grime on durable materials, such as concrete and metal. It should never be used on softer surfaces, such as wood or vinyl. It’s also a good idea to avoid using the nozzle on electrical surfaces like outdoor light fixtures, receptacle covers, doorbells or cameras, as the high-pressure water can potentially send water into the boxes and cause damage.

Aside from a good-quality pressure washer, the only other equipment you will need is a garden hose and nozzle. In terms of cleaners, there are premixed products available at most hardware stores and home centers, or you can mix your own. Just be sure to read and follow the instructions carefully. Powerful mildew-removing cleaners can irritate the skin, so protect your hands and wear long sleeves.

It’s also a good idea to cover or shield delicate plants in the area you plan to work. Powerful exterior cleaners can damage or kill them. Also, when working with a pressure washer, remember that the nozzle’s stream of water is extremely concentrated. You will want to keep the nozzle well away from plant tissue and, if using a gas-powered model, make sure you have an extension or telescoping wand to get to hard-to-reach areas.

Stains & Discoloration Removal

Pressure washing is a great way to blast away tough stains and discoloration. From moss and mildew to oil and rust, there’s not much a pressure washer can’t take on when equipped with the right cleaning products and techniques. To avoid damage, always use a lower pressure setting when cleaning delicate surfaces and opt for a fan or soft-bristle nozzle to distribute the force more evenly. For best results, it’s important to pair your pressure washer with a detergent designed for the specific surface you are cleaning. This will not only boost cleaning power but also reduce chemical penetration into pores and emulsify oils, which help break down greasy and sticky substances.

For general stains caused by dirt, food, and other organic material, a pressure washer on a low setting combined with a gentle cleaning solution is often enough to lift and wash them away. For deeper stains, a higher setting and a more concentrated spray may be necessary to fully penetrate the surface of the stain. If a deep-seated stain is causing visual or structural damage to the surface you’re cleaning, it’s a good idea to consult a professional to see what your options are for safely removing the stain without damaging the underlying structure.

Surfaces like brick and concrete are prone to mineral deposits like calcium, which over time can leave unsightly streaks and spots that can be difficult to remove. A powerful spray of water combined with the proper cleaning product can dissolve and wash away these pesky stains in no time. Another common stains that a pressure washer can effectively remove is old, peeling paint. Whether it’s an accident at home or vandalism on your property, a quick spray with the correct settings can quickly erase unwanted graffiti from a variety of surfaces.

It’s important to keep in mind that the effectiveness of a pressure washer doesn’t necessarily depend on temperature, as it relies on mechanical force (PSI), water flow/GPM, chemical action, and thermal dynamics (heat). Regular maintenance with a residential-rated gas machine with a PSI of 2,600-3,400 and 2.3-2.6 GPM can effectively clean a wide range of exterior surfaces including wood, shingle, aluminum, vinyl, masonry, asphalt, and more. For the best results, follow all manufacturer guidelines for assembling the equipment and mounting any extension or telescoping wands you’re using to get those hard-to-reach spots.

Cleaning Hard to Reach Areas

When dirt, mildew, and debris accumulate on your home’s exterior surfaces, they can leave unsightly marks and damage the materials that make up your home’s structure. Regular pressure washing is the best way to remove these contaminants and help your home look new again. It also helps to protect your home’s value and prevents the need for expensive repairs down the road.

A popular method of cleaning outdoor surfaces, pressure washing (also known as power washing) uses a high-powered spray of water to blast away dirt, grime, and stains from a variety of surfaces, including patios, driveways, and walkways. A powerful gas or electric machine pumps water through a hose and out of a nozzle at high pressure, making it ideal for removing stubborn build-ups and stains that are difficult to remove using other methods.

There are many different nozzles that can be used with a pressure washer, each designed to target specific types of surfaces and stains. For example, a 65deg black-tipped soaping nozzle is great for combining clean water with a detergent or other cleaning solution to gently scrub the surface while still providing enough force to rinse off any remaining residue. A 0deg red-tipped jet is another type of nozzle, which provides an extremely powerful and direct spray that can be used to remove caked-on dirt from tools or strip rust from equipment.

For large areas like patios and sidewalks, a surface cleaner attachment is recommended to get the job done faster. This tool looks a little bit like a broom, with several nozzles along a wand that attach to the pressure washer. Use a shorter wand for tight corners and hidden spaces, or longer nozzles to reach higher elevated features, like gutters and gable siding.

While pressure washing is a powerful and effective cleaning tool, it can also cause damage to various surfaces if not conducted properly. For this reason, it is important to know the proper psi, water rotation, and nozzle selection for each surface and area that you intend to clean. It is also a good idea to consult with a professional who has extensive experience in the field, as they can provide a detailed inspection and evaluation of your property and recommend the best methods for cleaning.

Cleaning Concrete & Masonry

Concrete and masonry are strong and durable building materials, but they do need some maintenance to look their best. Dirt, mold, mildew, oil stains and other contaminants can build up on the surface of concrete or masonry over time, causing it to become discolored and unsightly. Pressure washing is an effective way to clean these surfaces and remove the buildup, restoring them to their original beauty.

Before using a pressure washer, sweep or vacuum up any loose dirt or debris from the surface to be cleaned. Then, wet the area with a garden hose or power wash the surface, increasing the water pressure as needed to loosen dirt and debris. For tough stains, it is often necessary to pre-treat the area with a degreaser or other cleaning agent. For example, a tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) cleaner can be used to remove oil and grease stains from masonry. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety warnings when using any cleaning agents.

If your masonry surface is badly stained, it is generally not possible to completely remove the stain with a power washer alone. If the stains are from a chemical source, like rust or oil, they will likely return as soon as the pressure washer is turned off. To avoid this, treat the stains with a special masonry cleaner. Several applications may be required for difficult stains.

Before you begin a major cleaning job on masonry, test the cleaner and equipment you’re using in an out-of-the-way place. Manufacturers recommend testing at least a 4 square-foot area of each type of surface and stain. What dissolves one kind of stain might damage another, and what’s safe at low pressure might be too harsh at high pressure.

If you don’t have the experience to safely and effectively use a pressure washer, it is often cheaper and better in the long run to hire a professional service to do the work for you. They will have the proper tools and knowledge to use a powerful, yet safe, pressure washer to clean your exterior stone or masonry surfaces in half the time with far better results.