While operating a pressure washer may appear to be simple when the pros are at it, proper use of these deep cleaning machines is a bit more complex than it may seem. This fact boils down to inexperienced users making a few mistakes when power washing. Our professional pressure washing experts explain the top 7 mistakes that occur when attempting a DIY job.
1. The Use of Too Much Pressure
Using excessive pressure is tempting, with the idea in mind that more is better. In actuality, too much pressure from the machine can result in damage, including
- Splitting Wood
- Worsening Concrete Cracks
- Unintentional Paint, Stain, or Sealant Removal
- Injury To Operators
- Damage to Surrounding Spaces
Employing professional pressure washing crews who know proper pressure levels offers optimal results.
2. Not Using Detergents Properly
It is surprising how many home users feel that water alone is enough to get the job done, which isn’t true in most cases. Almost all pressure and soft washing tasks call for a detergent or chemical assistance to remove dirt, grime, and bacteria from surfaces before pressure washing. Pros will have the right surfactants and understand how to use them correctly.
3. Failing to Protect Nearby Landscaping
When using chemicals and surfactants, the last thing a homeowner wants is to have their beloved landscaping and plants damaged. Chemicals tend to stick on foliage and will result in burn marks or kill the plant entirely. Landscaping should be wet down before cleanings with a garden hose pre and post-cleanings to drastically reduce the chances of harming plants. Using a tarp may be best for some installations, and pressure washing crews know the difference and have proper supplies.
4. Power-Washing Painted Surfaces
Painted surfaces are at high risk for peeling and shouldn’t be pressure washed at high psi levels, if at all. These areas are often best approached with a very light stream or a specialized process known as soft washing. If the paint, stain, or sealant starts peeling, the area will require repainting or repairs.
5. Power-Washing Mold-Prone Surfaces
Some areas and installations are not suitable for pressure washing because dampness can result in mold growth. This includes unfinished drywall, fabrics, and anything else that can hold water. Mold is pervasive, ugly, and often causes people to have allergy symptoms upon contact. Let an experienced pressure washing company determine these areas so that they can be avoided during the cleaning or approached differently.
6. Pressure Washing in the Wrong Order
As with cleaning tasks like dusting, it is recommended to start from the bottom and work down installations when pressure washing. Going in any random order tends to require additional cleaning in the long run as the grime gets moved around with no general direction in mind.
Power washing should start at the roof, move to gutter cleaning, and siding followed by window washing. It should culminate with ground installations such as driveways, decks, and sidewalks. The goal is to work smarter, not harder, and a pressure washing professional knows the proper sequence to use during maintenance.
7. Using Hot Water with Pressure Washer
The chance for potential issues to arise during pressure washing hails from users tending not to be familiar with the equipment they are using. There is a main difference between pressure washing and power washing in that power washers have a heating element and spray hot water.
However, pressure washers are designed to use with tap water temperatures, so hot water should never be put into these machines. Using water that is too hot can cause certain materials and siding types to warp. Let the experts determine what application will most effectively clean your spaces to avoid the detrimental pressure washing mistake.
Need Professional Power Washing? Find a Location Neary You and Schedule
Squeegee Squad is a global franchise that offers exterior residential and commercial cleaning with power washing, soft washing, and other techniques. Find a location near you today to schedule a consultation or schedule your pressure washing appointment for mistake-free exterior cleaning.