Summer Power Washing Tips You Need To Know

Summer is the time to bust out the trusted old power washer.   And these power washing tips will really help you with your project!

When you’ve got a buildup of grime or dirt that won’t respond to normal amounts of cleaner, water, and scrubbing, its time to call upon a superior form of cleaning: power washing. Using a power washer is a very effective method for cleaning, but it also comes with certain complications.

Here are 6 power washing tips for beginners you’re going to love.  Additionally, you can check out this article on power washing vs. pressure washing to gain some valuable insight!

 

TIP 1: Safety first

Pressure washing can be a dangerous job for you and your property. Sometimes it pays to hire a professional power washing services rather than doing it alone.  NJ based Cleaning World Inc. is a great commercial cleaning company to hire for the job if you’re in the area!

When dealing with water moving at that speed a small mistake can lead to a large disaster. Remember to do whatever you can to ensure safety for your person and your property. Never use a power washer while under the influence of any mind-altering substance.

Lay down tarps over areas you’d want to protect from a misdirected water blast. Make sure to always use both hands while using the power washer. It’s not a pistol, Dirty Harry. Remember to always wear protective eyeglasses to ensure your protect your eyes from any accidental blasts of water. 

TIP 2: Choose the best washer for your project

Whether you’re buying your own washer or renting one from a home improvement store like Lowe’s or The Home Depot, make sure you buy the right one for your job.

 

  • Power source
  • Gasoline

 

A gasoline power washer is perfect for outdoor heavy-duty cleaning jobs. The superior power of a gas engine is perfect for the grime that can develop on brick, concrete, and sheet metal. You can not use a gas-powered power washer indoors for house cleaning projects.  This is because of the emissions from the engine. You can, however, use a gas-powered washer far away from any power source because they produce their own energy.

 

  • Electric

 

An electric power washer is perfect for indoor jobs with more delicate materials. An electric washer must remain within cord’s distance of a power source and is typically less powerful than a standard gas washer. It’s idea for interior walls, hardwood floors, and tile.

 

  • Size
  • Light Duty

 

These washers shoot water at under 2000 PSI and are good for smaller areas with more delicate materials like wood.

 

  • Medium Duty

 

If you’re doing a job that takes a bit longer like the side or your home or your driveway you’ll likely want a PSI between 2000-2800. A medium-duty washer is ideal for these types of jobs

 

  • Heavy Duty

 

For wide surfaces of concrete such as parking garage power washing or areas that are out of reach like higher parts of a home’s exterior, it may be necessary to acquire a heavy-duty washer. These typically can shoot water at a PSI between 2800 and 3300.

 

  • Professional

 

If you’re looking for something that can work for hours and need to strip layers of grime or paint off of a very wide surface, it may be time to buckle down and go pro. Professional-grade washers can spray well over 3300 PSI for a very long time.

TIP 3: Make sure you’re using the best spray nozzle

Different jobs require different kinds of nozzles. Using the wrong nozzle can either cause a job taking twice as long as it needs to or severely damaging property. There are 5 different types of nozzles customary for power washers:

  • Black (65-degree spray)

A very wide nozzle not for removal of dirt, but just for getting a wide surface wet. Not really for power washing, more for wetting a surface or applying detergent.

  • White (45-degree spray)

Direct enough to clean off dirt, but wide enough to be used to clean a window. Good for general maintenance and cleaning.

  • Green (25-degree spray)

Spray direct enough to clean harder surfaces like wood, but still soft enough to clean furniture and wash a vehicle.

  • Yellow (15-degree spray)

Shoots water with enough strength to clean concrete and brick. Use some caution as this nozzle creates a more powerful blast than others.

  • Red (0-degree spray)

Only for the most heavy-duty jobs. Never spray a surface up close with a red nozzle. Can cause a great deal of damage, so be sure to use with great caution.

TIP 4: Set up a good water supply

Constantly running out of water is a highly-annoying, tedious constraint on workflow. Each washer and setting will shoot a certain gallons-per-minute. Make sure that your water source can supply water at the same or faster speed than your pressure washer. If your water source cannot keep up, fill a bucket or basin with water beforehand and ensure you have a surplus of water before starting.

TIP 5: Keep it moving

While you spray always make sure to be moving your spray at all times. If you stay on one spot for too long you can wash away more material than intended in that spot. This might not greatly damage the material, but it will make the surface uneven in different spots. Make sure to keep constant movement to ensure even distribution.

TIP 6: Proper maintenance is key

If you’re renting a power washer, this power washing tip is crucial!  Make sure you return it in the same condition you got it to avoid any problems or additional fees. If it gets dirty, just make sure you clean it. If you’ve bought your own power washer you’ll need to take certain steps to make sure it stays operational for a long time.

 

  • Drain out gas when not in use

 

Gas left in the engine over a long period of time can create problems and harm your pressure washer. Make sure to drain out all gas when you’re done with pressure washing

 

  • Use anti-freeze to protect from weather damage

 

Run your pressure washer but with anti-freeze instead of water. This will coat the interior of your machine and stop damage caused by weathering. Make sure to unplug your nozzle, so the antifreeze just pours out of the machine instead of firing out.

 

  • Store indoors if possible

 

Weathering can damage any power washer even when precautions have been taken. To reduce the influence of the elements on your machine, store it in the garage or a shed instead of leaving it outdoors.

In Summary

Using a power washer is a good way to get jobs done but it’s a bit complicated and a little dangerous. Hopefully, these tips gave some useful advice for the power-washing newcomer. If these tips have sort of scared you off, there’s no shame in hiring a professional! If you live in New Jersey, contact Cleaning World Inc. to handle all of your power washing needs for you! Call 201-487-1313 to get a quote today!

We hope these power washing tips have been helpful and wish you the best of luck!