Pressure Washers: Everything You Need to Know!
Last modified: 2019/02/20 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
A pressure washer is an excellent way to clean away the dirt and grime from the winter season that has accumulated on your outdoor surfaces. A pressure washer works efficiently, and with a speed and intensity that normal modes of cleaning can’t achieve. However, there are some safety methods and precautions that come along with pressure washing
As a homeowner, it is important to be cautious about damaging your home or harming someone, but with the right techniques, you’ll be able to not only select the right pressure washer for the job but you’ll be able to keep things clean and safe. So if you’re ready to get things clean, read on to find out some of the best techniques for pressure washing!
Tips and Tricks to Consider for Pressure Washers!
To Buy or To Rent?
source: Wikimedia Commons
Before you go in for the purchase, make sure to consider how often you will use a pressure washer before buying one. This item is not cheap, and newer models will cost a pretty penny. Luckily, if you don’t have the funds to own one, they are generally available for rent from your local hardware store.
Renting is an excellent option for a one or two-day job, so if you plan on using a pressure washer for spring cleaning alone it may not be worthwhile to own one. However, if your local hardware store isn’t too close, and you don’t have access to a car, it might be hard and time consuming running back and forth with this heavy machine.
Whether renting or buying a pressure washer, there are few things to look for. You must consider the rate of flow and pressure levels of the pressure washer. Most homes are best served by a pressure washer with a flow of three gallons per minute and an output of pressure equivalent to 3000 psi or pounds per square inch.
This pressure is the amount of force delivered to the surface being cleaned. When shopping for a pressure washer, you will find an array of prices, as lower end models lack significant power and will be incapable of completing a large number of tasks. In contrast, larger and more powerful models that ring in at a more expensive price may be too much for the surfaces of your average home. Make sure that you do plenty of research before renting or buying. Weigh your options and take the necessary steps in the direction that suits you.
Nozzles and Tips
Pressure washer nozzles and tips are one of the most critical factors when it comes to the efficient use of this machine. Most machines will come equipped with interchangeable tips that are used for two things. Firstly, the selection of the nozzle tip will directly dictate the angle of the water flow. A tight angle is used to clean small surfaces or to complete precise jobs and should be avoided on sensitive materials.
A direct tip should be used for stubborn or intricate jobs, whereas a tip with a wider angle will still complete the task but will not lend to detailed surfaces. Other nozzles work to lower the pressure and draw out the detergent. Make sure that when using the pressure washer, the nozzle is completely attached before using the trigger gun. If it isn’t, homeowners risk losing the tip and potentially harming someone close by.
Chemicals used in the pressure washer should be approved for use specifically for this machine. Film removers and degreasers are commonly made for pressure washers. Film removers are used for washing away dirt and debris from your car or light, road washing. Degreasers are used for industrial cleaning or removing stubborn materials.
The reason to choose products that have been approved for use in the pressure washer is that they will likely be environmentally friendly. Since most of your cleaning will be completed outside, it is important that products do not harm surrounding vegetation and the environment.
Pressure Washer Cleaning Techniques
source: Flickr, your best digs
Of course, you can’t clean absolutely everything with a pressure washer. Only certain jobs should be completed with this machine and specific things will need extra attention. Take extra care when spraying close to windows, greenery or shrubs, vents, eaves or light fixtures. As a pressure washer can be quite powerful, these items can become easily damaged in the cleaning process.
Make sure that the trigger gun is pointed downwards so that you don’t pry underneath the siding, as spraying into it will cause it to collapse. Further, small unnoticeable holes can leak water inside your home, so take extra care when cleaning around window frames.
If not done carefully, homeowners can often use their pressure washer excessively and become trigger happy. However, pressure washing requires careful planning and should not be completed haphazardly. First, make sure to test your pressure washer for its power. The best way to do this is to spray a few feet away from any object, bringing the wand between 3 and 4 feet from the surface.
Move in a side-to-side motion repeatedly. Following this, check if the surface is clean. If you find that the surface needs additional cleaning, move the wand gradually closer. Since pressure washers are extremely powerful, it is safer to clean gradually rather than starting too close and risking damaging the surfaces or objects. Hot water is recommended for most jobs, as it is a better cleaning solvent than cold water. Make sure to deeply rinse surfaces of detergents before they dry, as leaving any detergent behind could lead to staining.
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