Maintenance One

Learn to Use a Pressure Washer Correctly

One of the worst decisions you can make is to wash a deck or a wall using too much pressure.  Most certainly you will end up cleaning more than what you initially planned to, and will probably have to replace shingles, boards, or even wall plaster in the process.  This is, without thinking about the shock you will experience in front of the power such a washer has.

If you decide to pressure wash a surface in your house or office, make sure first you understand how this machine works, since you will be working with the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water.  In many cases, it is better to hire a professional commercial cleaning service to ensure the job is correctly done.

The first element is air, or pressure.  If too much pressure is exerted over a wooden surface, wood splinters will fly all over the place, and believe us, you don’t want that to happen.  Test the pressure on a small section of the surface to ensure you are going to get it right and will not be causing more damage than good.

The second element is water, or water flow rate, in this case.  If the pressure washer works with cold water, you will have to compensate for the absence of heat, and will need to intensify the water flow.  On the contrary, if the washer works with hot water, ensure you follow the directions on how to add the chemicals, otherwise, the dirt won’t get emulsified correctly ?this is the third element, earth and it will stick to the surface you are trying to clean, like when you are trying to wash grease from a concrete surface.  In general, hot water pressure washers  the fourth element, fire? do a better job.

After reading the directions and testing the pressure on the washer, follow these tips to make sure you go through the process smoothly:

-Wear the right body protection.  You don’t want to accidentally pressure wash your eyes or other sensitive body parts.

-Read and understand the directions fully.  Although the machine may look easy to handle, it isn’t.  If you stand too close, you may damage the surface, if you stand too far away, you won’t get the best results.

-Work from the top down, if not, you will have to clean again.  It is about working smart, not hard.

-Do not aim the nozzle directly at the surface you are cleaning.  There should be an angle on the washer wand to efficiently push the dirt off instead of shooting it into the surface.  This will be a big issue with stucco and brick surfaces.

-Never aim the nozzle at windows or screen doors.  You know what will happen… yes, these will break and the screen doors will be torn off the frame.

-Turn off the washer before changing the nozzle or refilling the detergent tank.

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