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Power Washing 101 – The Basics

Power washing (also known as pressure washing) is an important property maintenance service you will want to consider on a regular and ongoing basis to keep buildings, driveways and parking lots safe and attractive. Pressure washing is the best time saving tool for property owners for removing dust, mildew, dirt or bird residual. We also recommend power washing a property if you are getting ready to paint. Power washing will remove the chalky residue from old oil or latex paint and help the new coat of paint to adhere properly. learn more

Power washing can be used on many surfaces including: wood, granite, asphalt, concrete, bricks or aluminum. We do not recommend power washing hardboards because they are sensitive and can become damaged.

What are the four key ingredients of power washing?
There are four elements to the power washing process: pressure, water flow rate, cleaning solution and heat. If one of these elements changes, the total cleaning characteristics change. For example, if you choose to use a cold water instead of using hot water, you will have to add more chemicals, apply higher pressure and / or use more water to achieve similar results.

What is the role of detergents?
Detergents emulsify the dirt better and quicker as the water temperature increases. This is especially true when cleaning oil or grease from a concrete surface.

How does power washing work?
The process breaks the bond between dirt and the surface being cleaned. The more water that is delivered per minute, means that faster cleaning can occur. This is especially important when removing materials like mud or road tar. Note: Variations in job size, conditions and operator skill may affect the end result.

What are some terms to be aware of?
Gallons Per Minute (GPM). The more gallons per minute used, result in a reduced cleaning time. Be sure to ask your potential contractor what is the GPM rate they will use on your project.

Pounds per Square Inch (PSI) is a rating code to determine the strength of the power washer. The great the number, the stronger the water stream can clean. For example: to properly clean a concrete driveway, we recommend using at least 3000 PSI.

Pressure Washer Hose
A wire-braid high pressure hose can be rated up to 4500 PSI. This hose is normally gray in color and can be used freely on any surface without worries of possibly leaving marks on the property walls.

Tips on powerwashing your house

When you are power washing the outside of a home, or business, you should not point the full force of the water at the windows of the building. Water pressure can be great and this pressure can actually cause glass to break. You should apply the water from an angle when you are power washing the exterior of a home or business.

Power washing machines can be purchased at home improvement stores that sell lawn maintenance equipment, lumber, and supplies. Most of this type of equipment is designed for the homeowner to use, and will be priced low enough for the homeowner to afford. There are some types of power washing equipment that is strictly designed for professional use, but this type is far more expensive than the average homeowner versions are. Most people who buy these machines buy the small homeowner versions. why power washing your house is not recommended

You can use the equipment to clean decks and patios with. You can also use it to clean patio furniture with. Some people mix bleach in their holding tanks of their machines and use the bleach water to clean their decks and to remove any residual mold that is growing on the surface of the deck. This is not recommended by the manufacturer of the machines because the bleach can do damage to hoses, and gaskets on the machine. There are commercial products made to go in these machines and use for the purpose of cleaning chairs, and decks with.

You can clean brick exteriors with these machines and leave the brick looking excellent. This is the equivalent to your scrubbing the grout in your home. When you wash the exterior brick properly it will look bright and new once again.

Many people use these machines to clean motorhomes, boats, and mobile homes with. They can be used to clean your storage buildings with as well. You can wash the pollen, the dust, and the grime that settles on these surfaces away in a short period of time, and with very little effort. You can keep your buildings looking good for a longer period of time if you do keep the dirt and grime cleaned off of them.

Read the instructions for using the machine very carefully before you begin to wash any surface. These machines are very handy to clean driveways and walkways with, but read the instructions on how to do this before you start. You do not want to damage your property while you are cleaning it.