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.