Have you been scrubbing the floor for hours without noticing any favorable results? Sometimes, even the toughest chemicals don’t do what they claim and are unable to help you get rid of nasty stains. That’s when you realize that an ordinary garden hose or tub of elbow grease just won’t cut it. In such cases, it is important you invest in a handy pressure washer.
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Pressure washers are handy cleaning tools that can be used for a variety of cleaning tasks. Pressure washers shoot out a fine spray of water at an alarming pressure, allowing you to clean grime or dirt off common garden or home items.
This includes patio furniture, vehicles, boats, driveways and more. These machines are either powered by gas or electricity. Simply aim the wand and watch the machine work its magic.
Wondering how these unique contraptions work? Well, the idea is fairly simple. Pressure washers run through an electric or gas motor that powers a pump. This pump generates and increases pressure on water coming out of a typical household garden hose.
This high-pressure water then travels through another hose and comes out via a handheld wand that is aimed at the cleaning surface. Interchangeable and differently shaped nozzles alter the spray pattern. While a powerful stream can strip off paint from a deck or house, a light spray can help you clean the driveway.
Pressure washers can be divided into different categories depending on its engine:
Electric pressure washers are best suited for light and small projects, such as cleaning vehicles and patio furniture. Electric models are also quieter than their gas counterparts. Simply flick on the switch and watch the motor work its magic. The machine also runs cleaner than a gas engine.
Gas pressure washers are more powerful and function better than regular pressure washers in the market. These washers are suitable for tougher and larger jobs, such as cleaning the decks, patios among others. Gas pressure washers also give you the liberty to move around since they don’t require you to be close to a power outlet.
Before you go shopping for the best and most high-powered machines in town, you need to be familiar with the cleaning power. The cleaning power of a pressure washer is measured by gallons per minute (GPM) and pounds per square inch (PSI). These ratings help you determine how powerful or fast the stream of water will be.
PSI denotes the pressure of the water created by the appliance. This rating refers to how powerful the stream of water will be when it will come out of the machine’s wand.
GPM determines the volume of water distributed through the machine. The GPM determines how efficient or fast the machine is. This determines how efficiently the machine can get rid of stains.
The pressure washer features these important components that make up the machine:
The key to choosing the best pressure washer depends strongly on your needs and requirements.
A pressure washer directly connects to your gardening hose and has greater cleaning power than you would get from a normal gardening hose. The pressure washer connects to an extension and spray gun that delivers a high-powered stream of water.
Be careful not to invest in a machine that is more powerful than you need since it will only add up to the total cost and weight. However, buying one that is too inexpensive might not be a good option either since it might end up wearing out. This is why you need to keep several factors in mind before investing in a pressure washer. Follow these simple steps if you want to invest in the best pressure washer:
Before you purchase a product, determine what type of cleaning projects you will be using the pressure washer for. Here are a few basic guidelines that will help you make your decision:
Before you invest in the right pressure washer, do not forget to keep the GPM level in mind. Once you have determined the GPM, multiply it by the PSI to determine the cleaning power of the machine.
Before you invest in a particular machine, do not forget to compare the advantages and disadvantages of an electric and a gas engine pressure washer. Here are a couple of factors you should keep in mind:
Evaluate the spray nozzle before investing in a pressure washer. A telescoping wand makes it easier for homeowners to clean sidings and other raised areas. The width of the spray can be adjusted by turning and twisting the nozzle to accommodate different tips.
Look at the accessories before investing in the best pressure washer in the market. Evaluate all the accessories before purchasing the product, such as a broom attachment and rotating scrub brush for cleaning gutters.
To evaluate the quality of the pressure washer, consider the weight of the extension wand and spray gun. However, keep in mind a heavier unit will be difficult to move around and will require 2 hands to operate.
Before investing in the right pressure washer, decide whether you need a cleaning detergent. Detergent tanks are beneficial for cleaning heavy stains, mildew, molds and enhancing cleaning power. Invest in a pressure washer with a solution storage tank to make cleaning easier.
Don’t forget to invest in the right hose to ensure your machine works perfectly. This won’t be much of a problem as your pressure washer already comes with a hose. However, you may need to invest in a longer hose, depending on the nature of your needs.
A pressure washer is an indispensable cleaning tool that you can attach to your gardening hose. However, if not used properly, a pressure washer can cause considerable damage to your home and property. Here are a couple of guidelines you should keep in mind when using a pressure washer:
While in most cases, water is sufficient to get rid of dirt and debris, sometimes you might need a little extra help. Rest assured, you won’t require soap unless there is mold and mildew. In these cases, you can fill the detergent compartment with a cleaning agent or even mix it up with some regular household bleach. However, if you are working with bleach, don’t forget to wear protective eyewear and rinse nearby plants once you are done.
If you are about to clean the windows, consider preparing them to make the task easier. Start by shutting and locking all the windows you will be working on. Also, be careful not to directly spray on the window. Due to high pressure, the water can easily seep through the sides and enter your home.
If you are using a pressure washer for the first time, consider starting with the least powerful nozzle.
You can start with a nozzle numbered 40 and stand at least three feet away from the area and only spray on a small part. Don’t forget to stop and check if the spray is damaging the surface or not.
Using a pressure washer becomes easier if you wash the area in sections. If you are only working with water, start working from top to bottom. Choose a switch with a powerful nozzle that can dig through tough spots. Also, keep the spray moving for a better cleaning session and results. However, if you are using a cleanser, start cleaning from bottom-up and begin rinsing with fresh water.
Despite being careful, you are likely to hit to hit a window, perhaps leaving behind a spot of dirt. In such cases, immediately use a lint-free towel to wipe off the windows before it leaves a mark, resulting in a better finish.
If a pressure washer is too expensive for you now, consider renting a machine instead. Depending on where you live, a renting a pressure washer for a day can cost you between $50 and $250. However, if you plan on cleaning your driveway annually, consider investing in a pressure washer instead.
If you live in a place where you actually experience winter, it is best you take precautionary steps to prepare your power equipment for hibernation. Sure, storing the machine in your basement or garage is a simple way to protect it from outdoor elements but you should consider several other factors. Most garage and sheds are not insulated enough which means you might have to take additional steps to protect expensive equipment.
Additionally, one must also be cautious about the liquids present in the unit during cold weather. Any fluids left inside the machine can cause problems. For example, water can crack or expand components, such as detergent lines, hoses, manifold etc. Not to mention, oil thickens during low temperature and would not work as an effective lubricant. So, don’t forget to empty the machine and discard all types of fluids to prevent it from cracking or breaking the machine.
Once the temperature starts to drop, you will need to start looking for ways to protect expensive equipment and machinery. Properly storing or winterizing your pressure washer will save you a lot of hassle and trouble during the spring. Here are a few tips you should keep in mind to make winterizing a much easier process:
The engine is the single most important component of the pressure washer. If you have a gas powered pressure washer, use a fuel stabilizer. All types of engines need special protection if they are being stored for long periods of time. Gasoline can become stale in less than 30 days, leading to costly repairs and internal component failures. Adding fuel stabilizer reduces the risks of corrosion, rust and prevents buildup from deteriorating gasoline.
Ensure you have flushed the remaining cleaning solution from the detergent tank. To do this, follow these simple instructions:
After the engine, the pump is the most important component of a pressure washer. To prevent rust and protect the pump system against freeze damage, use lubricants and pump saver anti-freeze products. Read the instructions and warnings printed on the label of the Pump Saver. Follow these simple instructions to safeguard the pump systems:
Once the anti-freeze process is complete, clean off any kind of grime, moisture or dirt from the exterior. Store the pressure washer in a cool, dry place to protect it from elements outside.
Following these simple steps will ensure the pressure washer remains in good working condition during the winter.
If you don’t have any plans of using the gas pressure washer for the next month or two, consider removing water and detergent from the pump’s system. Leftover residue can cause cracks on the system. To ensure the longevity of the product even during cold winter days, consider following these simple guidelines:
Since an electric pressure washer does not have a gasoline engine, you only need to worry about sorting out the pump system. Here are a few simple ways you can winterize an electric pressure washer:
Pressure washing, also referred to as power washing, is a method of using a high-velocity water spray to clean dirt and debris from the exterior of a house.
This type of cleaning is particularly important before you paint or repaint your house since a cleaner surface allows the paint to last longer. While a pressure washer can be used on a variety of surfaces, learning how to pressure wash a house can be difficult. Here’s how you can learn how to pressure wash a house:
Keep in mind that different housing materials can withstand different water pressures. The spray size can range from 1,200 to 3,000 PSI so consider the purpose of the machine. Here are a couple of guidelines you need to keep in mind:
Protect surrounding exterior fixtures, such as lights, plants and landscaping scrubs, which might suffer damage from high water pressure. Cover valuable items with plastic coverings and drop cloths and secure them using duct tape to prevent damage.
Unfortunately, pressure washing isn’t as simple as you thought. Before you get started, manually scrub any visible stains and mildew from the surface you are about to clean. Use a brush to get the job done.
Once you have gotten rid of visible mildew, it is time to prepare the pressure washer. Start by mixing the cleaning solution and refill the machine’s detergent dispenser.
We recommend you mix approximately 4 gallons of washing water with a pound of non-phosphate concentrated cleaner. Once this is complete, connect the garden hose to your water supply. You can turn on the water when the machine is ready.
Before you start deep cleaning, test the machine by holding up the nozzle about 3 feet away from your house. You can move it closer until you feel the pressure is strong enough to remove dirt and debris without causing damage.
Aim the nozzle at the top of the house and work your way downwards. Spray under-hangs, over-hangs and gutters at an approximate 45-degree angle. Do not forget to move the spray side to side to remove dirt more efficiently.
And finally, start rinsing your house from top down. Be sure to use clean water from a garden hose. Allow the exterior to dry for at least 2 days before you start painting.
Homeowners can choose from an array of pressure washing equipment in the market. This has made it much simpler for people to pressure wash their houses, decks and driveways.
However, despite how easy or simple the machine is to use, professionals and pressure washing experts admit the job requires a certain amount of skill and knowledge. Avoid accidents by following these simple tips:
Ensure the machine is powerful enough to complete the job. A heavy-duty machine will help you clean driveways and fences more efficiently compared to machine without a powerful engine.
Additionally, ensure the machine can also dispense a cleaning product along with water. Sure, while cleaning your driveway and fences without any chemicals is doable, it will take longer and the results won’t last. If you want better and cleaner results, use chlorine to keep mildew and molds from coming back.
A sparkling driveway and patio may be important to increase the aesthetic appeal of your house but nothing matters more than safety. If operated incorrectly, pressure washers can present significant danger to the user and the surroundings. A high-pressure blast of water can damage your house and property or result in a serious injury.
If you are a newbie and are using the machine for the first time, read the instruction manual carefully and watch a couple of videos online to learn how to use the machine properly. You must also take safety measures by wearing proper ear and eye protection. Experts recommend wearing boots, gloves and long-sleeved shirts to reduce the risk of accidents.
When using a pressure washer, pay close attention to the direction of the nozzle. Additionally, ensure your kids are safe inside the house and are not playing nearby when you are using the machine.
Also, be careful not to damage surrounding windows, screen enclosures, frames and doors. Avoid using a pressure washer when it is too windy outside as it can cause the water to blow right back at you. If you still intend on using the machine on a windy day, play close attention to the direction of the nozzle.
While you may be tempted to use the highest pressure setting for every cleaning task, don’t overdo it. Use a low pressure setting when cleaning your house and deck. Keep in mind that different models and systems include varying settings whereas some machines feature interchangeable nozzles to regulate pressure.
This is why it is important to carefully read the instruction manual before using the machine. Additionally, don’t forget to rinse the cleaning surface from top down to prevent the chemical from drying and leaving a mark.
Plants and vehicles, such as bicycles and cars, remain vulnerable to high-pressure chemicals and streams. Consider storing valuable items inside and covering up the car to prevent damage.
Consider rinsing your car before, during and after the process to dilute most of the chemicals. However, be quick to prevent the chemical from drying or else it will leave a mark.
Spring cleaning doesn’t justify using a pressure washer for several hours. Keep in mind that some stains simply won’t come off no matter how high you turn up the pressure. In such cases, turning up the pressure will only cause damage to your house and property.
For example, if your driveway has not been sealed and has oil spots, there is nothing much you can do, so forget about it. Rust and acorn stains are nearly impossible to remove so do some research before you begin scrubbing.
It is not always a good idea to go DIY. While basic pressure washing is a relatively easy task, consider calling up a professional if the job is too tough to handle on your own. Don’t take on a huge project if you won’t be able to tackle it.
Consider calling a professional if you plan on cleaning the roof or a multi-storey building. Professionals and experts have the right equipment that will get the job done efficiently. Sure, pressure washing the house yourself may help you save money but what is the point if you are not satisfied with the results or don’t know what you are doing.
Like any other piece of equipment, there are several safety precautions you need to keep in mind whilst operating a pressure washer. Using a pressure washer incorrectly can lead to serious injuries. Here are a couple of safety tips you should follow:
Keep these important safety measures in mind the next time you use a pressure washer.
Hopefully, this handy guide has provided you all the information you need about using a pressure washer. Good luck!