Pressure washing is a deep cleaning method that uses highly pressurized water to remove dirt, grime, mold and other contaminants from surfaces. Both residential and commercial settings utilize pressure washing for its unparalleled cleaning results on everything from homes to industrial equipment.
In this article, we’ll explore what pressure washing is, its main purposes, benefits, and best practices to use this intense cleaning system safely and effectively.
What is Pressure Washing?
Pressure washing, also known as power washing, uses a mechanical sprayer to eject water at high pressure onto a surface. The pressure washer increases the water pressure coming out of the hose to between 500 to 5000 PSI.
This concentrated jet of high-pressure water acts like a precise cleaning tool to scrub away built-up contaminants. It’s far more effective than just using a regular garden hose.
Electric or gas-powered motors in the pressure washer pump water from a source like an outdoor spigot. The pump forces the water through a narrowed high-pressure hose and nozzle that intensifies the water pressure.
Different shaped nozzles like fan tips and rotary nozzles can focus the spray for specific cleaning tasks. The intense water pressure does the hard work so less elbow grease is required.
Key Purposes and Applications of Pressure Washing
Pressure washing serves several main purposes:
Removing Stubborn Surface Grime
The top use of pressure washers is removing dirt, grime, oil, mold and other contaminants stuck to hard surfaces. Examples include:
– Clearing caked-on mud from construction equipment
– Descaling and removing rust from metal tools and machinery
– Cleaning grease and oil stains from driveways and parking lots
– Removing black streaks and mildew from exterior house siding
– Cleaning bird droppings and tree sap from decks, patios and walkways
High-pressure water easily scrubs away buildup that is extremely difficult to remove by hand.
Preparing Surfaces for Painting or Finishing
Intense pressure washing is commonly used to prep surfaces prior to painting, staining or applying a finish. The pressurized spray removes peeling paint flakes, chalky residue, loose varnish and other material that could compromise adhesion.
Proper power washing ensures the surface is free of contaminants so the new paint or finish bonds well. It also improves the finished look.
Sanitizing Areas and Equipment
The high temperatures and pressures possible with pressure washers allow deep cleaning and sanitizing of surfaces and objects. Examples include:
– Sanitizing restaurant equipment and work surfaces
– Cleaning surgical tools and medical equipment
– Removing odors and bacteria from portable toilets
– Deep cleaning livestock equipment and enclosures
– Sanitizing public play structures and park benches
Heated water and steam pressure washers can tackle biohazards other methods can’t.
Heavy-Duty Cleaning Tasks
In commercial and industrial settings, pressure washers take on heavy-duty cleaning jobs other methods can’t match.
– Removing layers of grease and carbon from heavy machinery
– Cleaning oil drilling rigs and platforms
– Stripping paint and debris from aircraft exteriors
– Degreasing and cosmetic detailing on vehicles
– Graffiti removal from buildings and infrastructure
With up to 10 times the cleaning power of a standard hose, pressure washers make quick work of major cleaning projects.
Benefits and Advantages of Pressure Washing
Beyond just surface cleaning, pressure washing offers these key advantages:
**Thorough cleaning** – Pressure washing scrubs away contaminants completely for a deeper clean compared to hand scrubbing or using low-pressure water.
**Time and labor savings** – Tasks that would take hours of scrubbing by hand can be completed quickly with a pressure washer. This saves significant time and manual effort.
**Surface protection** – Removing mold, mildew and other buildup helps protect the integrity of surfaces from deterioration and staining.
**Improved aesthetics** – Aesthetic improvements like brighter exteriors, cleaner pavements and gleaming equipment.
**Versatility** – Pressure washers clean virtually any hard surface like siding, concrete, metal, tile and more. Units vary to meet light or heavy duty needs.
**Cost effectiveness** – Though pressure washers involve an upfront investment, they save money over repeated professional cleanings.
Best Practices For Safe and Effective Pressure Washing
To leverage pressure washing successfully, follow these guidelines:
Inspect and Plan the Work Area
– Survey the area and surface material to determine cleaning approach and equipment needed.
– Look for delicate or fragile surfaces that could be damaged by high-pressure washing.
– Plan how to control or divert wash runoff appropriately.
Use Proper Protective Gear
– Wear close-toed shoes, long pants, gloves, eye and ear protection for safety when operating a pressure washer.
Adjust Water Pressure and Technique as Needed
– Test water pressure on a small area first to avoid surface damage. Start at widest fan spray and low pressure.
– Get nozzle close to the surface and use side-to-side sweeping motions for maximum cleaning.
– For delicate tasks, opt for lower pressure and a wider fan spray.
Limit Risk of Fall Injuries
– Never spray from an unstable position like a ladder or rooftop.
– Use caution when spraying overhead not to create dripping hazard on ground below.
Allow Surfaces to Dry Before Applying Finishes
– Ensure surfaces are completely dry before painting, staining or sealing to allow proper adhesion.
Maintain Pressure Washer Properly
– Follow manufacturer guidelines for pump lubrication, nozzle cleaning, and other maintenance.
– Inspect hoses regularly for cracks and leaks.
By using proper pressure washing form and technique, you can tackle cleaning tasks safely, efficiently and achieve outstanding results.
Unlock Deep Cleaning Power with Pressure Washing
Pressure washing is an invaluable tool for construction, home maintenance, commercial cleaning businesses and heavy industry. The intense high-pressure water in a controlled stream can clean where other methods fail.
Understanding the purposes, benefits and best practices of pressure washing lets you utilize this intense cleaning system to save huge time and effort on all kinds of dirty jobs. Put the power of pressure washing to work and unlock its deep cleaning magic on all types of surfaces.