If you, like so many others, have spent a good portion of your days watching viral YouTube videos of pressure washers doing their thing, you can already imagine how satisfying it might be to wash your home and strip it of thousands of layers of dirt with a pressure washer. Lucky for you, it’s fairly easy to make this dream come true thanks to professional teams like Renew Crew pressure washing. If you’re a handy outdoor person, you might even want to try your own hand at pressure washing. But don’t be fooled: Spraying your outdoor areas with a high-powered washing tool might seem like a fun way to spend a Saturday, but without the proper training, you could end up making a huge mess, or worse, hurting yourself in the process. Whether you decide to go with a professional or take on the job yourself, it’s always helpful to know a bit about how pressure washers work and how best to use them. If you’re ready to take the plunge, here are a few tips to help you get the cleanest possible result.
Know Your Choices: Gas or Electric
Before you rent a pressure washer, you’ll have to know a bit about how they work. Pressure washing machines come in two varieties: Those powered by gas as well as electric models. Washers that use electricity as their power source are limited to certain areas of the home. Since you need to be near a plug in order to use your washer, it’s good to rent a gas-powered option for out-of-the-way jobs. Gas-powered washers, on the other hand, are extremely loud and not exactly the most environmentally-friendly. They also require a fair amount of upkeep if you’re an owner, but if you’re renting this won’t be as big an issue. If you’re trying to canvas a large area, gas-powered options might suit you better. However, if you just want to clean up around the back of the house, using an electric option could be the cleaner, greener thing to do, especially if you’re a bit sensitive to fumes.
Pick Your Nozzle
When you’re operating a pressure washer, it’s not as simple as aiming your jet at a dirty area and watching it magically disappear. First, you have to pick the right nozzle for the job. Different nozzles work like the different settings on your garden hose to target specific surfaces as well as concerns. For instance, a white nozzle sprays at a 40-degree angle, which means it’s less powerful than a standard red or yellow nozzle, which both work with a high-powered stream to erase dirt from less sensitive areas. White and black nozzles, on the other hand, use different angles to safely and effectively spray dirt from hard surfaces that are more likely to get damaged from too much pressure, such vinyl siding and even windows. Using the red nozzle, on the other hand, is too powerful for glass or anything less sturdy than stone and cement surfaces.
Your home surfaces aren’t the only things you need to worry about damaging. When you see a pressure washing professional at work, you’ll never catch them without the proper headgear. That means protective goggles, rubber boots, hearing protection, and possibly a full-body suit. You’ll need goggles to protect your eyes from getting powerfully sprayed, heating protection to block out the extreme noise of the operation, and all-over rain gear in order to keep yourself from becoming soaking wet. Remember: You’re not just applying a gentle stream of water to your home surfaces. You’re staying an extremely powerful jet of pressurized water to strip away years of dirt and debris. Because of this, you don’t want to be in the line of fire. Even the smallest pressure washer operates under a level of 2,000 PSI or pressure per square inch, which is still a potentially dangerous speed if the stream is misdirected or if the machine is used without protection.
Know the Right Techniques for Different Surfaces
If you’re planning on spraying a bunch of different areas of your outdoor space, using the right nozzle for different materials is only half the work. You’ll also want to use the right attachment if necessary, the right angle spray, and the right machine. For instance, to clean wood floors, you don’t just need to use the right nozzle. You also should use a gas-powered machine since an electric model will end up taking twice the time. After washing, you’ll need to use a wood sealant to protect your floors. For harder surfaces like cement and concrete, you’ll need to sweep first to get any debris out of the way, use a high-pressure nozzle, and use the soap-dispensing attachment for a truly deep clean.