Over the years, property owners enthusiastic about cleaning their homes by themselves have invested considerably in various tools and implements including pressure washers. The proliferation of such tools and the high-blitz marketing techniques of manufacturers have instilled a do-it-yourself spirit among homeowners.
However, any do-it-yourself project is fraught with risks: adherents of DIY pressure washing not only create damage to themselves and their property, but also are unaware of various intricacies, tips and tricks of the trade.
Hospitals in the US routinely report injuries to people from flying splinters or exterior parts of machinery that get dislodged by the high pressure used during the execution of the project; over and above injuries to people, damage caused on different surfaces of homes is a matter of great concern.
It is in this crucial context that commercial cleaning companies are still preferred for the expertise and safety they ensure homeowners.
Pressure washing is not just about pressure; it is just one of the parameters, others being detergents and cleaning agents, temperature of the water used, and quantum of water ejected by the machine. Each surface requires a different combination of these factors, the effective application of which requires sharp skills, knowledge of technology, and experience. Listed below are brief descriptions of the intricacies of these factors.
Pressure Washing Parameters
Detergents and cleaning agents
What makes pressure washing most effective is not just the pressure, but right cleaning agents used for the purpose. Certain cleaning agents are used to remove mold, mildew, fungus, rust, or soil that has strong coloring. While other cleaning agents may be more effective in removing grease and oil stains. Biodegradable and environmentally friendly solutions are important when considering the cleaning process, but knowledge of what works what does not comes with experience. The methods in using these agents in critical to the outcome and effectiveness in which experience and training often dictate the level of success.
The pressure used for cleaning depends on the surface to be cleaned as well as its accessibility. ‘Soft washing’ typically uses pressure of less than 1000 psi, and a full set of nozzles. These nozzles control and vary the quantum of water sprayed so that different kinds of dirt can be removed. Pressures of 2500 to 3000 psi are needed for cleaning vinyl or wooden siding, and still higher pressures for roofs from a distance of a few feet.
Novices experimenting with various pressures can inadvertently cause ‘striping’ or patches of uneven cleaning, unhinge sidings from their base, or warp the vinyl with sudden application of water at high temperature.
Temperature of the water
Hot water is more effective than cold water for rigid stains, but it’s important to know how much heat must be used. Too much heat can result in excess removal, warping, deforming and melting of a particular surface.
Quantity of water
Using more water (measured in gallons per minute) with moderate pressure, is more effective than using less water at high pressure.
Commercial cleaning companies are quite cost-effective and they offer various plans for recurring cleaning requirements to maximize your returns from the cleaning spend. They know the ins and outs of the state-of-the-art technology, and have a good knowledge of building materials and building surfaces.
Above all, experience is invaluable and can save money as well as prevent damages and/or injuries.