What Can and Cannot be Pressure Cleaned

Pressure cleaning is the most effective way of removing stubborn grime, stains, graffiti, etc. from a surface. There are thousands of videos available online that show you how effective it can be. They also tell you how easy it is – you just point the nozzle, turn on the pressure and watch as the dirt is washed away. This is one of the main reasons why DIY pressure cleaning is so popular. Unfortunately, the reality is somewhat different. Yes, there are some types of dirt on some surfaces that anyone can wash away with some pressured water. But in many cases, especially where the dirt and stains are difficult to access and are particularly hard to remove, DIY efforts can do more harm than good.

Cleaning or Destroying

Real deep cleaning with pressure washing requires knowledge of the surface being cleaned, the type of nozzle to be used, the amount of pressure to be applied and, if cleaning agents are to be used, whether they are safe. Without this knowledge, not only could the cleaning be ineffective, the surface being cleaned may also be damaged and worst of all, people could be injured. Correctly done by professionals, pressure cleaning can produce fantastic results. Incorrectly done, it can be very destructive.

Commonly Pressure Cleaned Surfaces

Pressure cleaning is often used to clean:

  • Boundary walls
  • Exterior siding
  • Driveways
  • Walkways
  • Patios and decks
  • Garage doors
  • Gutters
  • Roofs
  • Some types of outdoor furniture
  • Bricks

The fact that these are commonly cleaned surfaces does not mean that they cannot get damaged. Real cleaning often requires the use of very high pressure. If it is not properly controlled, even the hardest of surfaces could be damaged.

What Should Not Normally be Pressure Cleaned

These are a few of the surfaces that should not be pressure cleaned unless done by an expert.
Otherwise, damage is very possible.

  • Painted surfaces where the paint is already compromised. It is imperative to inspect painted surfaces prior to pressure washing to determine the best strategy.
  • Wood can easily be damaged by high pressure if not done correctly. Additionally, if the surface is stained, pressure cleaning will take the stain off and re-staining will be required.
  • Asphalted roofs, should not be pressure cleaned as the forces of the water can strip off the granules and weaken the protective coat of asphalt.
  • An old surface, even if it is made of material that can normally be pressure washed may have become weak over time and pressure washing could destroy it.

Another factor to keep in mind is the frequency of the cleaning. A lot depends on the environment the dirty surface is in – the dirtier the surroundings the more frequently it will need to be cleaned. However, excess pressure cleaning can, over time, weaken a structure and cause serious damage, even on surfaces that are generally thought of as being very safe to pressure clean.

Get the Best Results

The best results and the longest lasting cleaning can only be achieved by pressure cleaning professionals who have the knowledge, experience and special equipment (this is not available to non-professionals) to maximize the cleaning while ensuring that no damage is caused. In fact, there may be places that you didn’t realize could be pressure cleaned which experts alone an identify and clean.

Ref: https://www.thumbtack.com/blog/expert-advice-pressure-wash/

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