Using a pressure washer to blast away mildew, mold, dirt and grime on your home, driveway, patio, deck or other property surfaces is quick and easy. However, it can also be risky if you don’t follow some simple tips.
Before you start spraying, scan the area around your project for anything that could get damaged by pressurized water. For example, a rose garden may not fare well with a direct hit from your spray nozzle.
Pressure washing is a great way to get your home, deck or driveway clean, but it’s important to put safety first. Using the appropriate PPE, working from a ladder instead of standing on a step stool and scanning your surroundings before you start spraying can minimize injury and accidents.
One of the biggest hazards of using a pressure washer is that it can spray water at extremely high speeds. This can not only damage the surface you’re cleaning but also cause injuries if it hits you or someone else. Always wear long pants and sleeves, protective goggles and closed-toe shoes when using a pressure washer.
You should also take the time to read your pressure washer’s manual before you use it. Even if you’re an experienced pro, different models have their own unique safety features and instructions. For example, the safety switch might be in a different place on a new model than on your old one, or it may have a delay between trigger pulls.
A second big safety issue is that you need to make sure the area where you’re pressure washing is empty. The powerful water stream can easily bounce off heavier items like cars, lawn furniture or plant pots, looping around and hitting you. It can also knock things over or break them.
Lastly, it’s a good idea to check the surrounding area for electrical outlets and other hazards before you start pressure washing. The force of the water spray can knock over extension cords and power outlets, potentially causing injuries or expensive damage.
When you’re done, remember to turn off the pressure washer properly and drain it. If you don’t, the hose will retain water and continue to spray unexpectedly, possibly injuring or annoying the next person who uses it.
Choose Your Nozzles Wisely
Pressure washing uses high-powered jets of water to clean mud, dirt, grime, loose paint, mildew, algae and more from surfaces around your home or business. It is a much faster and more thorough cleaning method than brushing or mopping, especially when it comes to heavily soiled areas like concrete, outdoor patios and decks, and wood and Trex siding. A good pressure washer can also quickly and easily remove tough stains from masonry, metal, or concrete surfaces.
When it comes to using a pressure washer, the type of nozzle you choose will make all the difference in how well the job is done. Different nozzles provide a variety of angles on the water spray, allowing you to target specific areas with the appropriate strength and precision. The nozzles are generally color-coded, with red tips providing the narrowest angle at 0 degrees. This is the strongest of the nozzles and can cause damage if used too close to any surface. Yellow nozzles create a 15-degree water stream and are ideal for removing paint.
Wider nozzles, such as those with a 40-degree tip, are great for general washing, such as rinsing or loosening dirt from decks and driveways. A 25-degree nozzle is ideal for tackling concrete and masonry cleaning tasks, while a 10 or 15-degree nozzle is ideal for removing tough stains.
If you plan on using the pressure washer to clean softer surfaces such as your windows, soft woods, or vinyl siding, it is best to hire a professional so they can control the intensity of the spray and avoid damaging any delicate materials. If you do decide to tackle the job yourself, it is recommended that you wear closed-toe shoes, safety goggles or face shield, a protective mask, and ear protection (especially if you’re using a gas power washer). Hold the wand tightly and work in sweeping motions so that you’re not focusing the force of the water in one spot for too long.
A soaping nozzle attaches to the pressure washer and allows you to add detergent or soap directly into the water spray. This is ideal for scrubbing away dirt and grime from concrete or brick, but you’ll want to use a wider nozzle such as the 40-degree tip for rinsing afterward to prevent damaging the surface.
Getting started with pressure washing requires an investment in equipment. This can be done by tapping into your savings, retirement funds, or taking out a small business loan. Depending on where you live, there may be other licensing requirements you must meet before you can start offering your services.
When you first start, it’s a good idea to practice on your own property or on a friend’s to get a feel for how the equipment works. This way, you can perfect your technique before you start charging customers. Additionally, you’ll learn what the optimal water temperature is for different surfaces and materials. It’s also a good idea to take your time when you’re cleaning – rushing can cause damage to the surface or even hurt yourself. Start with a small blast of water, and slowly increase the pressure as needed (by bringing your nozzle closer or changing nozzles) until you reach your desired level.
Once you’ve gotten a feel for the equipment, it’s time to start seeking out your first customers. This can be as simple as knocking on doors in affluent neighborhoods, or it could require more marketing efforts, like using Facebook or Craigslist ads.
You’ll want to create eye-catching flyers that showcase your services and prices. These can be handed out at local events, left on car windshields, or hung in shop windows. This is a great way to make yourself visible, so that when someone in your area needs a pressure wash, they’ll remember your business.
As your customer base grows, you’ll likely need to hire employees to help with the work load. This is a good idea, because it can free you up to focus on finding more customers and ensuring you’re always providing the best possible service. Eventually, you’ll be able to offer your services around the clock, and you’ll be on the path to success! Happy customers will keep coming back, and they’ll refer their friends and family to your business as well. This is the best way to grow your company!
Take Your Time
Taking your time when pressure washing is essential, not only for safety but also to ensure you get the surface cleaned well. If you rush, you may miss spots or damage the surface. This can cause more work later, as you may need to go back over areas or even re-clean the entire area.
It is also important to note that the size of the surface and how much dirt builds up on it will have a major impact on how long it takes to pressure wash. For example, cleaning a whole house will take longer than washing a small patio.
Aside from these factors, weather conditions can also affect how long it takes to pressure wash. Heavy rain and winds can speed up dirt buildup, so it is important to pressure wash after storms.
In addition to this, you should never pressure wash at night for safety reasons. You may not be able to see twigs or other debris that could cause you to trip and fall. Lastly, it is best to pressure wash on a day with bright sunshine and mild temperatures. This will help the surface dry faster and make the job more comfortable.
While it might seem like a simple task, pressure washing can be a lot more complicated than you think. This is especially true if you are not experienced or do not have the right equipment. That is why it is important to start small and practice on durable surfaces, such as your own driveway or deck. Once you have some experience, you can move on to bigger and more challenging projects. Just remember to take your time and follow the tips in this blog. By doing so, you will have a successful pressure washing project and protect your property and investment. If you need assistance with your project, reach out to a local professional handyman. They will be able to help you get your home or business looking new again and protect your investment. They can also help you with a variety of other tasks, such as window washing, painting, and carpentry.