The power of a pressure washer is undeniable. It can take even the most stubborn stain off concrete, brick or stone walls. Unfortunately, the best pressure and power is also its greatest weakness. Because of just how powerful pressure washers are, there are plenty of ways you can do more harm than good when using them. To keep your home or business looking great, here’s what not to do when pressure washing.
Use too much water pressure
The worst thing you can do with a pressure washer is to use it at too high a setting. High-pressure water can damage the surface you’re trying to clean and cause leaks in your plumbing. If set incorrectly, it can also cause water to spray into unsealed cracks, which causes even more damage down the road. It’s important to keep the water pressure at an appropriate level or else risk doing extensive damage to your property.
Aim too close
Another mistake people often make when using a pressure washer is aiming too close to whatever they’re trying to clean. When you hold the nozzle too close to the surface you’re cleaning, you risk causing damage by blasting away at the bricks or concrete. To avoid doing any serious damage, keep the nozzle about half a meter away.
Do Not Miss a Safety Gear
Pressure washing can be dangerous, particularly when you’re working overhead on a ladder or roof. At a minimum, wear eye protection and ear plugs if your machine is loud enough that it could cause hearing damage. Also consider protective clothing like long pants and shoes with nonslip soles.
Not Checking Connections Carefully
Check all of your connections thoroughly before starting, but also check again while you’re working in case they come loose under pressure.
Things You Should Never Pressure Wash
The idea of a pressure washer is pretty straightforward: It’s a high-pressure hose attached to a motor. You turn it on; point it at whatever you want to clean, and the force of the water takes care of the rest.
But while powerful, you also have to be careful with pressure washers. The water can cut through just about anything, including your skin. And if something gets damaged beyond repair by the pressure washer — like your car’s paint job — you’re out of luck.
Here are part of the things you should not pressure wash
- Your House
Pressure washers are great if you want to clean the siding on your home, but you need to be very careful about how hard you spray and what attachments you use. You can do serious damage by using too high of a setting or getting too close, which can result in erosion of the siding material or even blow holes through the material.
When in doubt, always start with the lowest setting and work your way up to find the right combination of pressure and distance that will clean without damaging. Also be sure to check your homeowner’s insurance policy to make sure you’re covered if something does go wrong.
Pressure washers can blow dirt off plants, but they can also blow away foliage and strip bark off trees. The high pressure of the water can also break branches. It’s best to use a hose with a sprayer attachment on plants instead of a pressure washer.
- Electrical Systems
Never point a pressure washer at an electrical outlet, switch or any other wiring for that matter. This can cause electrocution.
As you prepare on the do’s and don’t’s with pressure washers, check through Giraffetools collections for the best machines at affordable prices.