Residential Pressure Washing Services, Power Washing
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Power washing involves spraying highly-pressured water on to large, dirty surfaces. Power washing machines operate by electricity or gas power, and receive their water supply from a nearby hose. Users can control the amount of pressure, the width of the spray field, and the techniques used. The terms "power" and "pressure" washing are often used interchangeably.
Homeowners use pressure washing machines around the home to remove dirt, algae, mold, debris, paint, and foreign objects (e.g., chewing gum) from surfaces including sidewalks, driveways, decks, siding and roofs.
Professional power washing is also a widely used option.
"Can power washing damage my home?"
Yes. Power washers are…well…powerful! DIY'ers without sufficient knowledge and experience can do damage when pressure washing certain surfaces.
Common power-washing mistakes include: getting water into your walls or attic, damaging or removing siding, damaging or removing roof shingles, damaging windows, removing paint not intended to be removed, harming wood finishes, damaging electrical panels and power meters, damaging window air conditioners, loosening old mortar and pointing, knocking down light fixtures, harming rain gutters, ruining automobile surfaces, directly or indirectly killing trees and plants near target surfaces.
DIY'ers are well-advised to be careful and cautious, especially if they have minimal power washing experience.
Furthermore, even professionals can do damage, so if you hire a pro, make sure you've got guarantees and take certain precautions, like protecting nearby landscaping.
"What surfaces are OK to power wash?"
MOST surfaces are susceptible to damage if enough pressure is applied, which is why care and experience are important when power washing any part of your home or property.
Surfaces commonly power washed include:
Decks Use lower pressure on softer woods. Use a relatively wide spray spread to start. And, test your pressure level on an out-of-view part of the deck . Also, take care to avoid and protect nearby foliage.
Siding Most vinyl, fiber-cement, and wood-clapboard siding are OK to power wash, so long as good judgment is used. Prevent damage by testing with low pressure, and wide spray angles to start.
Concrete, Stone & Brick Most driveways, pathways and solid walls are OK to pressure wash. Test out-of-the-way areas to start, and begin with lower pressure and wider spray angles.
Metal & Concrete Roof Surfaces Most metal and concrete roof surfaces can handle sensible power washing, but avoid power washing on shingled roofs or any other roof surface where the basic design allows water to easily flow up and under roofing components .
If you have lots of questions or have concerns about possible damage, consider hiring a professional power washing expert, who can provide knowledge and experience to get the job done right, while avoiding damage to your home and property.
"Why not do power washing myself?"
Lots of people power wash parts of their homes every day. It's a great tool if used with common sense and restraint. The choice to DIY a power washing job depends on your comfort with larger, heavier, high-pressure equipment, what needs to be cleaned, and location.
Standing on a ladder – or directly on the roof – to pressure spray a roof's surface can be considered more risky than standing on level ground to clean a driveway. On a roof or ladder you can lose your balance; not on the driveway…on a roof you can obliterate shingles with too much pressure; driveways are much more resilient.
So when you're deciding whether or not to tackle the job yourself, consider factors like your own personal comfort, your experience with heavier tools and high pressure, your willingness to test small spots before moving on to larger areas, and safety factors related to the location that needs to be cleaned.
Also, read our FAQ on this page, titled " Can power washing damage my home?" to get a better feel for what you're willing to tackle on your own, and what might be better handled by a pro given your specific needs and level of experience. If you think you can take it on, great. If not, fill in the form on this page and talk with a few pros to find the one right for you!
"Can power washing harm nearby plants?"
Yes, plants are at risk when power washing is performed. Plant-unfriendly chemicals are often used, and direct contact from the pressured water can decimate tree leaves and plants.
Run-off can also be an issue, as in the case of roof cleaning when the cleaning solutions can do short- and long-term damage to nearby plants and trees.
Furthermore, run-off from any chemical cleaning solutions can enter local drainage systems and water supplies, so there's an environmental dimension to consider.
Homeowners should move all portable plants out of harm's way, cover any stationary landscaping before power washing, and consider bio-friendly cleaning alternatives, regardless of whether it's a DIY job, or professional service provider doing the work.