Pressure washing can sound fun and exciting pastime at first, but it can turn into a messy activity. If you don’t use the right equipment or do it correctly, it can also prove to be dangerous. Thus, you should do some research on how a pressure washer works and how to properly use one.
Whether you want to add a bit of curb appeal or extend the life of your driveway, here are some tips to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Important Safety Tips While Pressure Washing
If you've never used a pressure washer before, you should consider the following safety tips beforehand.
Pressure Wash At Right Time
You need a lot of water to pressure wash the driveway. If the water supply is interrupted, you might end up doing more harm than good. You should postpone the task for a few months if your area is in a drought.
Wear Safety Gear
A pressure washer is loud and can affect your hearing. As well, the high-pressure jet means risking debris and water spraying right back in your eyes. Thus, you should always wear hearing and eye protection. In addition, be sure to wear closed-toe shoes to protect your feet from cut skin.
Cover Your Plants
You should consider covering plants with tarps because the water pressure and concrete detergents aren’t good for them. If price is not a major concern, you can use canvas drop cloths. However, there are some alternative options that are more affordable and just as lightweight. For instance, you can use painter’s plastic in place of a heavier-duty tarp. That said, be mindful of the fact that the sheer water pressure will more easily damage these materials.
Release Air From the Hose
After connecting the pressure washer to your garden hose, don’t turn the pressure washer on right away. You should squeeze the trigger until steady steam of water comes out of it. This is also a great way to maintain your pressure washer.
The Bigger, The Faster
Consider the PSI rating of your pressure washer. A higher number represents the amount of power the washer can generate, meaning it will blast away dirt and grime that much quicker. Though a pressure washer rated at about 2,000 PSI can be a good option for concrete driveways, it will take a bit longer to do the job.
Choose the Right Nozzle
Most pressure washers feature a wide range of nozzles, so you're not necessarily stuck with the one it came with out of the box. There are multiple options that adjust spray pattern and power, so be sure to find what works best for your specific needs.
Try It Out On Less Visible Spots
The pressure generated by these devices can result in the etching of concrete surfaces if you are holding the nozzle too close. You should maintain a safe distance depending on the power of your pressure washer as well as the nozzle you are using. It is always a great idea to experiment in an inconspicuous place to see what is the safe distance.
If the retaining walls, siding, and roof also need to be washed, work on them first. If you wash the driveway first, the dirty water from the other surfaces will end up on your driveway anyway and ruin the work you've already performed. Also, don’t forget to check weather forecast. The last thing you want or need is for gusty winds to deposit debris on the driveway you've just worked so hard to clean.
Choose the Right Detergent
Depending on what your driveway is made of, you should take care to find the correct detergents. You might not get the best results without using the right detergent or not using the detergents at all. Create a nice lather, leave it on for 10-15 minutes, and wash it off.
First-time users may find it difficult to learn how to operate pressure washers. Pressure washing the driveway involves much more than simply purchasing a pressure washer and aiming the nozzle. However, if you do your homework and choose the right tools, your driveway can be as clean as the day it was first built.