Why Use a Pressure Washer?
For Routine Maintenance
Here in the Pacific Northwest mildew and moss grows everywhere - on concrete sidewalks, wood decks, driveways and steps - making them very slippery and causing surfaces to deteriorate faster. To avoid accidents and preserve your walkways it is essential to do bi-annual pressure washing.
For all of these surfaces, the key is to kill the moss and mold down to the root, which will allow your surfaces to stay clean for much longer. Using a garden hose to remove the top layer of filth leaves the remnants of living spores, which will quickly take root again and re-infest the area.
A pressure washer creates a powerful force that will remove the debris completely. A flat surface cleaner is great for larger jobs.
Nothing escapes the moss, mold, and mildew that grow in wet regions, including your home. Mildew and moss grows on all kinds of different siding and has to be pressure washed off at least every year. Also spider webs, dirt and dust can get into siding and is not good for aesthetics or durability.
Before Painting A House
Pressure washing is a good way to clean a house exterior if you are getting ready for a new paint job. A pressure washer removes dirt, pollution, mold and any deteriorating paint from the surfaces of siding and trim. Neat and clean siding is a great way to ensure that a new coat of paint will last. Allow siding to dry for at least two days before painting for best results.
For Health Reasons
We are surrounded by particulates that pose health risks. Dirt, mold, mildew and oil are the primary perpetrators that cause safety and health issues around your home. Pressure washing can help protect your family from intrusion of mold and outside allergens. Additionally, pressure washing the walkway and driveway can help protect your family and visitors from accidents like slip and falls.
Rinsing away accumulated pollen deposits from your home, walkways or drive reduces exposure to allergens and enables you to enjoy the outdoors more, even during allergy seasons. In addition, this may reduce the need to purchase over the counter or prescription allergy and asthma medications by removing some catalysts.
Why Rent a Pressure Washer?
How often will you use a pressure washer? If only a few times a year, you should consider renting. A good commercial grade pressure washer can cost over $1,000. Once you own it, you are responsible for fuel, maintenance and storage as well.
Say you've spent at least $300 on a basic pressure washer for your home. You may get a few uses out of it before you have a mechanical problem that will cost almost as the cost much to fix. The machine ends up in a landfill.
Renting a pressure washer is like sharing a piece of equipment that no homeowner really needs own. There are fewer resources used in production, lower maintenance costs, petroleum products are disposed of properly. And if like YardRents.com, your rental agency delivers in a fuel-efficient vehicle, less gas is used to convey the pressure washer back and forth from your home.
How do you Operate a Pressure Washer?
Plan Your Project
Assess your project and develop a plan. Consider gravity. If you are pressure washing siding or a fence, work from top to bottom. For flat surfaces, work downhill.
Avoid getting the hoses kinked or trapped around objects in the yard by planning a path and be conscious of your surroundings. Notice breakable and delicate objects such as windows, vents or light fixtures that you'll want to avoid washing. If you must go over these areas make sure all lighting fixtures, electrical outlets and jacks are either removed or completely covered and sealed to make them waterproof.
For your safety, you will ABSOLUTELY need:
Appropriate attire - heavy boots, long pants, and long sleeve shirts
NEVER point your pressure washer tip/wand at any humans or pets! The pressurized water stream is extremely powerful and can injure, maim, or kill.
NEVER pressure wash while standing on a ladder! Use an extension wand to reach high places. Always stand on the ground while pressure washing.
Select a nozzle for the project. Nozzles attach to the end of the pressure-washing wand that is connected by a hose to the pressure washer pump and motor. The nozzle determines the water pressure. The smaller the angle or opening, the more power. Start with the biggest diameter. Begin with the nozzle at least 3 feet from the surface and work your way closer until you feel the spray is strong enough but not too strong or difficult to control. Never get closer than 12 inches from the surface or damage may occur.
If you plan to paint, allow siding to dry for at least two days.
Other uses for Pressure Washers
Homeowners can clean gutters with a pressure washer wand or use a pressure washer stream to move large amounts of leaves from hard to reach locations to easy access points.
Use string guides to map where a line is to be placed. Wrap brightly colored tape around the washer wand 2" plus the depth of the trench desired from the tip of the wand. Wear waterproof boots, a rain suit, and a full coverage face shield.
Using the string line as a guide to how deep you want to go and with the smallest angle nozzle on the washer (which provides the strongest pressure) begin to spray the ground. Make several passes to blast the dirt (now mud) out of the trench to the desired depth.
Not just for the house
A pressure washer is an excellent tool for cleaning automobiles, boats, RV's or outdoor furnishings too!