What Types of Surfaces Can and Can’t Withstand a Pressure Cleaning Service?
When doing your outdoor chores, you may notice things that need to be cleaned. If you're considering having them pressure washed, you may need to think again.
Not all surfaces can safely be cleaned. To avoid ruining your home or belongings, be sure to read this list first.
As a pressure cleaning service, we know what can be cleaned with a pressure washer and what cannot. Keep reading to learn more about what can and can't stand the pressure of a power washer.
Surfaces That CAN Be Pressure Cleaned
First, let's look at seven surfaces which can be cleaned using a power washer. Some of these will require different levels of pressure, however, which is why it's important to have a professional do the work for you.
Whether it's a driveway or sidewalk, cement is something that can handle the force of a pressure washer.
The only thing you may want to be careful of is if you have loose cement or parts have been damaged. The pressured water may blast away small rocks or further damage areas of cement that may need to be replaced.
2. Most Decks and Patios
Most decks and patios can safely be pressure washed as long as low pressure is used. However, care must be taken to identify the type of wood so the correct pressure can be used.
It's also essential for a certain blend of cleaning solution to be used which is why it's not recommended to tackle this job yourself.
3. Outdoor Furniture
Most plastic, metal, and treated wood furniture can be cleaned using a pressure washer by an expert. This includes chairs, tables, and children's play equipment.
In cases of textured plastic, a power washer may be the only way to get into all of the cracks to remove built-up grime and dirt. However, this is another area of your yard that will require low pressure.
Metal and wooden fences can also be cleaned with a power washer. Later, we'll explain the exceptions to this rule because there are a couple of cases in which you may want to avoid washing fences in this way.
This will also require a much lower pressure, which is why it's a good idea to only get an expert to clean these structures for you to avoid damaging them.
Surfaces That Can NOT Be Pressure Cleaned
Now let's get into seven surfaces that you should avoid using a pressure washer on.
These are all surfaces or things that can be permanently damaged by this type of cleaning which is why it's always best to call in a professional when you need to have any of these things cleaned.
1. Stained Wood
While some stained wood surfaces can be safely cleaned with a pressure cleaner, most power washers will strip the stain from the wood. If you don't want to re-stain wood, don't clean it with pressured water.
2. Asphalt Roofs
Asphalt shingles are actually made of a mixture of asphalt and other materials. Although it can withstand heavy rain, high-pressured water can remove the granules that help make your roof waterproof.
3. Electrical Boxes and Air Conditioners
Your outdoor electrical boxes and air conditioning units are designed to withstand rain. However, pressured water can be forced into small cracks which can damage the interior components.
The air conditioner's filter should also only ever be washed gently with a slow flow of water. This is something you can easily do yourself in a sink using a mild detergent and brush.
4. Old Brick with Mortar
Most newer brick surfaces can safely be cleaned with a pressure washer. However, old brick buildings made with mortar may crumble under the pressure of a power cleaner so you should never have them cleaned this way.
If you're not sure about the age of a structure, be sure to call in a professional to take a look rather than experimenting, which runs the risk of destroying the bricks.
5. Painted Surfaces
Much like wood stain, paint can be blasted off a surface when using a pressure washer. In fact, they are often used for this purpose when you're ready to repaint and want to quickly remove the old paint.
Keep in mind that if you do want to remove paint with a pressure washer, you should never do so when dealing with lead paint. This can throw lead particles into the air which is dangerous.
Always call in a professional when dealing with lead paint.
While it is important to keep windows clean, doing so with a pressure washer could end up breaking them which would do a lot more harm than good.
Even if the glass can withstand the pressure, the water can be forced through your window seal which will either get into your home or possibly damage the seal.
Today, most houses are covered in vinyl or fiber cement siding. Both of these can -- and should -- be cleaned regularly. Keeping your siding clean can help it last longer and keep your house looking amazing.
However, this should never be done with pressurized water as this can damage the surface. Instead, professionals will use a special blend of soap to remove built-up dirt and then rinse with water.
Although keeping your car engine clean is a great way to keep it running for longer, you never want to do this with a pressure washer. As with air conditioners, high pressured water can get into interior components which will wreak havoc on them.
Most experts also recommend avoiding using a pressure washer on the outside of vehicles as well since this can chip the paint or even cause dents.
In Need of a Pressure Cleaning Service?
Now you know which surfaces can be pressure cleaned and which should not be. If you're ever unsure, be sure to call a pressure cleaning service that can ensure none of your belongings get ruined.
To get a free quote, contact us today. We would love to tell you more about how we can get your exterior looking great.