One of the most versatile pieces of equipment you can own may very well be the pressure washer. But like many other high-powered tools, it’s important to understand the purpose and function of the pressure washer as well as what can and can’t be pressure washed. If you’ve been wondering about the best uses of your pressure washer or considering investing in one for the first time, then keep reading to learn more about this versatile tool.
What Is Pressure Washing?
Pressure washing is a method of cleaning stuck on dirt, debris, and build-up using a high-pressure water blast. This type of washing uses regular temperature water delivered with high-pressure force to clear away moss, mold, and other substances that become stuck on sidewalks, sidings, and other outdoor surfaces. A pressure-washer is generally the tool most people have at home, whether they call it a pressure washer or a power washer.
What Is the Difference Between Pressure and Power Washing?
While many people use the terms interchangeably, pressure washing and power washing are actually two different things. Obviously, the cleaning methods are related, but understanding the distinct differences between the two can help you avoid a mishap and/or embarrassment if you’re talking to someone more “in the know” than you.
When it comes to pressure, both power and pressure washing use about the same amount of pressure. The exact pressure depends on the type of machine used, and as in other cases, and industrial machine can typically deliver a little more power than a regular household unit.
The one key element that separates the two machines, however, is a heating element. Both pieces of equipment are capable of delivering powerful streams of high-pressure water. But a power washer also includes a heating element to heat up the water being used, and pressure washer does not. While both units are effective for tackling stuck on substances, the heating element of a power washer gives it a slight edge of a pressure washer.
What Can Safely Be Pressure Washed?
Almost anything can be cleaned with a little water and the right technique. However, whether pressure or power washing, it’s important to keep in mind that some surfaces or materials need a little more care. For example, an older home may be a little more sensitive to the power of pressure washers and other devices, so use your best judgment.
Nevertheless, as long as you are careful and are aware of the stains, paints, and seals on different surfaces, you should be able to pressure wash:
- Garage doors
- Outdoor furniture
- Tile roofs
What Cannot Be Pressure Washed?
Although most outdoor surfaces can be pressure washed, certain things require more care and should be treated by a professional. A pro will be able to use different tips to control the rate at which the water comes out as well as the size of the stream to prevent damage.
That being said, you should avoid pressure washing:
- Painted surfaces
- Stained wood surfaces
- Asphalt roofs
- Aged surfaces
These things require extra care when being treated and should be left to a professional to prevent any damage.