Most Common Mistakes When Pressure Washing
A pressure washer is an incredibly useful tool for household projects, whether it's seasonal cleaning, job prep, or tidying up after an especially tough task. And with global sales estimated at $ 3 billion through 2024, pressure washers are becoming standard equipment for DIYers around the world.
It doesn't take a lot of training to use a high-pressure washer, but it does require care to avoid injury or accidental property damage.
Make your life simpler and safer by avoiding these common mistakes new high-pressure washers make.
Forgetting to tip the spray
When pressure washing, approach the surface to be cleaned at an angle. The goal is to remove dirt from the surface so it can be washed. When you spray directly onto a dirty surface, you simply sink the dirt into whatever you are trying to clean.
This is especially true in the case of porous materials such as wood or concrete.
Don't wear safety gear
Pressure washers may look like great squirt guns, but they are definitely not toys. A narrow stream of water discharged at several thousand pounds per square inch (PSI) can cut meat almost as efficiently as a saw.
Worse still, the high pressure pushes water and dirt deep into the fabric, often leading to infection.
Using the wrong nozzle
Selecting the correct pressure washer nozzle tip is a critical step for safety and efficiency, and many people get it wrong.
There are many tips on what you can and cannot pressure wash.
You can usually pressure wash just about anything, as long as you use the correct nozzle! The nozzles change the angle and spread of the spray, which affects the PSI coming off the wand. A wider angle creates a lower pressure.
Now, we are not suggesting that you pressure wash your fragile glassware. But by planning and taking precautions, you can control the risk of damage. When in doubt, always try a scrap material or an area that is not noticeable or can be easily patched.
Spray against siding
When power washing the side of your home, never direct the spray to the floor. The siding channels water from the roof to the foundation.
It is intentionally left open at the bottom so that water that penetrates its barrier drains away harmlessly. Spraying from below forces water into the spaces between the siding and the house, a surefire recipe for disaster.
The best solution is to stay on the ground and use a sturdy or telescopic extension bar.
Pressure washer pumps generate a closed system of pressurized water. When you squeeze the trigger on the spray gun, the pressure is released.
But what happens when you don't pull the trigger? The pressure cannot rise at one point, so a bypass valve redirects the water away from the spray gun and back into the system.
It is a solution that has a disadvantage: the temperature. All that redirected water is continually heated as it circulates through the system. Over time, it gets hot enough to damage the pump, leading to premature wear and expensive repair.
Using a gas pressure washer indoors
Gas pressure washers are more powerful and portable than corded electric models, making them a favorite with professionals and DIYers in areas without electricity.
They also produce carbon monoxide and should never be used without adequate ventilation.
A study published in the Journal of Emergency Medicine found that carbon monoxide poisoning related to pressure washers increases after natural disasters when homeowners and contractors clean damaged basements.
Remember to always follow the manufacturer's recommendations for the use of a pressure washer. When in doubt, prefer caution and safety.
We hope you enjoy watching this video about pressure washing tips:
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