You can use pressure washing to your advantage and clean larger areas that would otherwise take hours to do. It is a great tool and can cut your time in half, or more if used properly.
The first thing we need to look at is the essentials that are needed to pressure wash, which is not a whole lot. Let’s go over some of the basics, so you will have a better understanding of how it all works.
All in all, you will need to have:
- a standard water hose, that does not leak,
- a pressure washer
- safety goggles
- boots and
- sound suppressing ear protection
Before you do anything, you will want to make sure the area that is going to be pressure washed is free and clear of all obstructions. It will actually take more time to spray around the items and move them later, as opposed to clearing the entire surface beforehand. Taking the time to remove any items from the surface will save time in the long run.
Covering To Prevent Damage:
If you plan on using chemicals or cleaning detergents, then you should take the proper precautions when it comes to plants and anything else that could potentially get damaged, especially your skin. You can drape some plastic over plants, or a drop cloth, whatever you have at your disposal. If these types of items will be in close contact with the stream of water, it would be a good idea to use a heavy-duty drop cloth so the pressure of the nozzle will not damage them in the process.
Preparing The Pressure Washer:
The next step would be to get the pressure washer ready. The first thing you should always do is connect the water hose to the pressure washer and turn on the water. Before you fire up the machine, you want to allow the water to circulate throughout the machine and out the nozzle without the presence of any air bubbles. Squeeze the nozzle to allow the water to flow freely. Maintain constant pressure until there are no more air bubbles in the line. Once this is accomplished you can start the pressure washer.
The next step would be to pretreat the surface with a solvent or cleaner of your choice. This is recommended for heavily soiled areas that need extra attention. Spray down the entire surface using a tip that produces a wide spray pattern, in order to apply the detergent evenly. Be sure to allow yourself enough time to wash off the solvent before it has time to dry. The ideal conditions would be a cooler day, which would allow more working time.
After that, you will want to spray the entire surface with clean water using a more powerful tip. Try to hold the end of your nozzle at least 12 inches away from the surface at all times to prevent gouging and damaging to the surface. You could also get unsightly lines from holding the nozzle too close that will be visible after it has had time to dry.
You will want to allow the surface an adequate amount of time to completely dry before going on to the next step. Wood will typically dry in 2 to 7 days, depending on the weather, humidity, etc. Concrete will take a little bit longer to dry, seeing as how it soaks the water up like a sponge.
These are the very basics when it comes to pressure washing any type of surface that can be found under your feet. Use your common sense and always practice safety first.
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