Pressure washing can be a good choice for cleaning a variety of items around the house, including the home's exterior, your back deck, tools that are coated with grease and grime, and even your car. Because pressure washing is different than washing something with a wet rag or sponge, you want to ensure you take the time to learn how to use a pressure washer effectively and safely. Note a few quick tips for effective pressure washing around the house and for keeping yourself safe while using a pressure washer.
1. Keep the nozzle moving
Even if you can't see a scratch or other damage forming in something you're cleaning with a pressure washer, you still want to keep the nozzle moving to prevent this from happening. The consistent pressure of a pressure washer, even if you have it set to a very low pressure, can easily scratch or etch anything you're washing, including the soft wood of a deck or your car's finish. Always keep the nozzle moving to avoid this damage.
2. Start with the lowest pressure, even for washing sturdy items
It's true that your home's windows and car windows can withstand strong storms, but they may actually shatter from the concentrated pressure of a pressure washer. Your back deck may be strong enough to hold your weight and the weight of your guests, but the soft wood may splinter and crack from a high pressure setting on your washer. Always start with the lowest pressure and note if this works to get a surface clean, then slowly adjust your pressure as needed, rather than assuming that windows, siding, the brick on a chimney, and your back deck can withstand a higher pressure.
3. Take time to prepare and protect surfaces before washing
Be sure your home's windows are sealed before you use the pressure washer; if you can feel drafts through the window frames, you may also see water seeping through after they've been washed. Check your back deck for chips and cracks in the wood and use a filler or putty to seal these; the water from your pressure washer could seep into these damaged areas and cause the wood to soften or allow mildew to form. Add fresh grout to chipped areas of your chimney to keep the pressure washer from chipping it even more. If you prepare the surfaces you'll be washing, you'll protect them from potential damage from your pressure washer.
For more information, or if you'd rather leave the work to professionals, contact a local pressure cleaning service.