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What can and cannot be Pressure Washed?

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Zara, Staff Writer

Monday, 8 March 2021

If you’ve ever seen pressure washing in action, you’ll know how mesmerising it can be. Years of stains and dirt vanish before your eyes, completely renewing the look of the property or item. Alternative methods would require hours of scrubbing or the use of harsh chemicals, and probably wouldn’t do the job half as well. 

As the name suggests, pressure washing delivers a high-intensity water flow, which is concentrated over a particular area. However, pressure washing doesn’t kid around since the jets are incredibly powerful. Therefore, while it’s amazing at lifting dirt away on some materials, it’s not going to work well on everything. 

Understanding what can and cannot be pressure washed will ensure your property doesn’t become damaged. Often, a different solution can be found except with only a small handful of material types. Here is an overview to guide you. 

What can you Pressure Wash?

  • Concrete

  • Driveways

  • Sidewalks/paving

  • Brick (so long as it’s not spalled) 

  • Patios

  • Decks

  • Tiled roofs

  • Outdoor furniture

  • Vehicles (on a reduced pressure)

  • Boats

The most common pressure washing service is driveway cleaning since all other methods are labour intensive and don’t give the same amazing results. A clean looking driveway hugely adds to your property’s curb appeal, which is why it’s ideal to have pressure washing carried out before putting your home on the market. 

Pressure washing is also handy for those filthy cleaning jobs, especially if your car is covered in mud after off-roading, or just due to general pollution and grime. Similarly, boats aren’t the easiest item to clean, but with pressure washing your contractor can remain on dry land. A reduced pressure will be used for either job to avoid creating dents or removing the paintwork, with the utmost care taken. 

What can you not Pressure Wash?

  • Painted surfaces (including fencing)

  • Stained wood surfaces 

  • Asphalt roofs

  • Aged/crumbling surfaces

  • Electrical/gas panels

  • Air conditioners

  • Windows

While not all surfaces are suitable for pressure washing, not all is lost. Instead, soft washing may be required which most pressure washing companies are also able to offer. If the surface is extremely delicate (i.e spalled brickwork) your contractor will advise if cleaning is possible, so that you are left with the best outcome.

Alternatively, your contractor may be able to reduce the pressure on either their pressure or soft washing equipment. Though such a technique isn’t suitable for the above exceptions, it will make the service a lot more universal for your outdoor projects than you may realise. 

As an example, soft washing can clean windows or pool glass, whereas regular pressure washing would be too intense for such a job. 

To sum up

It’s always worth enlisting the help of a professional pressure washing contractor since you can never be too sure which items are suitable for the service. Even when it is possible to pressure wash the item, the intensity may need to be reduced or changed to a soft wash to preserve the condition of the item. Though when carried out by an expert, your item or land will be left beautifully clean as if it’s brand new. 

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