What You Can and Can't Pressure Wash: A Total Guide To Pressure Washing

Pressure Washing. Power washing, also known as pressure washing, is a cleansing approach that uses high-pressure water to remove dirt, debris, discolorations, mold, mildew, and other contaminants from surface areas. A pressure washer works by pumping high-pressure water, usually between 750 and 5000 PSI, through a trigger spray wand or other accessories. The effective jet of water can be directed at the surface being cleaned to actually remove the dirt.

How Pressure Washing Works

Pressure washers run utilizing a mix of unique pumps, motors, hoses, and nozzles:

  • Pump – The majority of pressure washers have an axial camera or triplex pump that pushes water through the pressure washer at very high pressures of approximately 5,000 PSI. The pumps likewise enable a high volume of water circulation determined in gallons per minute (GPM). The most rugged pumps can reach circulation rates of as much as 4 GPM.
  • Motor – Gasoline, diesel, or electric motors drive the high-pressure pump. More effective motors allow for higher water pressure and volume. Gas motors offer the most cleansing power for heavy-duty jobs. Electric motors offer more convenience for small household jobs.
  • Hose pipe – High-pressure washer hose pipes are strengthened to hold up against extreme internal pressures. Pipes a minimum of 3/8″ thick avoid kinking or splitting. Hoses vary from 25 feet to 250 feet on business systems.
  • Nozzles/ Tips – Multiple spray nozzle tips attach to the spray wand to control water pressure, spray pattern, and angle. Adjustable nozzles enable pressure to be minimized for fragile jobs. Turning nozzles supply a wide cleaning path.

Benefits of Pressure Washing

Pressure washing supplies a variety of outstanding benefits:

  • Conserves hours of back-breaking scrubbing and manual work
  • Removes layers of dirt and deeply ingrained discolorations
  • Brings back surfaces to like-new condition
  • More hygienic cleansing of patios, decks, and so on
  • Economical and economical
  • Fantastic versatility for all cleaning tasks

In the hands of a skilled user, a pressure washer can offer professional-level Pressure Washing results in a portion of the time of manual cleansing. Continue reading to find out what kinds of surface areas you can and can not clean up with these high-powered machines.

Outside concrete surfaces VS Pressure Washing

Concrete surfaces such as driveways, pathways, outdoor patios, and pool decks typically fall victim to oil stains, tire marks, mildew spots, gum residue, and the regular gunk of outside direct exposure. Pressure washing is extremely effective at bringing back the look of used concrete.

The intense spray of a pressure washer penetrates into the pores of the concrete, immediately removing undesirable discolorations. Changing the spray nozzle allows you to tailor the water pressure to the level of sensitivity of the concrete:

  • Start with a low pressure of 1000 PSI utilizing a 65-degree nozzle
  • Attempt cleaning a little 3×3″ section of concrete
  • If the surface area is intact, work methodically over the whole area
  • Increase PSI slowly if required

Pro tip: Apply the concrete degreasing formula before cleaning oil discolorations to enhance the cleaning action. Enable to stand for 5 to 10 minutes before pressure washing.

Power Washing

Although extremely reliable for cosmetic cleansing, it is important to utilize care when cleaning aged or broken concrete. Extreme water pressure can make use of existing weak points and hairline cracks, triggering more damage to the slab. Think about having damaged concrete professionally resurfaced rather than trying to tidy it cosmetically by Pressure Washing.

What about asphalt driveways? Can they take Pressure Washing?

Asphalt driveways and parking area have their share of undesirable oil drippings, tire rubber marks, and typical dirt and dust. However, pressure washing asphalt requires additional precautions.

The aggregates and binders used to create asphalt pavements are less durable than concrete when exposed to intense water pressures. It's easy to inadvertently poke holes or trigger erosion damage.

Follow these standards when dealing with asphalt Pressure Washing:

  • Usage only cold water (heat speeds up asphalt degeneration)
  • Maintain a large spray angle to diffuse pressure
  • Keep the nozzle at least 10 cm from the surface
  • Limitation pressure to less than 1000 PSI
  • Operate in areas and avoid saturating areas
  • Examine the surface area regularly for atomization

Wood decks and composites

Wood decks attract mold, mildew, fungus, dirt, and basic ecological discolorations due to outside direct exposure. With time, the stunning wood tone fades to an awful grey patina.

Pressure Washing is the perfect remediation method. The pressure sprayer easily gets rid of the top layer of stained wood fibres. When done correctly, pressure cleaning rejuvenates the natural tone and grain without damaging the surface area.

Follow these Pressure-washing pointers for wood decks:

  • Check a low pressure of 500 PSI in an inconspicuous location initially
  • Figure out the spray nozzle angle that lifts spots without grooving
  • Apply deck polish cleaner prior to cleaning
  • Use back-and-forth movement for even cleaning up
  • Wash at low pressure when completed

Composite decks such as Trex are likewise good prospects for reconditioning with Pressure Washing. Rigid polymer products are invulnerable to moisture damage, however, beware with metal rail fasteners and hid fasteners.

Fences, siding, and home exteriors

Pressure Washing can restore your home's whole outside facade. From vinyl siding to wood fences to brick and stone, a comprehensive pressure washing eliminates mold, mildew, dirt, and other unattractive ecological discolorations.

A correct method is needed to avoid damaging siding, causing water ingress around windows and doors, or forcing water into fragile masonry.

Here are some essential guidelines for pressure cleaning home exteriors:

Divert electrical power and safeguard outlets and components

  • Thoroughly cover windows and doors with plastic sheeting
  • Spray the surface with water before pressure washing
  • Preserve a broad nozzle angle of 45-60 degrees
  • Slide the nozzle equally over surfaces without biting into them
  • Start at low pressure (500 PSI) and adjust pressure as required
  • Wash at low pressure when completed

Pay unique attention when cleaning up wood surface areas. Comparable to deck cleaning, test a small location first and identify the maximum side angle and nozzle range to lift discolorations without harming the surface.

For softer brick surface areas, use the lowest pressure needed to eliminate dirt and biological spots without breaking down mortar joints or requiring water through porous masonry.

Similar to any enthusiastic do-it-yourself outside cleansing, think about having an expert evaluate if the home's outside surfaces have not been cleaned up in many years. Experts have specialized strategies and equipment to resolve deteriorated grout, caulks that need replacement and other issues.

Outdoor furniture cleansing

Musty patio furnishings cushions and dirty decorative planters prevail in yard amusing locations. Pressure cleaning offers exceptional cleansing results:

  • Outdoor patio furnishing assemblies
  • Umbrellas and material shade structures
  • Playground devices
  • Flower pots and planters
  • Outside ornamental products such as fountains

When undertaking cleansing projects

  • Get rid of and secure fragile electronic devices
  • Pretreat material cushions with a disinfectant service prior to cleaning
  • Use a 40-degree spray angle for precise cleaning
  • Minimize pressure for fragile or intricate surface areas
  • Apply rust remover/mildew eliminator to pans/structures as needed

Lorry Pressure Washing

Pressure washing is a popular and extremely effective method for cleaning cars and trucks, trucks, boats, SUVs, and other RVs. The pressure sprayer easily gets rid of layers of stubborn dirt, road grime, salt residue, mud, and so on from paint, chrome finishes, and wheels and undercarriages.

Portable electric pressure washers are exceptionally practical for car cleaning – simply move the pressure washer to the driveway or parking lot, connect the garden hose, and get to work!

Regardless of its benefit and speed, pressure washing needs some method and care on car surface areas:

  • First, wash the car with a normal hose pipe
  • Eliminate trim and covers to access tight locations
  • Maintain a range of 12 inches from painted surface areas
  • Utilize a 25-degree nozzle for much better control
  • Systematically clean from top to bottom
  • Lightly deal with persistent areas or stains
  • Wash at low pressure when finished

Although extremely efficient for outside cleansing, avoid directing the high-pressure jet at delicate engine parts or possibly fragile locations such as sensing units, lights, and trim. Low-power power washers, between 1500 and 2000 PSI, are best for vehicle cleaning.

Home cleansing

In addition to exterior cleansing, pressure washers are available in helpful for a variety of cleaning tasks around your home. Jobs like washing windows or cleaning trash cans end up being quick and practically effortless tasks

Cleaning up garage floors

Oil drips, tire marks from vehicles

Garage floor cleansing

Oily garage floorings accumulate unsightly discolorations with time due to vehicle leaks and upkeep jobs. Tire marks, grease, brake fluid, and other stubborn discolorations literally become ingrained in the concrete.

Pressure Washing quickly removes these unattractive discolorations from garage floors and work areas. Simply sweep up loose particles first before washing. Next:

  • Get rid of vehicles from the area
  • Cover delicate elements or splash possessions
  • Use a degreasing service and let it act for 5 to 10 minutes
  • Adjust the nozzle angle to 40 degrees to increase contact with the surface area
  • Systematically clean the flooring while the detergent is still reacting with the oil
  • Usage moderate pressure in between 2000 and 3000 PSI
  • Examine surface areas and adjust as required
  • Wash the flooring thoroughly at a low pressure of 500 PSI when finished

Prevent directing the high-pressure jet at drywall or electrical outlets Consider covering wall openings with plastic sheeting as an additional preventative measure.

If you are attempting to eliminate motor oil or other stubborn discolorations, increase the pressure gradually while checking the outcomes. Pressures above 3000 PSI will finish the job but might harm unsealed concrete surface areas.

Window and Door Cleaning

Gradually, windows and outside doors end up being exceptionally filthy from blowing dust, rain splashes, and environmental dirt. Screens also build up surface area dirt and darken for many years.

Pressure Washing offers the perfect repair option. Adjustable nozzles and moderate pressures enable perfect cleansing without threat of damage.

Follow these guidelines when pressure cleaning doors and windows:

  • Get rid of grilles and clean them independently
  • Usage moderate pressure ~ 1500 PSI
  • Adjust the nozzle to 25 degrees for precision
  • Keep a 6″ range to prevent breaking glass
  • Tidy with a squeegee instantly after washing

Take special care when cleaning up older single-pane windows. Higher pressures can break or break the glass. Similarly, pressboard doors warp or swell quickly when filled. Think about getting rid of pressboard doors before pressure cleaning and after that tidy them independently.

For soiled screens, use a 40-degree fan nozzle at close quarters to prevent contaminants through the screen. Wash thoroughly while blasting carefully.

Cleaning Trash Cans

Gradually, garbage and recycling bins collect dirt, gunk, and liquid stains, in addition to undesirable odours. Hand scrubbing with brushes and cleaning services can assist refresh interiors, but it takes a lot of time and effort.

Pressure washers offer impressive leads to cleaning up filthy trash bins. Just take the bin outdoors and:

  • Eliminate any bags or loose particles from inside
  • Adjust the nozzle to 40 degrees for exact cleaning
  • Start at 500 PSI and change as needed
  • Systematically clean all interior surfaces
  • Use a soft brush to agitate sticking debris
  • Wash at low pressure when completed

Powerful jetting will easily get rid of sticking debris from containers and leave them looking like new in a matter of minutes

What NOT to pressure wash

Although pressure washers supply excellent cleaning results for lots of outdoor tasks, these extreme water pressures can easily harm particular surface areas. Avoid directing the high-pressure jet at:

Roofing systems – Shingles, metal roofs, rubber membranes, and other common roofing materials can be displaced or cracked by pressure washers. The high-power spray can likewise force water into unwanted areas causing leaks. Rather, work with a professional roofer for safe roofing cleansing using specialized strategies and chemicals.

Air conditioning units – The delicate control panels and electrical components of outside air conditioning condensing units can easily short-circuit when filled with water. Prevent spraying these home appliances completely and rather clean the exteriors with a moderate detergent and soft brush if necessary.

Automobiles – Although hassle-free for vehicle cleaning, extreme Pressure Washing above 2000 PSI threatens to strip paint and dent metal body panels or plastic bumpers. Stick to low-pressure rinses or hire a professional mobile cleaning service for swirl-free vehicle cleaning.

Fragile structure exteriors – Fragile surface areas such as marble, limestone, stained wood siding, and so on need tailored low-pressure cleaning techniques to avoid long-term damage. Also, aged or broken stucco can collapse under high-pressure jets. Leave specialized exterior cleansing jobs to specialist professionals.

Inside your home – pressure washers are developed clearly for intensive outdoor cleaning tasks. Severe water pressures and volumes create considerable flooding risks inside homes. Rather, rely on little extractor makers for deep carpet cleaning. For hard surface cleaning, use steam mops on floorings and gentle hand scrubbing for surface areas.

Buying factors to consider when picking a pressure washer

Pressure washers vary greatly in size, power, and ability to handle various cleansing projects. Keep these factors in mind when picking a pressure washer to fit your needs:

Pressure ranking

Pounds per square inch (PSI) specifies the water pressure a pressure washer can produce. Household pressure washers are usually rated between 1500 and 3000 PSI, while business devices rise to 5000 PSI.

The higher the PSI, the much faster thick layers of grit and dirt are removed from surface areas. However, these extreme pressures increase the risk of damaging surfaces. Select the proper pressure to complete the task, taking into account the level of sensitivity of the surfaces to be cleaned up.

As a rule of thumb

  • 1000-2000 PSI – Cars, boats, caravans, decks, patios, siding
  • 2000-3000 PSI – Driveways, walkways, garage floorings, paint removing
  • 3000+ PSI – Commercial cleaning jobs

Circulation rate

Gallons per minute (GPM) suggests the volume of water moving through the pressure washer system. More circulation equates to higher cleaning capacity.

Home pressure washers generally have a flow rate between 1.5 and 2.5 GPM, while more powerful expert models can reach 4 GPM.

When comparing PSI, two washers can have identical maximum pressures but extremely various circulation rates, making one system quicker and more capable. Normally, choose the design with the greater GPM if the pressures are equal.

Electric vs. Gas

House owners must decide between electric or gas pressure washers. Factors to consider consist of:


  • Typically 1500 – 2000 PSI max
  • Lower purchase cost
  • Practical plug-in power
  • Quieter throughout usage
  • No requirement to mix fuel

Gas powered

  • Generates up to 5000 PSI
  • Better for commercial jobs
  • Can utilize warm water for cleansing
  • Unrestricted run time
  • Higher GPM circulation rates

For many homeowners, electrical pressure washers use the very best combination of convenience and cleaning power for typical jobs like cleaning siding, decks, patios, and equipment. Corded electrical designs make them easy to plug in without fretting about battery life.

Gas engines use unrestricted run time, as they require no cords or charging. The increased cleaning power makes them more suitable for business professionals performing heavy construction cleanup.


Household pressure washers should include basic accessories to customize spray/pressure patterns:

  • 15-25 ft. pipe minimum
  • 25, 40 and 65-degree nozzles
  • Turbo swivel nozzle
  • Extension wands
  • Brushes

Try to find designs that offer tube reels, onboard nozzle storage, and wheels for practical mobility during cleaning.

Safety Tips

Although exceptionally helpful for cleaning jobs, pressure washers position some standard safety considerations:

  • Always use eye security – Flying particles are dangerous
  • Wear water-resistant shoes with closed-toe caps
  • Keep your feet steady on ladders/roofs
  • Permit equipment to cool off before refueling
  • Shop in an enclosed area secured from the weather
  • Follow all maker's directions

In particular, thoroughly checked out the cautioning labels relating to injection injuries that can happen if bare skin comes into contact with the high-pressure sprayer. Never ever point wands at people or animals.

If in doubt, ask a professional to help you perform the cleaning work safely.


Pressure washers offer extraordinary cleansing results for a myriad of outside surfaces, such as concrete, wood decks, home outsides, automobiles, equipment, and so on. With countless PSI of water pressure, layers of ingrained dirt are rapidly lifted with the pull of a trigger.

Although very effective, beware to start with low pressures and test small locations initially when working with unknown or delicate surfaces. Boost pressure gradually while checking for damage. Avoid entirely spraying certain items such as roofing systems or a/c condensers.

Follow standard security precautions and a great pressure washer will supply years of service on cleaning projects outside your home and in garage locations.

Call House Wash PA at 484-881-2713 today!

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