There's no better way to get your siding, driveway, or concrete pad clean than with a pressure washer. And thanks to rental companies, you don't even have to buy one to employ this excellent cleaning method -- you can rent one instead. When you do, make sure you follow these tips for power washing success:
Always pre-soak the area to be cleaned.
It's all too easy to just start spraying the area with water and waiting for the dirt to run off. But while this may be somewhat effective, it's not the most effective strategy. The best way to get your surface remarkably clean is to start by spraying it down with a detergent or pre-soak made specifically for that type of surface. For instance, you should spray a concrete pad down with a pre-soak made for concrete. Let the detergent sit for about 5 - 10 minutes. It will loosen up the grime so that when you do pressure wash the surface with plain water, the grim comes away more easily and thoroughly.
Use the right pressure.
The harder your spray it the better, right? Well... not necessarily. If you use too much pressure on the wrong surface, you're going to damage that surface rather than just clean it. Some good guidelines to follow when it comes to pressure are as follows:
- Softer Woods: 500 PSI
- Hard Woods: 1000 PSI
- Vinyl and Aluminum siding: 2000 PSI
- Concrete in good condition: 2500 PSI
- Aging concrete: 2000 PSI
When in doubt, start with your pressure washer on a lower setting. If that is not getting the surface clean, turn it up slowly until you are getting the results you desire.
Use sweeping motions.
You don't want to just aim the sprayer directly at the surface and spray away. Instead, hold the sprayer so that the water comes out at about a 45-degree angle to the surface, and then move it back and forth with sweeping motions. Start at the top of the surface (or furthest from you) and work your way down (or towards you).
Use the tips provided.
When you rent the power washer, they should give you a selection of tips you can use with it. Make sure you use these for the purposes listed, as they change the way water comes out and can make your job easier. There will probably be a tip for concrete, one for soaking with detergent, and so forth. Ask the rental company which tip is which if they are not labeled clearly.
Check out a website like http://www.benscleaner.com for more information and assistance.