The wet winter and early spring months can cause a lot of dirt, mold, and algae to build up on your home's patio. This year, get your patio clean by following these four power washing tips. They'll make the job easier and safer.
No matter how much more fun power washing is than scrubbing a patio by hand, it can be potentially dangerous and precautions are essential. Make sure you secure the area by:
Power washers can generate a lot of pressure. The last thing you want to do is put your bare skin in front of a powerful blast of water. It could cut or bruise you.
Wearing the right safety gear will help prevent injuries while you're washing your patio. Essential items include:
Also, remember that your power washer can get hot during long jobs. Give it time to cool off before you touch it. If you must touch it before it cools, make sure you are wearing sturdy gloves that will protect your skin.
Power washers can create a tremendous amount of power for their sizes. An electric model can generate between 1,300 and 1,900 pounds per square inch (psi) while versions with gas engines can make between 3,200 and 4,300 psi.
Just because your power washer can potentially create 4,300 psi doesn't mean that you should choose that option. Instead, start with low pressure and gradually add more until you have enough power to clean your patio. Using more pressure than necessary will just waste water and increase the risk of damage.
How you hold the power washer's nozzle will affect how well it cleans your patio area. It's best to hold the nozzle at least one foot away from the surface. A 45-degree angle will reduce the risk of damage while also pushing dirty water away from the patio. Always hold the wand with two hands so you can control it easily.
Whatever you do, don't use a 90-degree angle with the nozzle within a couple of inches of the patio surface. Even if the intense pressure doesn't damage the cement, it could make you lose control of the handle. If you accidentally let go, which is easier than you might think, the spray could damage nearby items or end up hurting you.
Don't forget to consult one of our professionals if you have questions about power washing, or if you find the job's too big for you to handle yourself.
Featured image via Flickr by desertdutchman