Using a pressure washer comes with a low learning curve. The machines spit out water at high PSI (pounds of pressure per square inch) to clean different type of surfaces. If you are not careful with it, then you risk damaging your paint job or even concrete finish. However, it’s a great first step to any staining or painting job in the Atlanta area.
So here’s a takedown on pressure washers and a guide on how to use them.
Electric Vs Gas Pressure Washers
You can go for a gasoline-powered pressure washer or use an electric powered one. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both.
Gas Pressure Washers
They’re easier on your budget and are pretty portable. However, the good effects of the emissions? Not so much.
Gas Pressure Washer Pros
- Cleans in less time and effort as they produce higher PSI and GPM (gallons of water per minute)
- Don’t need to be connected with power outlets; great for outdoor use
Gas Pressure Washer Cons
- Produces emissions and sound as they have gas powered engines; not suitable for indoor use
- Requires maintenance
Electric Pressure Washers
Convenient to use though limited by its portability.
Electric Pressure Washer Pros
- No maintenance task needed, which translates to zero maintenance cost
- Is more environmentally friendly and can be used indoors
Electric Pressure Washer Cons
- Not portable as they need to be connected to power outlets
- Less powerful than a gas pressure washer
Types of Nozzles For Pressure Washing
The type of the nozzle determines the angle the water is sprayed in. A nozzle with narrow-angle will be more powerful than a wide angle nozzle. They are generally color-coded for your convenience.
Red: It has an angle of zero degrees and is most powerful among the lot. You should keep a suitable distance between the nozzle and cleaning surface to avoid any damage.
Yellow: The nozzle sprays water at 15-degree angle. Suitable for cleaning concrete surfaces around your property.
Green: The all-purpose 25 degree angled nozzles is suited for a wide range of applications. You can spray clean your car or even clean the debris off your wooden fencing.
White: The nozzle sprays out water at 40 degrees and is meant for diverse applications. You can use it to clean the exteriors of your home and also the siding and windows.
Black: It’s the gentles of the lot with a 65-degree angle. You can’t use it to clean surfaces but can come handy if you want to wet any cleaning surface.
How to Pressure Wash Concrete?
Even though we are a painting company in Atlanta, pressure washing your concrete driveway or sidewalk will help make your new paint job stand out. Your washing technique will differ depending on what you’re looking for. Let’s learn how to pressure wash concrete surfaces such as driveways.
Things to arrange before pressure washing concrete
Here is what you would need to get started.
- Concrete degreaser
- Stiff brush
- Concrete cleaning detergent
- Protective gloves and glasses
- Concrete sealer
- Waterproof sealant
- Pressure washer
1. Clean Surface
Take a broom and swipe away the dust and debris off the concrete surface.
2. Degrease Concrete
For stubborn and difficult to remove marks, use a spray degreaser on the concrete. Use a stiff brush to scrub the marks left by motor oil or other fluids.
3. Apply Detergent
Choose the nozzle labeled ‘soap’ and fix it on the top of the spray wand. Attach the garden hose to your pressure washer and turn it on. Remember to wear safety accessories like protective glass and gloves to keep yourself safe from the flying debris.
Now add the soap in the detergent reservoir of the pressure washer. Hold the spray wand 8 to 16 inches from the concrete and start spraying evenly in a smooth and controlled manner. To prevent any visible lines, be sure to overlap the strokes by 6 to 8 inches.
4. Pressure Wash Concrete
You will need a yellow tip or green tip nozzle with a low angle for washing the concrete. Now pressure washes the concrete, in the same manner, you applied detergent, overlapping your strokes.
5. Use Concrete Sealant
Use a roller to apply waterproof sealant on the concrete.
How to Pressure Wash Wood
You can pressure wash your wooden fence and decks to bring them back to life. In fact, this is what we do before we can apply any deck staining or paint.
Things to arrange before pressure washing wood
- Pressure washer
- Wood sealant
1. Spray the Water
You will need a 25-degree spray nozzle which often comes in green color.
You should spray the wooden surface in a controlled and smooth manner just like you did for concrete. Ensure to overlap the strokes so that you get an even finishing.
Also, remember not to start or stop spraying in the middle of the wooden surface; start or stop it towards the edges.
2. Apply Sealant
Now, let the wood dry and apply the sealant to keep it protected from weather elements. Or simply contact us!
That is all that you need to do. Pressure washing isn’t that hard, after all, but it’s not an easy way to clean up after a paint job!