Pressure Wash - Power Wash and Clean Up With Water Pressure

Pressure Washed Sidewalk - Wow, Look at the Difference!

Power Wash the Sidewalk - You Can See the Difference
Power Wash the Sidewalk - You Can See the Difference

Before you paint your house or deck, a good pressure wash will clean off loose dirt, stains, and, in some cases, even flaked paint. Even if you're not painting, sometimes the old place can use a little freshening up, especially under porch coverings where Mother Nature can't reach.

Pressure wash under awnings or you can power wash siding to remove grit and dirt. Power wash decks before staining. A good pressure wash will clean your sidewalks and driveway, removing unsightly stains and sun-baked grime. Look at the difference in the picture below. One part of the sidewalk has been pressure washed; the other has not.

Power Washing - Before You Power Wash

To top it all off, power washing is fun for adults and teenagers. Don't allow young children to operate a pressure washer and keep little kids out of the way. If you can write your name on a sidewalk with a pressure washer, imagine what it can do to your skin.

You can purchase a power washer from a hardware store or big box store, discount store, or large general merchandise stores. Or, you can rent a pressure washer from an equipment rental business, your local hardware store, or chains like Lowe's or Home dePot.

In any case, remember to read all pertinent instructions. Operation may vary with different products.

As with any power tool, take appropriate precautions. The power washer emits a very powerful spray. Also, you are using electricity so it's safety first!

Young lady with broken arm power washing the sidewalk

If a young lady with a broken arm can power wash the sidewalk, so can you. More powerful pressure washers need to be handled with both hands.
If a young lady with a broken arm can power wash the sidewalk, so can you. More powerful pressure washers need to be handled with both hands.

It's Electric! - Safety Precautions When Using a Power Washer

Only use extension cords that are intended for outdoor use. Such cords are marked as being "Acceptable for use with outdoor appliances - store indoors when not in use."

  • Use extension cords with an electrical rating not less than the rating of the power washer.
  • Make sure the extension cord is not damaged.
  • Keep the cord away from sharp edges.
  • Do not yank the plug out of the receptacle or pull the plug out with wet hands.
  • Connect to an outdoor power supply that is protected by ground-fault circuit interceptor.
  • Never direct spray toward electrical wires or outlets or toward the machine itself.
  • Avoid spraying lights - you can cover them. Do not carry the pressure washer by the cord.

Pressure Washer - Don't Do This

Pressure Washers emit a powerful jet of water. Take care to avoid injury.
Pressure Washers emit a powerful jet of water. Take care to avoid injury.

Pressure Washing the House

Power washing the house : Dave would have better control of the power washer if he used both hands.
Power washing the house : Dave would have better control of the power washer if he used both hands.

Operation of a Pressure or Power Washer

Read the instruction manual that come with the pressure washer.

  • Stay alert and pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Keep small children and pets out of the work area.
  • Use both hands when operating the wand in order to maintain control of high powered machines.
  • Do not touch the nozzle or water spray while operating the power washer.
  • Wear safety goggles to protect eyes from flying debris.
  • Disconnect the plug from the outlet when not in use and before you detach the high power hose.
  • Do not allow the high pressure hose to knot or kink.
  • Place the power washer as far away as you can from the cleaning site so as not to spray the machine.
  • Do not cover the machine during operation to ensure air circulation.
  • Familiarize yourself with correct operation of the controls before using the power washer. Try it out. You can adjust the spray nozzle to shoot a pinpoint of water or a fan.
  • Do not stand on unstable support. Do not stand on a ladder in order to reach high spots. If you need to power wash a second story, make sure the pressure washer has a high PSI rating.
  • Before connecting the power washer to a garden hose, flush out the hose to remove debris or dirt.
  • Move all loose or breakable objects away from the area to be cleaned.
  • If pressure washing a house, start from the top down, let gravity help out.
  • Mold or mildew stains should be treated with a bleach solution (1 part bleach to 3 parts water) before power washing. Spray the bleach with a bottle sprayer. Do not use bleach in power washer as bleach damage the machine. Allow the bleach to work out the stain, then rinse with the pressure washer.

Power Washer - Power Rating

I used a Powerwasher Pressure Washing System (Model H100 Plus) with a 1300 PSI rating. The machine was convenient because it is light, easy to operate, and has a long hose and electrical cord. It had enough power to write my name on the sidewalk and did an excellent job of cleaning the sidewalk and first floor of the house. Do to it's low PSI, the water spray dissipated before reaching the second level of the house. As you can see from the picture, it was weak enough to use one handed.

For houses, building, sidewalks, and decks, locate a pressure washer with 1800 - 2500 PSI.

A lot of smaller pressure washers don't last long because the smaller pumps are only rated for 50 hours.

Of course, the stronger, better built pressure washers will be more expensive to buy. You can find a small one with a low PSI rating for $140.00 or so. As the PSI rating gets higher, so does the price. It may prove more economical to rent a pressure washer for a big job.

Gas powered machines are also available and are more powerful than the electric models. Of course, more power increases chance of personal injury or damage to things in and around the cleaning area.

However you choose to go about the chore of power washing, the job itself is fun, and the rewards are great - your house, deck, driveway, and sidewalk will look fresh and beautiful.

Power Wash Your Roof

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Comments 13 comments

Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 7 years ago from USA

Good information and since I'm buying a new house I will invest in this too...I have tons of windows now that I didn't have in the apartment... ;-(

ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

I love using the pressure washer on the paths it is just so satisfying. Messy but satisfying :)

Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 7 years ago from USA

Messy can be fun thought---It brings that inner child out to play for awhile... :-)

G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

Yes Caution is important they are powerful...takes the roof tiles off if not done correctly, tears plastic covers from their frames...they are nice to have but dangerous also..Great hub about this item...:O) Hugs

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States Author

Nancy, congradulations on your new home! You must be sooo busy. Thanks for taking time to read my hub.

ethel - we were almost fighting over who would get the job of power washing. It is great fun and a good job for a hot day.

G-ma, thankfully, we had the careful, sensible one cleaning the roof and he understood how to do it properly You can't point the water stream up or the shingles will go flying. Thanks for stopping by!

GiftedGrandma profile image

GiftedGrandma 7 years ago from USA

We are going to need to do it to our deck, driveway and walk. Thanks for the information

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States Author

GiftedGrandma, thanks for stopping by. Power washing is one of my favorite jobs so enjoy!

Teddletonmr profile image

Teddletonmr 6 years ago from Midwest USA

Dolores, another great hub filled with helpful information and your insights. Pressure washers are a great tool, and like any power tool. Care must be taken so no one gets hurt while using or, standing around watching someone else use one. Hub up...

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States Author

Ted - thank you and yes, you'd better be careful with the hard spray of a power washer, they can be quite dangerous.

Sun-Girl profile image

Sun-Girl 5 years ago from Nigeria

Interesting piece of article which i so much enjoyed reading from.

ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 4 years ago from Illinois

I love to pressure wash my patio, driveway, sidewalks and patio furniture. Everything looks new when I'm done. I would recommend wearing ear plugs while using one for any length of time. Voting up and useful.

mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

I invested in a power washer about a year ago, and it has paid for itself several times over. I did hurt my big toe when I first used it by hitting the toe full force with the sprayer. I never did that again.

Voted up, etc.

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 3 years ago from East Coast, United States Author

Sun-Girl - thank you!

ktrapp - it certainly does! And pressure washing is one job that I really enjoy. It's so much fun!

Mary615 - we rented ours. Oh yes, you have to be very careful. I remember a TV commercial where the guy goes out with a pressure washer and destroys the patio - they had left things out there and they were flying all over the place. It was hilarious but did show how damaging that water can be. Thanks!

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