Properly Using Pressure Washing Equipment


A reader recently asked me if it was difficult to pressure wash entrances, windows and other surfaces, and what type of equipment should be used?

First, it is important to either become trained in the safe, effective use of a pressure washer or hire a subcontractor to perform the work. Pressure washers come in various types ranging from low pressure (400 PSI) electric units to 4,000 + PSI gasoline powered units. The low pressure electric units can be used safely to clean grout and other soiled surfaces that can be cleaned with water. It is important you know what type unit to use since damaging a wall or other surface can cost a lot more than any potential profit you may anticipate. Always use recommended PPE (personal protective equipment) and be very aware of those around you who can be injured by the blow back/splash when a surface is being cleaned.

It may take some trial and error to determine how close to a surface you want to use the right tip to clean while not damaging the finish. Be extremely careful any time hands, fingers or toes are in line with the tip to avoid serious injury. Always err on the side of caution rather than damaging paint or other surfaces. There are different color systems for the tips so double check with the unit you use in case it differs from the ones listed below: 1) Red is 0 degree and is used for heavy soils such as etched concrete 2) Yellow is 15 degrees and is used to remove stains from concrete or totally remove the surface from some wood areas, 3) Green is 25 degrees and is considered general purpose for a sweeping effect, 4) White is 40 degrees and is the widest angle for pressure washing vehicles, 5) Black is usually used to apply detergent from a chemical reservoir.

With time and experience you can add pressure washing as another service to your list but always treat the machine with caution and respect.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net