Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Power-wash cleaning do’s and don’ts
AP

Power-wash cleaning do’s and don’ts

  • 0
living-space-power-wash-20210601

Before you hook up the hose, there are some precautions you should take.

A power washer is a versatile machine that can help restore sparkle and shine to a variety of surfaces in your home. If you don’t want to invest in your own power washer, they are readily available for rent at home supply and hardware stores. However, before you enthusiastically hook up the hose and douse every surface in a powerful spray, there are some precautions you should take. Here is a helpful guide to power-wash cleaning do’s and don’ts.

Be safe when power-wash cleaning.

Before you begin any power-wash job, it’s important to protect yourself from the powerful blasts generated by the machine. That includes:

  • Wearing the proper protective gear for your face, eyes and hands.
  • Staying clear of the nozzle and following all manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Attaching any accessories before beginning your power-wash cleaning.
  • Never leaving the machine unattended.
  • Never pointing the power wash nozzle at people, animals or any surface that’s unable to withstand the force of the blast.

Try these tips when power-wash cleaning.

A power washer is intended for outside surfaces only. There are some general tips and tricks that can help you use it more efficiently. In general:

  • Work from the top to the bottom of a surface so that grime doesn’t stain a clean section.
  • Direct water downward, versus straight on or upward, on surfaces. This includes siding, brick or masonry; doing otherwise might force water into cracks or seams.
  • Continue with the power-wash cleaning until the surfaces are free of dirt.
  • Use power wash-appropriate detergent or cleanser on applicable surfaces first, then rinse with a second round of water only from the power washer.

These are the surfaces that are OK to power-wash clean.

Brick: A power-wash clean is good for removing accumulated dirt or stains on walkways and edging; be careful of any loose or chipped spots. For a brick home, repair any cracks in mortar and allow to dry thoroughly before power washing.

In general, surfaces that are not inherently fragile or that have not been treated after manufacturing might be safe for a power-wash clean. Those include:

  • Concrete: Sidewalks, driveways and other concrete surfaces are perfect for a power-wash clean.
  • Stamped concrete: Consider an application of a concrete sealer to any surfaces that might be subject to moisture damage.
  • Concrete pavers: A power-wash clean is great to remove moss or get rid of dirt between joints.
  • Cut stone (mortared or not)
  • Exterior aluminum, wood and vinyl siding on a home: For painted surfaces, you might want to use a nozzle with less pressure for a power-wash clean.
  • Stucco: Before you power-wash clean a stucco surface, make sure you have repaired any cracks or chips first.
  • Wood decks or patios: If you are going to reseal or restain your deck, a power-wash clean is a good way to remove dirt and grime and prepare the surface. However, test an area with a lower-pressure nozzle to make sure you will not generate splinters or cracks.
  • Gutters and soffits
  • Wicker and metal outdoor furniture: Use a low-pressure setting to power-wash clean.

Do not power-wash these surfaces.

Wood outdoor furniture: Some surfaces might be protected enough to endure a gentle power-wash cleaning, but if you are in doubt about whether a power-wash clean might damage the surface, use a bucket of soapy warm water and soft rags instead. While a power-wash clean is useful for many outdoor surfaces, the pressure from the nozzle might damage other items.

In general, do not power-wash clean:

  • Any outdoor fabric or cushions: Follow manufacturer’s directions for proper cleaning.
  • Outdoor umbrellas
  • Resin or plastic furniture: The construction of these pieces also determines whether a power-wash clean is appropriate. For some, the pressure from a power-wash clean might crack pieces that are less sturdy.

(Better Homes and Gardens is a magazine and website devoted to ideas and improvement projects for your home and garden, plus recipes and entertaining ideas. Online at www.bhg.com.)

Omaha World-Herald: Inspired Living

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

  • Updated

Stock your first-aid kit and store in a waterproof container • First-aid manual. • Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes. • Sterile gauze pads and roller bandages in a variety of sizes. • Hypoallergenic adhesive tape. • Scissors and tweezers. • Needle, for sewing and removing splinters. • Bars of soap in their own plastic bags or waterproof containers. • Moist towelettes. • Antiseptic ...

A lush ground cover can take over a garden; but when kept in control, the carpet of color provides a backdrop for all your plantings, allowing vibrant flowers and bushes to take center stage. Use ground cover on a terrace or steep slope or in an enclosed courtyard wherever you want to create a well-tended uniform appearance that helps retain moisture and retard the growth of weeds. Since it’s a perennial it will return every year, a welcome feature for a shady area or to cover and surround tree roots close to the surface where little else will grow.

  • Updated

As we start to resume gathering with our friends and family, outdoor dinner parties are a perfect way to ease back into entertaining. Dust off your hosting skills with these summer party hacks to make it the easiest dinner party ever! Here’s how to spend less time playing host and more time hanging out with your guests.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

all

Breaking News

Huskers Breaking News

News Alert