When the sun is out, it’s easier to notice some of the imperfections around your home’s exterior. The driveway, walkway, deck or patio, and even the brick on your house can start to look a little on the dingy side as dirt and other materials build up over time. What should you do? There’s always power washing, and you’ve heard your neighbors mention the wonders it did for their home. Or was it pressure washing? It’s confusing! Let’s talk about power washing vs pressure washing to help you determine which type of cleaning would be best for your home.
Power Washing vs Pressure Washing: What’s Best for My Home?
Although power washing and pressure washing achieve similar results, there are a few distinctions between the two types of surface cleaning. Better understanding what is involved in power washing a house and the benefits of pressure washing can help you be better equipped to make a decision about which is best to use for your particular situation.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Power washing and pressure washing often get confused because the difference between the two types of cleaning is subtle. Although they are basically the same thing, there is one key difference. While power washing involves using hot water to remove buildup, pressure washing is distinct because of the velocity of the (regular temperature) water coming out of the sprayer.
WHAT IS POWER WASHING?
Power washing is the process of removing mud, mildew, dirt, and other sticky substances that could potentially be a health hazard or simply an annoyance. Power washing uses a steady, pressurized flow of hot water to get rid of grime. You might use a power washer for:
- Removing chewing gum from sidewalks
- Killing weeds or moss
- Getting rid of mold and mildew
- Brightening your patio or deck
- Refreshing your driveway or walkway
- Cleaning your vinyl, aluminum or wood siding
- Removing debris from gutters and awnings
- Getting your home ready to sell or rent
Power washing your home can protect you and your family from harmful mold and other dirt that could trigger allergic reactions. The benefit of power washing is that water that has been heated to a high temperature can more easily break down contaminants and germs much easier than regular water alone.
WHAT IS PRESSURE WASHING?
Pressure washing is the application of high-pressure water to a surface in order to remove dirt, mildew, or another stubborn residue. Water from a pressure washer comes out of a specially-designed pump that is 100 times more powerful than a garden hose.
Whether you choose to power wash or pressure wash, cleaning these surfaces is a great way to create curb appeal without the costs of repairing, repainting, or replacing things outright.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GET STARTED
Both of these methods are effective ways to clean your home’s exterior features. You can choose to either do the work yourself or hire someone else to help. If you want to rent the equipment to do it yourself, be sure to follow these safety tips:
- Inspect the washer for any signs of damage. If you rent your equipment from a home improvement store, it should be in working order. If you borrow a power or pressure washer from a friend or neighbor, make sure to double-check for any cracks, broken seals or rust on the nozzle head to avoid injuring yourself or others with malfunctioning equipment.
- Read the instructions carefully. Make sure you understand how to operate the sprayer and machine before you get started.
- Check the water and electrical connections before getting started. Make sure the connections are secure and avoid spraying water directly on electrical outlets.
- Use safety glasses or goggles to protect your eyes from any debris that may fly up from the water pressure. Don’t stand too close to what you’re spraying to avoid the risk of injury.
- Test the water pressure on a durable surface before washing windows. Start with the lowest setting to make sure you don’t accidentally shatter a window.
- Read up on nozzle settings. Depending on what you’re using the washer for, there are different nozzles for each job. Do your homework to make sure you choose the right setting for the task at hand.
- Wear clothes you don’t mind getting ruined. Wear comfortable clothing which allows you to move freely and which can get ruined. You will likely finish the job wet, dirty, and tired!