Pressure washing is the use of high pressure water to remove caked on grime from a multitude of surfaces. You can choose from a variety of offerings electric or gas, cold water or hot water depending on what you are looking to clean. For smaller areas and occasional cleaning such as patio furniture you could use a cold water Electric pressure washer available at any good home store.
For tackling something a little larger like patios, a gas cold water pressure washer will work better giving you more power and so more cleaning power. You will get a variety of tips that come with these types of pressure washers allowing you to get more aggressive with your cleaning. The tips are color coded, the black tip will be used to dispense soap giving you a good coverage area with a light spray. Next you will have the green tip which is again a wider spray pattern, next you have a white tip, yellow tip and then a red tip. Each nozzle gets smaller giving you a tighter jet of water. The white tip is usually the most used. Take care with the red tip as this is a very aggressive tip for stubborn stains.
When using your wand to clean surfaces make sure you keep the wand moving at all times so as not to damage the surface you are cleaning, concentrating the nozzle on a single spot for too long can cause damage. You will also need to make sure you overlap with each pass, this is not to be rushed otherwise you will leave track lines.
Next for larger areas you would really want to hire someone with a larger more commercial machine that is built for the task. At A+ Window Cleaning we use a 4.5 gallon per minute hot water pressure washing system. The pressure washer itself has a heating coil which can take the water up to 220 degrees for maximum cleaning power. The advantage of having hot over a cold-water system is you use a lot less water and get the job done faster and more efficiently as the hot water cuts through the dirt. When we are cleaning larger surfaces such as driveways we use a surface cleaner rather than a standard wand. The surface cleaner covers a larger area and ensures we do not leave any lines giving the home owner or business owner guaranteed results. We also use a floor squeegee to remove excess water which leaves a great finish.
Pressure washing will give you amazing results if it is used on the right surface with the right tip and a regulated pressure. If you are unsure you should ask a professional or hire someone to get the job done right. You should never use a pressure washer on soft stone surfaces which we have a lot of here in Texas. The pressure on the machine is just too high and can chip the stone away causing a mess and damage. If you are trying to remove mold etc, a pressure washer is really going to remove the top surface and not be very effective at killing the mold. You will need to use a soft-washing service, which A+ Window Cleaning has and are happy to provide you with a quote. We will look at soft-washing and its many advantages in another blog post.