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Power Washing Cautions

Who has time to spend all day scrubbing to clean household grime and mildew from siding, decks, driveways, and outdoor furniture? An electric or gas-powered power washer can produce up to 80 times the pressure of your garden hose, lessening the amount of elbow grease necessary for cleaning chores. But, there are power washing cautions one should observe to use this great tool safely. 

Safety Precautions 

Among the most important power washing cautions is being aware of how the spray is directed. The powerful spray of a pressure washer can damage human or animal skin in seconds. The most common injury received from a power washer’s spray are lacerations, but it can also cause punctures, bruises, and even eye injuries. 

Nozzle Safety

You should be aware that power washers are typically sold or rented with adjustable tips or interchangeable nozzles (often color-coded) to enable users to adjust the amount of water pressure used. The wider the spray pattern, the less pressure is produced. A narrow spray produces more force and is more dangerous to users or those standing around. 

Suggested Uses for Different Power Washer Heads

  • 0˚ (red) – For removing tough stains and dirt, or reaching second story jobs.
  • 15˚ (yellow) – For heavy-duty cleaning of concrete or stripping paint.
  • 25˚ (green) – For general cleaning of outdoor furniture, patios, walks, and decks.
  • 40˚ (white) – For cleaning easily damaged surfaces or vehicles. 
  • Low-pressure (black) – For use only with cleaning agents only. 

Height Safety

Also, when using a power washer, never stand on a ladder or other height without adequate support to counteract the backward pressure from the spray nozzle. High-pressure water can force a user backward, causing you to lose your balance and incur a serious fall injury. 

Personal Safety 

When using a power washer, you should wear sturdy footwear, long pants, and protective goggles. Never wear sandals, flip flops or shorts. If using an electric power washer, be sure the cord is kept out of the spray area and is free from breaks to avoid electric shock. 

Damage Precautions 

Among the necessary power washer cautions are being aware of how to use a power washer safely and avoiding damage to one’s body, bystanders, or property. 

Personal Damage Precautions 

Never point the pressurized water stream at your own body parts for any reason, even if they are protected by clothing or other coverings. The high-pressure water stream is capable of cutting through cloth, human skin, or other materials in an instant. 

If you must attend to some personal need, turn off the power washer and lay down the wand. Serious injuries have been incurred by users who sought to scare off a stinging insect or scratch a sudden itch with high-pressure water. 

Damage Precautions for Bystanders 

Always be aware of who or what is nearby as you complete a task with a power washer. Other people or pets may not be aware of the danger of wandering into the stream of high-pressure water, or of coming too close as you work, especially on hot days. 

As the user, it is up to you to be in complete control of the pressure washer and where you direct the water stream. Warn others to keep far away as you work, and keep pets safely confined away from your work area until all tasks are finished. 

Property Damage Precautions

Not every surface is to be cleaned with high-pressure water. Delicate surfaces or objects may require hand scrubbing and low pressure rinsing only. Also, different spray patterns and pressures are appropriate for different materials, surfaces, and tasks. See the spray pattern suggestions above for recommended uses, or consult the power washer user manual for more specific instructions. 

When in doubt about whether or not to use high-pressure water for a certain task, err on the side of caution and set the power washer aside. 

Power Washing Cautions – Professional Power Washing 

While many consider power washing tasks as DIY chores, there are ways it can go terribly wrong. Due to the power behind high-pressure water, damage or injury can occur in an instant. Very often, pressure washing tasks should be left to professionals. 

Moreover, professional power washing services include more than simple pressurized cleaning. At Revivify Surface LLC, our professional services include pressure washing with appropriate techniques, cleaning agents, and pressures to attain the best possible result for every surface. 

Also, after you are satisfied with the cleaning process, we can also apply protective sealants to hard surfaces to protect against weather, wear, and foreign substances. This sealing adds value and protection to expensive hard surfaces, increasing longevity and beauty. 

When you need power washing services in or near Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, contact the professionals at Revivify Surface LLC. We are happy to answer your questions or provide a free quote for services.