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To get the best clean for your deck, patio, car, and vinyl siding, you will want to use a pressure washer, as its ability to penetrate dirt and leave the material looking brand new is unparalleled. If you are preparing to power wash parts of your home, make sure you follow these tips to get the best and safest clean when pressuring washing your home.

The Two Types of Pressure Washers

Pressure washers come in two types: electric and gas. Both types of pressure washers operate by using a pump that pressurizes the water from your garden hose to 1,000lbs or more. This water is then forced through a spray wand to remove the dirt from the surface you are cleaning. The higher the pressure (psi), the tougher the cleaning job will be. They both require a steady, uninterrupted supply of water (gallons per minute, or gpm). For most household jobs, a pressure washer with a pressure range from 1,300-2,400 psi will be the best.

How to Operate a Pressure Washer

Before you even attempt to use your pressure washer, it is vital to check your water supply. It needs to be able to meet the gpm requirement of your pressure washer. You can test your water supply by timing how long it takes your garden hose to fill up a five-gallon bucket. After you check the water supply, inspect the pressure hose and your garden hose to ensure that they are free of kinks before hooking them up to the machine.

Starting up the Pressure Washer

First, tighten the hose connection so that no air can enter the line. Next, set the spray wand to either low-pressure or no-pressure to prevent recoil of the line, as this could lead to injury. Then turn on the water faucet at the house, allowing the water to run through the machine.

Squeeze the spray wand trigger to prepare the pump and purge any remaining air from the system. Once this has been completed, you are ready to start the pressure washer. If you have a gas unit, it is essential that you steady the machine when pulling the cord to avoid a kickback. This can be done by simply bracing your foot against the wheels.

Allow the pressure washer to run for a minute, giving the machine time to warm up. Be careful not to leave your washer running longer than 3-5 minutes while the trigger is set to off. Running it for long periods of time with no escape for the pressure could damage the pump. While the washer is running and the trigger is off, adjust the pressure and spray settings, if you have a nozzle tip, insert it into the spray wand.

Pressure Washing Siding

Before you pressure wash your siding, make sure to prepare the surrounding area to prevent damage. Lay tarps down around the perimeter and make sure to cover any plants. These tarps will also help collect any loose paint chips that make get dislodged during the wash.

Make sure you do not hold the spray wand directly against the surface. Doing so will result in the dirt going deeper into your siding instead of being removed. The best technique is to hold the wand at a 45-degree angle from the surface and work on small areas. Go from the bottom to the top to avoid streaking. To keep from driving water behind your siding, causing it to become trapped, ensure that you keep the spray stream level. You need to use an extension wand to reach higher places. It is also recommended to avoid spraying windows, as doing so may result in shattered glass.

Cleaning Garage Floors

To clean your garage floor, you will want to rid the surface of dirt by spraying it with water at high pressure. For a deeper clean, change the pressure washer’s setting to low to dispense detergent (for pressure washers with a detergent tank only). Allow the detergent to sit for a moment, allowing all the dirt and grime to come loose. Next, change the setting back to high pressure and rinse the floor with water.

Cleaning Decks

For the best results when pressure washing your deck, hold the spray wand at a 45-degree angle at least 1-2 ft. from the deck. Make sure the water stream is constantly moving to more effectively remove the stain. To do this, use a high pressure of 2,000 psi, or greater, and a concentrated spray nozzle setting.

If you are looking for a pressure washing that will leave your home looking brand new, contact the team at GLEAM. Our years of experience have allowed us to develop the knowledge to work with any type of home or commercial material without causing damage.