Pressure washing your driveway or patio can be an economical and efficient way to increase kerb appeal, lengthen its lifespan and prevent it from becoming slippery – though this method should be executed carefully as improper execution could pose risks.

Be sure to follow these basic tips for safe and effective pressure washing.

How to Choose a Pressure Washer

Pressure washers are powerful cleaning tools that can blast away stubborn stains from cars, patios, brickwork and more. Unfortunately, not all pressure washers are created equal and it may be difficult to select the ideal model for you and your needs.

Before beginning cleaning, prepare the area by clearing away loose debris and making sure there are no items which could get damaged by high-pressure jets. Also consider covering windows or doors which could get wet from any spray of debris that may arrive via high-pressure jets.

First and foremost, you must decide whether you want a gas or electric pressure washer and whether the machine will be for home or professional use.

Most commonly, pressure washer specifications will include PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch) and GPM (Gallons per Minute). For light-duty tasks like car washing or deck cleaning, a pressure washer with 1,700-2,800 PSI and 1.4-1.6 GPM will do.

Safety First

When performing DIY pressure wash projects, take extra care to safeguard against potential injuries caused by water pressure. As it could injure eyes, hands, and feet if used incorrectly, wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and hearing protection as well as anything that might get caught by your pressure washer – such as objects or debris which might get caught under its powerful spray.

Start by clearing away large debris from the area, including potted plants or lawn furniture that might obstruct. Concrete detergents can harm plants; therefore if any are nearby cover them with tarps or garbage bags.

Before beginning spraying, conduct a preliminary pressure washer test in an inconspicuous area of the surface. Start by keeping the nozzle several feet from the concrete surface; gradually move closer until you find an acceptable distance without harming its integrity. If using a gas-powered pressure washer, make sure any exterior outlets connected to them have power disabled before beginning cleaning operations.

Don’t Forget the Detergent

Power washers alone will not remove tough stains from many materials; therefore, additional steps will likely be needed such as using cleaning solutions to loosen dirt and debris before washing and ensure all spots have been effectively cleansed.

Assure your pressure washer features a detergent delivery system or appropriate spray bottle to apply cleaning solution, and follow manufacturer’s instructions for drawing and applying it. Also remember to switch up nozzles regularly so as to cover all surfaces on patio or driveway.

Prior to beginning any outdoor surface cleanup, clear away your workspace by moving furniture and other items out of harm’s way and into storage areas. Cover any plants or features you don’t want coated in cleaning chemicals with tarps, painter’s plastic sheets or garbage bags to protect them from being overcoated with cleaning solutions; covering them may also prevent them from absorbing too much water and dehydrating. However, make sure they’re removed as quickly as possible to prevent overheating your plants!

Don’t Remove Weeds

Weeds can be one of the most frustrating aspects of garden maintenance. They crop up wherever they please and mar an otherwise beautiful landscape. While using a pressure washer may seem like the solution to eliminating unsightly plants from your landscape, manual weeding or natural herbicides offer better solutions than pressure washing for eliminating these pesky weeds.

When pressure washing your driveway or patio, always wear safety goggles and hearing protection. Furthermore, it’s advisable to cover nearby plants with plastic sheets or garbage bags to protect them from soapy water getting on them and possibly damaging them. Furthermore, starting at the bottom rather than starting from the top is best as this allows any excess debris or water run-off from running off into nearby gutters or drains rather than ruining a clean surface surface; start at the bottom and work your way upward.