Pressure washing driveways and walls can make a huge difference in the curb appeal of your home. It also helps keep your concrete driveway and retaining wall looking like new. But before you start cleaning, it’s important to do your research on how to use a pressure washer safely and efficiently.
Before you begin, it’s a good idea to clean off the concrete surface of any loose dirt or debris that may come into contact with the pressure washer hose. This will help prevent clogging of the hose and nozzle and ensure that you get an even spray.
Flow rates and water patterns determine how quickly contaminants are flushed from the surface, and these factors can vary based on your power washer nozzle choice and the type of concrete you’re using. Higher flow rates are necessary to clear heavy soiled surfaces, such as oil stains.
Nozzles dictate the shape and intensity of the water stream, and they usually are color-coded to make it easy to choose one for your specific project. A narrow nozzle is used for small, hard-to-reach areas and a wide one is best for large surfaces.
The high-pressure water flow from a pressure washer can cause damage to your skin, eyes, and feet, so be sure to wear safety equipment, such as safety goggles, gloves, and rubber-soled shoes. It’s also a good idea to wear a face mask while working with a pressure washer.
Preparing your Driveway and Walls
Before you start washing, be sure to remove any loose leaves, branches, and other debris from the area. Debris can clog your nozzle and force your water to run backwards into the house and other nearby buildings. To avoid this, lay down plastic sheets or garbage bags to protect other areas of your home from the high-pressure water. A painter’s tape can help secure these protective covers so that they won’t fall off during the cleaning process.
Change the Tip on Your Washer
Changing the pressure washer tip from a detergent to a rinse mode is another important step to remember when washing your driveway and walls. This will help you remove any remaining soap from the surface and give your driveway a good rinse.
To do this, hold the tip of the spray wand at least 3 inches from the surface and move slowly, overlapping each stroke by 6 to 8 inches. This will ensure that all the detergent is removed from the surface and that no spots remain.
If you’re dealing with greasy spots, apply a degreaser to the spot before you start washing it. Some pressure washers have an attachment for applying degreasers, but you can also mix a homemade household degreaser with hot water and spray it directly on the stain. Then scrub the area with a stiff brush before washing it with the pressure washer.
When you’re finished, rinse the area again to flush away any leftover detergent and any remaining stains. Then leave the area to dry for several hours. After that, apply a sealant to protect the driveway from future stains.
There is no specific timetable for when you should have your house power washed, but it is always a good idea to schedule regular checks and maintenance with a trusted Arlington company. The type of weather and wind patterns in your area will affect the condition of your roof, and a good power washing services in Arlington, VA will be able to tell you when it needs to be power washed.