Tips On Pressure Washing Your Patio, Decking, Or Backyard Properly
We all love a fresh-looking and clean, backyard and garden, especially during the summer months where we can sit back and sip wine during warm and cozy nights. Unfortunately, there are certain parts of our outdoor space such as decking and paving that seems to be immune to good old scrub and hose. They can tend to accumulate all sorts of dirt and moss build-up throughout the winter season.
Using pressure is the best solution for this. It’s a priceless and convenient tool for keeping your exterior surfaces spotless. It makes the cleaning process easier, quicker, and more efficient compared to the traditional method of scrubbing and using a garden hose.
However, it can be intimidating if you’ve never used it before or don’t have an idea of how to use it. So if you’re planning on having family barbecues or simply sitting under the beautiful stars this year, here are pressure washing essentials you need to know to keep your patio and backyard area looking fresh and fabulous.
Which Type Of Pressure Washer Should I Use?
Pressure washers come in two basic types, electric and gas-powered. Here are the differences between them:
Gas Pressure Washers
- Offers a higher PSI, usually ranging from 2000 to 3000.
- You need fuel and prime its motor to run it.
- It’s recommended for heaving cleaning jobs such as cement, hardwood, stripping paint.
- These machines are a bit loud, so wear ear protection if necessary.
Electric Pressure Washers
- They have lower PSI compared to gas-powered washers, normally around 1000 to 2000.
- You need a power source to make it run, and you need to keep its cord from soaking in water and getting wet.
- You need a specific extension cord for it.
- It’s ideal for lighter and smaller jobs such as cleaning softwood and your patio furniture.
- They don’t make a lot of noise and do not produce emissions.
If you have a small deck or patio with softwood, opt for an electric power washer. But if you’ll be working on larger surfaces with hardwood, go for a gas pressure washer. Make sure to check out this knockout post for reviews and ratings of the best gas power washers around.
How To Pressure Wash Your Decking Or Patio
You can skip all the hard work that comes with manually scrubbing all the moss, lichen, and algae off your space by using pressure washers. You can quickly blast away dirt and debris from your paving slabs with their forceful spray.
Here’s what you need to get started:
- Pressure washer machine
- Pressure washer
- Detergent (optional)
- Hose and adaptors
- Safety goggles, gloves, and clothing
- RCD Adaptors
Once you have everything ready, follow the steps below for an efficient pressure washing of your deck:
- Clear your entire deck or patio by removing all potted plants, ornaments, and furniture.
- Sweep away any dirt, leaves, and other loose debris with your broom.
- Attach your hose to the unit using universal connectors and a tap adaptor for attaching it to your garden tap.
- Unwound your hose if you’re using a hose reel and make sure that it’s tangle-free so that water will flow constantly. Make sure the water is freely running before starting with your cleaning project.
- Let the water flow into the machine to get rid of any airlocks.
- Check if there are any leaks and ensure all connectors are tight.
- Hold the hose in the proper position before you turn the water on to prevent any harmful surprises. Your hose should be at least two feet from your decking or patio. Adjust this in certain areas that need less or more cleaning. Don’t get it closer than twelve inches from the ground to avoid damaging your deck.
- Never aim the pressure washer hose in your direction. The ideal aim should be at a 45-degree angle to get a strong, good water flow while pushing away all the dirt and grime from your feet. Directing every dirt and debris in one area will also make it easier and faster to clean up later.
- To help disintegrate dirt and grime, you may consider applying a detergent solution to your surface before you start to make the cleaning process even easier. Some detergents come with special properties that can protect surfaces from weather damage as well as help lessen dirt build-up.
Using a power washer is fun, but can be potentially hazardous if used incorrectly. So to prevent any accidents and injuries, here are some things you need to keep in mind:
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings first before going ahead with your cleaning task.
- Wear protective rubber-soled boots, gears, and clothing even when it’s hot outside. You’ll get bruises when the vigorous spray hit your skin, and it can really hurt your eyes.
- Prepare your unit during the winter months by winterizing it. You may also use a pressure washer for removing ice and snow, but you still need to prepare it for storage and to ensure it’s in top condition. Read how to winterize a pressure washer to learn how you can prep your unit properly during this season.
Pressure washers are not scary at all. If used the right way, they’re great at removing stubborn dirt and stains on your decking. These machines are very convenient, affordable to rent or buy, and can truly transform your backyard from drab to fab.