Pressure washers are powerful mechanical spray guns that use an extremely high pressurized jet of water to blast away debris. They can be used to clean vehicles, decking and concrete; in fact any item outdoors that would normally be difficult to clean.
Washers are available as either gas or electric. Whatever means is used to power them they all utilize a powerful pump that pressurizes the water from your garden hose to 1000lbs or more. The water is then fed through a spray wand. It’s important that your water supply has a strong enough uninterrupted supply. As a rule the gas powered washers usually have the highest pressure and are recommended for deep cleaning stone and concrete. Gas powered washers do require more water than their electric counterparts, often 2 to 3 gallons per minute, so make sure you have adequate water supply available.
The more heavy duty units will have several interchangeable nozzle types that alter the spray pattern for different cleaning tasks. Wide spray is useful if using detergents, medium is ideal for general cleaning tasks and a narrow spray nozzle for blasting away difficult to remove stains.
Most hardware stores sell pressure washers but unless you have a need to use them regularly it’s more economical to hire one for the day. You should also bear in mind it can be difficult work and you could also cause damage to your property if used incorrectly. There are numerous contractors available who can get the job done and most likely will have industrial grade equipment that may do a better cleaning job.
One task that a pressure washer is excellent at is concrete cleaning and sealing. This is great for concrete floors or driveways and can greatly extend their life. The first step would be to use the pressure washer along with an appropriate cleaning chemical. Bleach and water often work well together but there are some solutions available commercially that can remove heavy oil stains. Scrub the concrete with the cleaning solution paying special attention to the areas with the heaviest stains. The whole area should then be rinsed off using the pressure washer and left until thoroughly dry. Finish up by filling a roller pan with concrete sealer and slowly and gently apply sealant to all of the concrete. Typically you will need two or three thin coats. Never apply it thick as this can cause unsightly bubbles and make the seal less effective. Don’t allow anyone to walk on the concrete for at least 48 hours.
As you can see occasional pressure washing not only cleans your property but can protect and extend it’s life as well as make it more attractive.