By Kim Toscano
In my youth, I spent many Saturday mornings holding my dad’s flashlight and handing him tools while he fixed the lawn mower or worked on her latest DIY project. If there’s one thing I learned from him, it’s that the right tool makes all the difference. When it comes to pressure washers, understanding outlet pressure will help you select the washer you need for the job at hand.
Electric or gas?
In general terms, you’ll get more powerful results from a gas-powered pressure washer than from an electric one, but the final factor will be the overall size and power of the devices.
A 1300 PSI to 2000 PSI electric pressure washer will be perfect for residential tasks such as washing your car, cleaning a small patio or deck, etc.
How much psi would I need to clean a deck?
In general, to clean a patio with a pressure washer, you should use the lowest pressure setting. These must be effective and prevent high pressure water damage. Softwoods such as pine and cedar require 500-600 psi, while harder woods range between 1200-1500 psi. Higher pressures can also damage the paint on your deck.
It may seem like an easy task, cleaning a patio just by pointing and squirting water. However, washing a deck with a pressure washer without the right equipment or setting can cause irreparable damage to the wood, which can be costly. For effective deck cleaning, it is essential to use the correct pressure washer at the correct psi settings. Pressure washers are powerful enough to trim brick and gentle enough to remove some stains and cobwebs.
Heavy Duty 3300 PSI and above
For heavily stained driveways and ground-in dirt, you may need a heavy-duty pressure washer. If you plan to use it on painted fences, walls or floors, note that at around 4000 PSI, a pressure washer can strip paint from surfaces. While that’s a bad thing if that’s not what you’re using them for, these pressure washers work great for removing graffiti from walls.
If you’re looking for an industrial cleaning solution – whether you’re in construction, food service, trucking or any other industry – this is probably the right option for you.
Spray along the aisle using quick strokes. Hold the rod about 12 inches from the concrete. Be sure to cover all surfaces with a layer of detergent. For easier execution, work in small sections back and forth, overlapping each stroke a few inches.
Allow the detergent to soak into the concrete for a few minutes so it can do its job of loosening up any oil, dirt and grime that has gotten into the surface pores. Be careful not to let the detergent dry out.