Should You Try Pressure Washing? The Pros and Cons

If you’re looking to get your house or driveway incredibly clean, then you may want to look into pressure washing your property. This cleaning method is fast and efficient at getting things clean. A pressure washer uses pressure to push water out of a hose with a nozzle using a large force. The strong force of the water can get even the hardest dirt and grime off the surface of a wall, fence, or siding. It offers a quick and efficient solution to everything from walls to sidings to decks to walkways and bricks or concrete. And if you choose to invest in a high-quality pressure washer, you can use it to start a business

If you simply want to know if you should try DIY pressure washing, here’s a list of pros and cons that come with it:

Pros of Pressure Washing

Pressure washing a siding

1. Less expensive than hiring a pro

Getting a professional pressure washing service costs around $300 on average for a basic hardscaping, such as the driveway or patio. Pressure washing the house exterior can cost anywhere from $150 to $2,500 based on its size. By comparison, renting a pressure washer goes for between $35 to $175 a day. If you decide to buy your own, you may spend a high upfront cost, but it will save you in the long run if you regularly use it.

2. Can clean a variety of exterior surfaces

One of the best things about pressure washing your surfaces is that there’s little it cannot do. If you start pressure washing, you don’t have to stop to scrub the mildew stains on your patio, the dirty vinyl siding, the grime on your grill, and even the graffiti someone spray-painted did on your fence – it can be removed by pressure washing. Instead of having to trade out different cleaning tools, you get one tool to clean it all with a pressure washer. You simply need to change nozzles.

3. User-friendly

Pressure washers nowadays are incredibly easy to use. It doesn’t take long how to figure out how to use them, even if you’ve never seen them before. It’s a straightforward machine that needs a plug-in, a hook to the hose, and a push on the lever on the nozzle to get cleaning. While you need to know things about a pressure washer, there are no intimidating settings aside from the PSI (pound-force per square inch).

4. Makes cleaning much easier

The best thing about a pressure washer is that it can make your cleaning job a lot faster. Without a pressure washer, cleaning the exterior of a house and all the surfaces that come with it can take days, if not weeks. If your exterior walls, sidings, and windows are extremely dirty or very large, it can still take some time to get it thoroughly cleaned, but a pressure washer can expedite the process.

5. Doesn’t use that much water

When you picture the blast of water full of pressure, you might think that every second equates to extra dollars on your next water bill. But that’s not the case. Most DIY pressure washers use a comparable amount to your garden hose, or even less. The pressure is what makes the water forceful, not because it uses a lot of water. If you don’t want to use your home’s water supply, you can search for a professional cleaning service that can bring its own water truck. If you’re determined to DIY your pressure washing job without using your water supply, you can hire a tank trailer to bring a water truck and use a pump to fill the pressure washer from the reservoir.

6. Fun to do

Of course, this is included in the pros list. If you like seeing things clean and looking new, it would be enjoyable for you to blast away all the dirt and grime and whatever else you’ve had to look at for too long. Just make sure you don’t get carried away, as you might ruin your fun if you cause damage.

Cons of Pressure Washing

1. Can cause damage

If you set your pressure washer with too much power, it might cause serious damage to your yard, plants, and even the surface itself that you intend to clean. A soft wash versus a regular pressure wash is better for more delicate surfaces, such as wood or anything painted.

Sometimes, you need more than just water coming out of the pressure washer to clean your surfaces. You may need chemicals to kill off and remove hard-to-clean things like mold and mildew. These chemicals can be harsh and can cause painted surfaces to pill, and they can end up killing plants and flowers near your house. If you cannot remove the plants or shrubbery near the surface you have to clean, do your best to avoid getting any spray on them. As great as it can be, you have to be extra cautious as to where you spray it.

2. Can be dangerous

Speaking of being cautious, a rogue, high-pressure blast from a pressure washer can cause serious injuries. The force of the water from a regular garden hose is no match to a pressure washer. It’s super important to look carefully before using and mind where you aim the nozzle. If you have never used it before, the force can knock you back and might even injure you. Before you attempt DIY pressure washing, you need to read user directions carefully so you can handle it properly and avoid any injuries. Always keep an eye out for kids, pets, neighbors, or anyone walking in your line of sight while the machine is in use.

3. Can be too powerful for some surfaces

There’s always a possibility of damage whenever you attempt to complete a home project by yourself. This will ring even more true when you are using something as powerful as a pressure washer. High-power pressure washers can be powerful enough to damage your windows, vinyl sidings, the wood surfaces on your deck, or erode the cement in your driveway. For best cleaning results and to avoid damage, always choose the best pressure washer  for your cleaning needs.

4. Doesn’t use professional-quality cleansers

Professional pressure washing technicians use cleaning solutions that effectively clean mold, mildew, algae, and other buildups. If you choose to do pressure washing on your own, you’ll only have the water pressure to work with. While you can surely find cleaning solutions and soaps to use, these won’t probably be the professional-grade quality that you will get if you hire a company.