When it comes to exterior cleaning tools, nothing beats a good old pressure washer. Thanks to its impressive strength and versatility, it can leave anything from trailers to siding looking great—and fortunately, this does include your concrete, too!
That being said, there's a right and wrong way to use a pressure washer on any concrete structure. These machines are powerful, and not only can they cause serious physical damage to you if misused, but they can do more harm to concrete than good if you’re careless.
Creative Concrete, your New Brighton local concrete company, is here to teach you how to use a pressure washer responsibly to give your concrete that like-new shine.
Do: Check Your Water Pressure
Test the water pressure of your home before hooking up to a pressure washer. No matter how powerful your equipment is, if your home lacks an adequate water supply, you won’t get the clean concrete you’re looking for.
Perform this simple test to check your water pressure: time how long it takes to fill a five-gallon bucket. If it’s under two minutes, you should be good to go. If it takes longer than that, your water flow will impede your ability to use your pressure washing equipment.
Do: Keep The PSI Low
If you crank up the pressure on your washer in hopes of getting the job done quicker, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Too high of a PSI can actually result in etching, where pieces of concrete and sealant are blown away, leaving your investment vulnerable to water damage.
To prevent this, set your pressure washer to between two thousand and three thousand PSI. Anything lower might not result in a deep clean, and anything higher can prove detrimental. If the mold, mildew, or dirt is proving exceptionally problematic, don’t mess with the machine and risk damage. Instead, use a made-for-concrete detergent.
Do: Choose the Right Tip
Even with a low PSI, your concrete driveway, concrete garage floor, or pool deck concrete is still subject to etching with the wrong pressure washer tip! Those that have too focused a stream concentrate on too small an area. On the flip side, however, a too-broad nozzle doesn’t have the power to truly deep clean your concrete.
Generally speaking, use between a fifteen and twenty-degree tip for the best results, though you may need to use a much wider one for the gentle application of detergent.
Don’t: Try to Remove Sealants, Coatings, or Stains
These are often chemical issues which require a chemical-based approach. Though a pressure washer certainly is a useful tool, its usefulness lies in its strength, not in any imaginary ability to make all imperfections vanish.
If you’re dealing with something that goes deeper than a little dirt, it’s best to use specialized products and care, not a device made for blasting. Or consult with a professional concrete cleaning service for best results on tough stains.
For Top-Notch Stamped Concrete and More, Creative Concrete Has you Covered
Our New Brighton team would be thrilled to be the driving force behind your new concrete patio, pool deck, or other structure. Give us a call today at 612-414-7932.