Pressure washing your home’s concrete surfaces is one of the most effective ways to bring beauty and value back to your home’s exterior, if it’s done properly. However, it’s important to remember the high level of skill and experience which is needed in order to complete the cleaning safely since improper power washing can often lead to damage and a worse looking exterior than you started with! With that in mind here are some simple tips to ensure that your concrete pressure cleaning results are as beautiful, lasting, and safely reached as possible.
Pre-Power Wash Preparations
Before you begin removing the stains and wear and tear that naturally occur on your concrete patio, driveway, or sidewalk, it’s important to thoroughly plan out the cleaning process. This includes everything from finding the time on a clear day to have the pressure cleaning done, soaking up any major spots of oil or grease which have pooled, and keeping the surface free from materials and traffic. This is also the best time to identify the best power washer for your specific needs since there’s a major difference in terms of strength, cost, and usability between different brands and makes of pressure cleaners.
Picking the Right Pressure Cleaner
Professional concrete cleaning contractors generally agree that a pressure cleaner with 3,000 psi and a flow rate of about 4 gpm will be enough to make your home’s concrete surfaces look like new. However, older, more damaged concrete can necessitate a lower level of psi in order to prevent any damage from occurring and more stubborn stains like oil and grease could need faster flow rates. This level of uncertainty, along with the sometimes quite expensive cost to buy or rent a power washer, encourages many homeowners to contact professional pressure cleaners instead of attempting the work on their own.
Pressure Cleaning Concrete
Whether you decide to hire professionals or perform your home’s concrete pressure cleaning services yourself, the work will be much the same. Smooth, steady strokes across your concrete surface are best for creating an even, uniform finish. If you’re performing the work on your own pick a small, less-visible area to test out different nozzles, psi levels, and heights away from the surface so that you can get a better feel for the specifications of your particular power washer. Keep in mind that certain areas have requirements and guidelines to take into account regarding the run-off water that results from pressure cleaning. Be sure to contact the EPA about your region-specific guidelines prior to cleaning.