Now is the time to spruce up your patio slabs and pressure washing is the perfect solution. Coronavirus restrictions easing means we can welcome visitors outdoors again and a clean patio will help us enjoy those family reunions and gatherings with friends under the Rule of Six.
12 Do’s and Don’ts for Successful Pressure Washing
So, how do you clean a garden patio slab without damaging it? And how should you use toxic chemicals in pressure washing jobs? Here are 12 do’s and don’ts to ensure you get the job done well.
1. DO – Give yourself some space
This may seem entirely obvious, but you should clear the area including plant pots if you’re doing a garden job.
2. DO – Try it out if you’re in doubt
If you’re not experienced with a pressure washer, it’s a good idea to test it out on an area where there is nothing that can be damaged.
3. DO – Bear in mind that positioning is key
Believe it or not, the nozzle on a pressure washer should be two feet away at the start, but it can be moved closer to the surface if needed. You should be moving the nozzle from side to side.
4. DO – Bear in mind chemical reactions
Take care when using these – you may use biocide chemicals to eat up algae and some jobs will need hydrochloric acid. It goes without saying that you should always be careful and your use of chemicals will depend on the job you’re doing.
5. DO – Keep your pets in mind
Who will be using the surface afterwards? Your pets could get sick if the area isn’t properly washed down after it has been treated.
6. DO – Remember other tools
It’s not just about the pressure washer. If you’re cleaning a dirty or unsightly area, for example, use a brush to sweep it up.
7. DON’T – Scratch the surface
Some things are not suitable for pressure washing such as windows. When cleaning decking, you should do so with continuous strokes.
8. DON’T – Overdo the pressure
Tempting as it is, don’t put the pressure up too high as this can also damage surfaces, can make damaged surfaces worse or dig through flower beds.
9. DON’T – Forget graffiti needs a slightly different approach
You might need to clean graffiti and if you do, you should put a removal spray on it first before using a pressure washer. Pressure alone won’t always remove it.
10. DON’T – Use hot water
‘Normal’ pressure washers are not designed for it and could damage it. But there are models available that can accommodate hot water.
11. DON’T – Allow children to use a pressure washer
These are powerful machines that need to be handled with care.
12. DON’T – Use a ladder for pressure washing
Washers are not particularly designed for use at heights and as you need to use two hands in the process. An adjustable wand, long reach or cherry picker should be used to reach high places.