There is nothing more satisfying than surface cleaning your outdoor area and just watching months of built-up dirt magically disappear in front of your eyes, leaving the surface looking brand-new.
However, if you are new and not well-prepared, you may be prone to making some common rookie mistakes that might have a permanent damaging effect on your outdoor surface areas. Let’s take a closer look at some common pressure washing mistakes people make and learn how to avoid them.
Common Mistakes to Avoid Before Surface Cleaning
Before you start surface cleaning with a pressure washer, you need to get your ducks in a row – you can’t just borrow a pressure washing machine, put it to use, and be done. This is a big rookie mistake that might end up costing you a lot in repair work.
Below are some of the most common mistakes do-it-yourselfers make before they even turn on the pressure washing machine.
1. Not considering the different outdoor surfaces and their needs
Is your outdoor surface area made of concrete, brick, asphalt, or cobblestones? How large are the surface areas you plan on cleaning? Make a list before you go shopping at your local hardware store.
2. Using the wrong equipment
What type of pressure washer can clean these areas? What type of nozzles should you use for the different parts? What are the instructions and recommendations for cleaning these areas? You need to know these things before buying and using the equipment.
3. Not verifying you have the equipment ready
Always check the equipment before using it on your surface areas. Make sure you are using the right nozzle, and that everything is put on well. Test a small unseen area, if possible.
4. Not wearing protective gear
The water pressure is no joke and you can easily harm yourself if you are not careful. Closed-toe shoes, protective goggles, appropriate long-sleeved clothes, and gloves are a must-have for any DIY pressure washer.
Common Mistakes to Avoid During & After Surface Cleaning
Even when you know how to use the equipment properly, there are some mistakes you might overlook. Let’s go over these below.
5. Not using fungicide solution
Using a fungicide solution in the power washing machine helps keep the growth of fungus-type organisms such as mold or mildew, off your driveway and home.
The fungus can be quite damaging such as overgrowing or destroying the look of your surface areas. If left untreated, it can cause cracks in the concrete which can further cause the pavement to split and become uneven.
6. Spraying too close to the surface
Different surface materials have a different minimum safe distance that should be applied between the wand and the surface. Spraying too close to the surface can cause splashback or damage to the surface area.
7. Using extensive or inadequate water pressure
Too much water pressure can cause cracks. Soft wash or other similar options should be applied to prevent this. For stubborn surface stains, call your local pressure washing company at (760) 421-5064 today.
8. Holding the nozzle in the same spot for too long
Holding the spray nozzle on the same spot for too long may result in damaging the surface area. Always make sure to keep it moving and remember to go from the top towards the bottom.
9. Cleaning too close to home or garden
Be mindful when cleaning closely to any doors, windows, and gardens. You can get water inside your home, or damage your doors and windows. Spraying too close to the garden may cause dirt to rise and get stuck on your freshly cleaned surface area.
10. Not cleaning spills on time or not pre-treating older stains
If there is oil or any major spill, you should apply appropriate stain remover right away and clean it before it gets time to set in. It is important that you treat the stains as soon as possible because the longer it sits, the harder it is to remove.
If there are any older stains or you plan on cleaning a large surface area, use stain remover and pre-treat the stain before you start cleaning the entire area.
11. Forgetting to rinse the cleaner and not sealing once finished
You must rinse off the cleaner you have applied, otherwise, it will continue to work even after you have finished cleaning. This can result in your surface area getting a dull finish.
12. Seal it and forget it
While on the subject of finishing details, it is also important to seal the area off when you’re finished. Sealants will create a layer of protection that will prolong the life of your surface area. Just make sure that you are using the right sealant for your surface area.
Most outdoor sealants can offer protection for a few years and will keep your patio surface in top shape for months.