The Dos and Don’ts of Power Washing a Concrete Patio
Power washing concrete patio is a good idea if you want to get rid of stains, moss and mold. However, it’s important not to forget the do’s and don’ts when it comes to this task. It’s also important to know what not to use when power washing-anything that isn’t specifically designed for such a purpose could cause harm to both the surface and yourself!
Really soak it – don’t be afraid to turn the nozzle up all the way when you power wash! Allow it to sit on your concrete for a few minutes if need be.
Use the right kind of detergent – this will protect both you and your concrete patio from any potential harm. It should have a low PH level and should be safe for use on an outdoor surface. Pressure washers come with detergent containers as well so you don’t even need to worry about getting the right stuff!
Brush in the right direction – when it comes to power washing, you should always brush in the same direction that the concrete originally laid. The aggregate in concrete is always placed so that the longest side of each piece is pointed downwards. Power washing against this grain can cause damage to your surface and could also cause problems for any stains you are trying to remove.
Use the right kind of water – Don’t use straight up tap water. You can buy a special mix that will be perfect for the job at most hardware stores, but if you choose to go with just regular water, just make sure it’s not too hard or acidic.
Use a medium nozzle to create wide, consistent swaths of power washing- this will ensure the best results.
Wear proper protection – yes, it’s hot outside but you should still cover your skin! It’s also a good idea to wear goggles and gloves to protect yourself during the power washing process.
Don’t use bleach – it won’t work anyway and will likely cause harm to your concrete patio during the power washing process. Bleach is also bleaching away all of your hard work! It’s not worth it.
Don’t use any soap or cleaning agent other than what was recommended above – there are products out there that aren’t compatible with power washing. Be sure to only use the right stuff!
Don’t ever, ever use a power washer on your stucco – it will cause damage to both you and the surface itself. That’s pain in the butt, don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Don’t power wash too long – it’s not a good idea to leave your concrete patio soaked wet for an extended period of time. Above is the key takeaway.
Don’t use a pressure washer on your house – power washers are designed to be used on surfaces that they can get wet, not ones that they cannot. You may cause damage to your siding and you may also hurt yourself in the process!
Don’t forget to check for low overhead wires before you start – Sometimes this isn’t enough, if your power lines are buried underground you may want to call an electrician just to be safe.
Don’t use too low of a pressure – typically 600 PSI is best. Lower than this leads to less effective cleaning and could cause damage under certain circumstances.
Don’t power wash too frequently – pressure washing every week or even every month isn’t a good idea. The more often you do it, the more likely it is that you will damage your concrete patio no matter how careful and thorough you are! Power washing should be done only as needed and shouldn’t really occur more than once a year, if that.
Don’t leave the hose on your concrete patio for too long – it has water in it! Eventually, that water will find its way through your concrete and could cause damage or lead to molding if left unattended.
There you have it! Now that you know what not to do, all that’s left is to go out there and get started on making your patio look new again. Stay safe!
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