Get clean: Hire or buy a pressure washer
As we all head outdoors for the warmer months, let’s clean up the patios and decks for picnics and barbecues. A pressure washer could make short order of the cleaning. It’s not a cheap investment for time or money. Here’s how to get clean: hire or buy a pressure washer.
Homeowners are often tempted to rent a power washer, hook a hose on and get to work. There is a lot of knowledge required to successfully wield a power washer.
Getting your hands on a power washer is as easy as a trip your big box store or local hardware supplier. Renting the machine will save you the time and trouble of maintenance since the store will be on top of that. Be sure to ask any questions you have before you load up the car. Some directions and controls should be explained prior to leaving.
Most importantly, you must understand the PSI. Many pressure cleaners are capable of putting out a PSI that could damage walls and wood. To avoid divots in decks and holes in siding, start with a very low PSA and work your way up.
Misuse can lead to injury to your home or your person. We want to avoid both of those outcomes. Make sure you wear protective gear like glasses, boots and gloves. The water coming out of the machine is high pressured and will hurt you. Never, ever point the pressure washer in the direction of family members or pets.
Keep an eye on the wind. While you are working, the wind could be taking the spray over plants or yard. If you have mixed a cleaner into the water, the flora could suffer. Avoid washing straight into screens, outlets or windows.
Some jobs are just bigger than a homeowner should take on. Multi-story homes, big decks or other massive jobs could warrant a professional pressure washer to take care of it. There is specialized equipment available to pros for these kind of jobs.
Another reason to consider a pro is the job itself. Wooden siding is particularly difficult to clean without loads of experience. It’s really easy to punch holes in it inadvertently. Any damaged areas should be looked at by a professional as well. Cleaning could cause further problems without meaning to.
Renting a pressure washer, as you can imagine, is much cheaper than hiring a professional. Rental generally costs between $35 and $150. More expensive rentals will offer more features, including hot or cold water.
A pro will charge according to size and difficulty of a project. Some will do per square foot, some will insist on seeing the job first. Industry averages say that decks start at $.25 per square foot and will go up for stairs, railings, and more. Many companies will suggest a seal or stain after the cleaning to prolong the life of the deck. That can run up to $5 per square foot. House cleaning with a pressure washer is usually between $60-$120 per hour. Keep in mind certain jobs and geographical locations will cause the price to go up.
Most cities do not require licensing for pressure cleaning. It’s really important for you to do your homework before hiring someone. Consult reviews readily available on the internet and don’t be afraid to ask for references. Reputable companies will be able to provide items to help you make a smart decision for your project.