Pressure washing all exterior surfaces
04/04/17 20:57 Filed in: Pressure Cleaning | Pressure Washing | Driveway cleaning | Driveway moss removal | Decking cleaning | Path cleaning | Path moss removal | Wall cleaning | Render cleaning
Pressure Cleaning across all Melbourne suburbs
Keeping your home tidy involves a lot of hours spend cleaning, mowing the lawn and washing down all kinds of surfaces around the home. Spending the time to do these jobs thoroughly may mean a whole weekend just doing maintenance instead of spending time with your family. The growth of all types of service companies means that you are able to hire a professional for just about anything including pressure cleaning.
If you are thinking of exterior decorating then hiring a high pressure cleaning services company to pressure wash the outside of your home could be one of the smartest things you could do to minimise the painting costs. As every professional knows, its all about preparation and if you’ve got a great clean exterior ready for the painters then that’s a great start and helps to minimise the cost of the painting contract.
You could cut costs further by hiring the pressure cleaning equipment yourself but you need to be confident about using petrol driven high powered machinery and have all the safety precautions in place prior to starting the pressure washing process. You will definitely require ear defenders to keep your ears safe. Even though the motors on pressure cleaning machines have mufflers, they are still very noisy. It may be a good idea also to talk to the neighbours before any work is done just to warn them you are having a pressure washing professional starting work and that there may be some noise for a few hours.
Back to the safety angle of these high powered machines. One aspect that is often overlooked is the raw power that the machines generate from the spray head. 4000psi is quite common for a professional grade pressure cleaning machine and if you are not strong then the kick back from the lance tip will certainly make your arms sore very quickly. So make sure you have good ear protection, strong gloves and stay dry with non slip footwear.
Exterior pressure washing around your home
The range of surfaces around your home is quite extensive and some knowledge will be required as to how much pressure you could safely apply to a particular surface.
Take wall render as an example. There are many types including, cement, pebbledash and modern renders manufactured from very small marble chips suspended in a modern acrylic compound that really does not like to have a lot of pressure applied during the pressure washing process. So knowledge of these types of surfaces is paramount prior to any pressure cleaning taking place. In fact most modern renders will respond well to a soft pressure washing process where a chemical is introduced to break down the level of grime and to kill of any organic growths or spores like algae, mosses or lichens. We have seen many render pressure washing jobs that have damaged the building substrate with the use of excess pressure, particularly with modern wall renders.
Another problem surface would be tarmac driveways. These are always prone to damage from pressure washing and the operator needs o be very careful and turn the pressure right down. Tarmac used for driveways has a high resin content but over years this breaks down and the gravel previously bonded into the resin breaks free. If you tarmac driveway is not too old then a light pressure wash will remove moss and lichens, especially under trees, then the surface can be reinstated with a roll on product purchased from your local hardware store.
Natural stone can be pressure cleaned to great effect. At the start of spring it will be well worth giving the patio a makeover. Usually an attachment is used on the pressure washing machine to spread out the pressure. This spray head spins very fast and the result is a very even clean. Once again be aware that some natural stones like sandstone have a very open and porous structure and any contamination like green algae that has built up during the winter months will re grow even faster next year. Most people don’t realise that water under high pressure is very abrasive, therefore if your patio cleaning professional is not careful the stone will suffer something like 5 years of wear all in the space of one afternoon pressure washing. Natural stone comes in all forms from soft to very hard like granite and they all react differently to pressure washing. Indeed very high pressure water in the form of a needle size jet is used to cut stone and even steel. So if you don’t want 5 years of wear and tear ensure your pressure washing machine has the pressure lowered. To protect your beautiful new look clean stone you will need to seal it. Modern stone sealers are fantastic. They will either be water or solvent based. Some will absorb into the stone and change the chemical composition of the surface giving you a natural but very tough surface. Others will sit more on the surface and provide a more shiny or “wet look” if required. These shiny finishes are not so good around a swimming pool as they tend to be slippery so choose the correct stone sealer for the application after your pressure washing.
Concrete driveway pressure cleaning
Concrete driveways react very well to pressure cleaning. But they also experience high wear from just one pressure clean, so if you have an imprinted, stencilled or coloured driveway then care and knowledge will be required for the end result to be great. Concrete block paving really suffers from weed growth between the blocks. After all, the joints are just filled with sand and over time this just turns to mud, so a good place for weeds to grow. Pressure cleaning your concrete block driveway will blast away the muck between the blocks, and the weeds too, and at the end of the cleaning process the sand will need to be replaced between the blocks. It’s a special kind of sand that has been kiln dried and flows easily into the joints, stabilises the blocks, and a special sealer coat will together give the surface of the blocks a new lease of life and will harden the sand in the joints making for a long lasting job.
An uneven sunken concrete block driveway will require lifting and the base sand levelling, its worth doing these repairs when pressure cleaning as the end result will be an as new driveway. Ensure that your contractor has the correct machinery to bed in the re laid blocks, this is usually a vibrating pad machine.
Timber decking pressure washing
So we’ve covered tarmac, concrete and render, now lets take a look at timber. Timber decking and handrails need to be treated carefully also. Too high pressure cleaning and the water will tear the surface of the timber. So a light clean is always the best way to approach any timber structure. There are products on the market that are eco friendly and act as a biocide with a long lasting effect and these products are great for stop your decking becoming slippery and dangerous. Because these products kill off the lichens and algae and have a residual effect they are great timber preservers and will re instate a natural grey weathered look to your outside timber that will last for years with just a maintenance spray every couple of years. So pressure wash with a light pressure, then spray with a moss killer and your deck and handrails will look great for years to come.
Environmentally aware pressure washing
Environmentally, pressure washing has a low effect, apart from the amount of water it uses to get the job done. Ideally finding a contractor that uses recycled water would be the best option. If this is not possible then finding contractors with modern pressure washing machines that are efficient will be next best option. If you do cleaning around your home using just a normal household hose then its likely that you will need to use a range of chemical, soaps etc to loosen the dirt or grease that you are trying to clean. A pressure cleaning services company will not use chemicals so you have a cost saving. They will be able to sort out what the stains are and take the appropriate action to get rid of them without using a load of chemicals.
Pressure washing services companies
The one aspect of using a pressure washing service provider is that you will get the job done fast. Something that may have taken you a number of weekends to achieve might be all over in one day and you can sit back and admire the work.
We talked about saving time by using pressure washing services companies to help out and it’s always worth checking out any review websites for local companies that do a great job.