High Vs Low Pressure Washing: When to Use and What’s the Difference?
Many homeowners are unaware of the methods that are used when they hire a company to complete a job that requires the use of a pressure washer. They are often surprised to learn that there are both high and low pressure options and that each method is specifically suited to certain tasks. In fact, using the wrong method for a job could even cause damage to your home over time and end up costing you in repairs or extra maintenance that could have been avoided. Reputable companies are able to advise you about which tasks require which method, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t less experienced companies who might make a mistake or simply not have the right equipment for the job. By reading the tips below, you will gain a better understanding of what your pressure washing needs should be.
What is high pressure washing and when do I need it?
High pressure washing is what most people think of when they hear the term “pressure washing”. Water is pressurized and used to penetrate deep into surfaces through sheer force, removing dirt and debris with ease. This force does such an excellent job of removing tough stains that it can leave old, grungy surfaces looking like new. Unfortunately, it is the impressive cleaning ability of this high pressure method that causes homeowners to request pressure washing even though this method is often too powerful for the typical jobs that need to be completed.
Pressure washing with the highest pressure is only recommended for very resilient surfaces such as concrete. This means that you should only be requesting a high pressure service when you need a concrete driveway or patio surface cleaned because grease and dirt can be very deeply embedded in such surfaces and they won’t be damaged by extreme pressure. Keep in mind that this method is capable of removing paint from metal and even from your concrete, so be sure to ask if a small area can be tested before going ahead with an entire surface just to be confirm that your surface can stand up to the washing. If you choose a low pressure method for your concrete driveway or garage floor, there is a good chance that the water pressure isn’t strong enough to reach deep into the porous surface and you will be left with dirty-looking concrete despite your best efforts.
What is low pressure washing and when do I need it?
Low pressure washing is still pressure washing, but at a much lower pressure. Don’t let the words “low pressure” fool you. Most surfaces around your home will benefit from this service much more than a high pressure washing because extremely high pressures risk causing immediate or eventual damage to your home. Roof cleaning is the most well-known candidate for low pressure washing. Using a high pressure system would most certainly disturb the asphalt on shingle roofs, which can cause leaks to happen prematurely and can even remove asphalt altogether and makes even the nicest shingle look worn out. Tile roofs and aluminum roofs are no exception. A tile roof can have fine cracks in its surface that may be encouraged to spread or worsen if high pressures are used. Also, the outer surface of the tiles serves to protect the entire tile from environmental damage. This outer surface gets worn down much faster when high pressure is used. For a steel or aluminum roof, the painted surface risks becoming stripped or chipped when the high pressure method is used. A low pressure method cleans just as thoroughly, but without the added damage. Regularly using low pressure services actually extends the life of your roof because mold, dirt and debris aren’t allowed to build up over time and the low pressure of the water doesn’t damage the integrity of your roofing materials.
What else is low pressure washing used for?
Low pressure washing is also a great choice for stucco and vinyl or aluminum siding. Low pressure washing is capable of removing mold, mildew, moss and grime without the risk of damaging your siding. Garage doors are also a great candidate for this service. A high pressure system runs the risk of cracking vinyl siding and may even cause the siding to detach from the house altogether. As mentioned previously, a high pressure method can remove paint which is a big problem for aluminum siding as well as the coating on garage doors. These are costly repairs and are easily avoidable by choosing a more appropriate low pressure method. Always remember to check which method you are receiving and to hire a professional cleaner the very first time to avoid nasty surprises.
So, the next time you are looking through the listings of professional pressure washers in your area, be sure to ask about which method they are using so that you can feel confident about hiring the right person for the job. There is no better feeling than making an informed decision that results in a beautifully cleaned property, just as you were hoping for. Don’t leave potential costly damage to your roof or siding up to chance. Choose a professional that you know can handle the job with expertise and care today.