Don’t Get Carried Away: A list of things to NEVER Pressure Wash

Pressure washing is a very useful tool to clean many things at your home, but don’t go overboard! Pressure washing can be more harmful rather than good if you aren't cautious. Knowing what you should clean and what you shouldn’t clean is a crucial part of responsible pressure washing. Below is a list of things that you should NEVER clean with a pressure washer. 

 

  • Wooden Siding 

    • While wood siding can be properly washed using a pressure washer, however there is a very strong possibility that if you use a pressure washer, the water will find a way up and under the outside layer. Water can harm insulation, electric cables and foster mold development, to name a few damaging effects. A powerful pressure washer can also be damaging to the aluminum and vinyl sidings. 
       

  • Electrical Panels and Meters

    • Even if they are located on the outside of your house, or even in your yard, electrical appliances should never be cleaned by pressure washing. While they are designed to resist a rainstorm, pressure washing can lead to cracks and create gaps in the metal. This will do extreme harm to the device, which means that expensive repairs will be necessary.
       

  • Asphalt Shingles

    • If you have asphalt shingles, never ever pressure wash your roof! The pressure of the water will remove the granules, which are crucial for the full protection of your ceiling. Not to mention, it's hazardous to use a high-end pressure washer when one is off the ground. Once the trigger is squeezed, the water has a very strong kickback, and can affect your balance. If you were on a latter or on a roof, falling could prove very dangerous, if one was up high enough. 
       

  • Air Conditioners

    • Don't reach your pressure washer when it comes to cleaning your air conditioning units. The intense water flow can bend or crush the fine fins and limit air flow, thus reducing the unit's life. Use a vacuum and water flow that is much more gentle to clean up your air conditioner.
       

  • Lead Paint

    • Never use a pressure washer to remove lead paint. If removed, lead paint cannot be allowed to get into the air flow. It must be thoroughly contained when it is removed.  
       

  • Old Mortar

    • Pressure washing can damage weathered brick buildings and other mortared surfaces. All loose material, in particular material  on older constructions, when struck by high-pressure washing, will be blasted away. 
       

  • Living Things

    • This should be obvious, but do not wash people, animals or plants. The power of the water from a pressure washer can harm you or your pets, since the water has the capability of penetrating the skin. When pressure washing anything, ensure your eyes are protected against flying debris by wearing safety glasses
       

  • Painted Surfaces You Care About

    • Pressure washing will chip away, if not strip, the paint on porches, decks, patios, etc. In order to wash painted surfaces such as a floor covered by a porch, or painted outdoor furniture, you can use a very low pressure washer, but still be cautious. 
       

  • Windows

    • Don't wash windows under using a pressure washer, EVER! If high pressure or force is applied to glass, the window will shatter. This will result in a dangerous mess, since the glass will be sprayed everywhere, and then your window is broken. This results in a big mess, and an expensive window replacement. 
       

  • Vehicles

    • Do not use a pressure washer to clean vehicles. The pressure from the water can cause dents, chips, and other damage to your car’s coat of  paint. It can even cause premature rusting. If you do decide to use a pressure washer, make sure that the setting is at the lowest pressure possible. Additionally, never wash under the hood of a vehicle with a pressure washer. It might damage the mechanics of the car, leading to cracks, breaches, and overall severe damage.