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Power Wash For Success

Jan 8, 2008
Are layers of dirt and grime hiding the beauty of your driveway, siding and walkways? The perfect tool to help is a pressure washer.

If you already own a power washer great, if not you can rent power washers for about $50 to $70 a day. A great way to save some cash is to split the cost with a friend and share the washer. Now when you're choosing a washer, keep in mind that they come in many pounds per square inch (PSI) levels. For most smaller jobs you'll only need one with a PSI of 1500 while larger jobs require a PSI of 3000. Be sure to notice that the wand comes with varying tips for different jobs. Fan tips spray the water in a fan shape and are good for cleaning items that are closer to you, such as walkways, patios and driveways. Spear tips direct the water in a straight line and are super to use when cleaning siding or items that are much hard to get close too.

The water is supplied to the pump by a garden hose and then pressurized by a gasoline or kerosene fueled engine. The water is then forced through a wand a lot like those you'd see in a do-it-yourself car wash. Water pressurized up to 3000 PSI will not damage intact paint but will blast away layers of dirt, moss, mildew and debris, so wear safety goggles. As you start to wash, make a few test passes to see how close to hold the tip of the nozzle to the surface. Really stubborn stains might need a second pass. Be careful when spraying around foliage, since a blast can easily shred your plants or flowers. Spraying old mortar or pebble based surfaces can be tricky too. Don't get so close that mortar or pebbles break away.

Before you turn the pressure washer back in, take the time to quickly clean a few more outdoor items like decks, outdoor furniture, playground equipment, the garage floor and even garbage cans.
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