Power Washing: The Risks of a Do It Yourself Approach

calander Mar 20 , 2020 user-iconAnderson Painting
Person power washing the side of their house

Power washing is a powerful and effective way to clean your exterior surfaces. The heat and pressure easily remove dirt, dust, debris, and even any mold and mildew that’s clinging to your property. And the various nozzles give you precise control over what you’re washing. However, despite the efficiency of power washing, this process shouldn’t be taken lightly. Indeed, taking a do-it-yourself approach to power washing presents several risks, especially if you’re not all that experienced in this area.

Let’s go over the risks you face when taking power washing into your own hands as opposed to hiring a professional Raleigh power washing provider.

The Risks of DIY Power Washing

Removing Paint

While the main goal of power washing is to clean your home or business exterior, you might be looking for different outcomes. For instance, you might want to clean your property once or twice a year to keep up its curb appeal and brighten up the existing paint job. Or, you might power wash your surfaces to prepare them for a new paint job. In this latter scenario, you won’t mind if some old paint flies off the surface in the process. But in the former case, you’re trying to preserve the paint that’s already there. If you choose the wrong nozzle, pressure rating, heat setting, and/or detergent, you run the risk of removing paint that you didn’t want to remove. If this happens, you’ll have to hire a Raleigh painting service to touch up the bare spots or do it yourself.

Damaging Surfaces

Of course, your paint job isn’t the only point of concern when power washing. This cleaning method can damage the very surfaces and features you’re trying to protect. Materials like brick and mortar, wood, and asphalt (to name a few) are all susceptible to damage from the impact and high moisture/chemical content delivered by power washing. A strong blast can also break glass, kill plants and small creatures, short-circuit electrical components, and more. And if your property features lead paint, power washing it will only exacerbate the problem, releasing toxic material into the air and surrounding surfaces.

Physical Harm

Getting hit with the blast of a power washer is no joke. When mishandled, power washing can cause serious injuries to you, your family, neighbors, and pets, such as bruises, lacerations, deep cuts, burns, and even broken bones from falls caused by powerful kickback. When professional Raleigh house painters and cleaners operate a power washer, they’re very careful about where they aim the nozzle and what settings are activated for this very reason.

Electrical Discharge

Power washers run on either gas, electricity, or some combination of the two. Whenever water and electricity are in close proximity, there is a high risk of electrical shock. If the power cables get damaged or kinked, electricity can run wild. These discharges can harm the operator and create fires, so electric washers must be handled with extreme caution.

The Safest Approach to Power Washing

To mitigate the risks of power washing, there are several crucial safety steps to take. These include:

  • Wearing protective gear such as face mask, close-toed shoes, and thick pants
  • Avoiding ladder use to prevent falls from heights
  • Never leaving your washer unattended or running when not in use
  • Turning on trigger safety latch when not in use
  • Reading the instruction manual prior to using the machine
  • Connecting electric washer to a grounded breaker
  • Understanding when to use various pressure and heat ratings and detergent options

Whether you do it yourself or hire Anderson Painting contractors to power wash your property, safety should always come first. For more about Anderson Painting and everything we do, call us today at 919-610-1855 or email us at info@andersonpaintingnc.com!

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