A frequently asked question we get when pressure washing is, “Could I do this myself?”. We always recommend against pressure washing your own surfaces because, too often, we have seen gauges in delicate areas and other forms of permanent damage resulting from customers attempting to fix the problem themselves.
Retail pressure washers do not have the power necessary to clear away more serious dirt in a timely manner, and this is to say nothing of recurring organic issues such as algae growth that requires more intensive herbicide treatments. Moreover, the low power of retail pressure washers encourages their users to hold the pressure very close to the surface of the patio, potentially creating grooves and permanent marks. Should mature tufts of grass be growing between slabs, you would have to either pull the grass out very slowly using your hands or use a weed killer and wait for it to take effect over a week, only to then have to pull out the dead blades.
But should you feel confident that you can complete the job, the first tool you will need is a powerful pressure washer. For this, there is no substitute, no other piece of kit offers the quality and speed of clean as a good pressure washer. We recommend industrial power washers with no less than 13 horsepower to consistently provide results and clear heavy debris. Anything weaker will almost always leave stripes on the patio and also pose a serious gouging concern, as uneven pressure distribution from the washer can make the surface uneven.
Even this power washing procedure is not straightforward as the effectiveness and speed of the treatment can vary depending on the nature of the job. For smaller patio areas up to 25m2, a simple straight lance will suffice to clean the area with good effectiveness and speed. However, for any larger areas, a single lance will take a long time to clean the entire area. We would recommend a flat surface cleaner for large patios, covering more surface area and allowing for a quicker pace.
However, even this is often not enough to guarantee a spotless clean as it only tends to clear the more general inorganic soot and general dirt layer on top of the surface. What is also needed is a biocide/detergent mixture to treat algae staining and black spot.
These issues are organic in nature and require more specialist treatment, usually requiring more of a chemical-based scrub. We find that carefully applied and specially produced liquid biocides are most effective at treating these kinds of issues. Bleaches can be used, although results will depend on a near-perfect solution composition.
Most retail versions available are insufficient to clean away often years-old black spots, and poor application can seriously damage lawns. We recommend specialised spray bottles to control the flow of biocide and avoid hazardous splashes.
Caution must always be taken when handling these chemicals as they are often bio-unfriendly and corrosive if not handled properly. On some jobs, we have even seen the colour of the patio change as incorrect chemicals were applied to the surface in the wrong concentration. Even pet control can be a problem, as animals walk in the chemical solutions and leave brightly coloured pawprints on the carpet.
Overall, cleaning your own patio, certainly, if it has a large surface area, is a very difficult task. The equipment is expensive and must be handled carefully, whilst the chemicals frequently required to guarantee the highest quality clean can be hazardous if not managed by individuals with experience around such solutions.
While the idea of pressure washing your own surfaces may seem appealing, it is important to consider the potential risks and challenges involved. Attempting to tackle this task without the necessary expertise and equipment can permanently damage delicate areas.
It is generally advisable to seek professional assistance for cleaning larger areas or dealing with specific issues. Experienced professionals have the necessary knowledge, skills, and equipment to ensure a high-quality and safe cleaning process. Get in touch with Cleaning Service Ltd, our experienced staff will be happy to answer all your queries.