Your patios and driveways are not only functional outdoor spaces but also crucial elements that contribute to the overall curb appeal of your home. To keep these areas looking their best, a pressure washer can be a game-changer. By harnessing the power of pressurized water, you can efficiently remove dirt, grime, and stains, transforming your outdoor surfaces and enhancing the overall aesthetics of your property. In this guide, we will provide you with valuable tips and insights on selecting the right pressure washer for your patios and driveways. We’ll explore key factors such as pressure levels, water flow, nozzle options, and additional features that are essential for effective cleaning. Whether you have concrete, stone, or paver surfaces, we will help you navigate the options and make an informed decision that meets your specific needs. Are you ready to elevate your curb appeal as we dig deep into the world of pressure washers, empowering you to maximize the cleanliness and attractiveness of your patios and driveways? Let’s unlock the full potential of your outdoor spaces and make a lasting impression with a beautifully maintained home exterior.
What is a Pressure Washer?
A Pressure Washer is a machine that sprays water at high pressure. When that high-pressure water is thrown at a surface, it removes all the dirt and mud from the surface. Obviously, to spray water at such a high pressure, they need some kind of energy to increase the pressure of water. This energy is either provided by a gas engine or an electric motor. Hence, there are two types of Pressure Washers: Gas Pressure Washers and Electric Pressure Washers.
Now let’s start the guide. Here are the steps you should follow before buying a Pressure Washer:
Step 1: Which Pressure Washer Is Suitable for Domestic Needs?
That is a fairly subjective question, as needs vary from house to house. But, many households are the same and therefore we can achieve a common answer.
Gas Pressure Washers often use petrol as fuel and are made for heavy-duty purposes and not for domestic use. They throw water at a much higher pressure and therefore are expensive. However, Electric Pressure Washers use electric motors to pressurize water, and they have a lower pressure reading than Gas Pressure Washers. This is the reason why Electric Pressure Washers are perfect for domestic use as they are both cheap and made for low-duty tasks, and you should prefer it.
Step 2: How Many Bars Should My Pressure Washer be?
For those who don’t know, the Bar is the unit of measuring pressure. The higher the Bar, the greater the pressure – which means that water would be thrown at relatively high pressure, resulting in a better clean.
To put simply, Pressure Washers with a maximum pressure of 100 Bars or 1450 psi are used for small cleaning tasks like garden furniture and bikes. Pressure Washers with a maximum pressure of 120 Bars or 1740 psi are used for mid-level cleaning tasks like patios and cars. But, if you want to remove severe stains and mud from your pavement of large areas, you should go for a Pressure Washer with a maximum pressure reading of 120+ Bars.
Carefully noting all things, a Pressure Washer with a maximum reading of more than 120 Bars is best for cleaning patios. Also, they are the best pressure washers for driveways.
Step 3: How Many GPM Should My Pressure Washer be?
GPM is short for Gallons per Minute. Essentially, it is the measure of how many gallons of water leaves your Pressure Washer in a minute. Naturally, the more water sprays out the better the clean will be. Therefore, a Pressure Washer with a high GPM should be preferred.
Step 4: What Other Accessories Should My Pressure Washer Have?
Other than the cleaning power of your Pressure Washer, there are some other things you should consider before buying a Pressure Washer. These are:
- Nozzle Size – In short, the narrower the nozzle, the shorter the stream and therefore a high-pressure stream. Also, a narrow stream covers less area but cleans more efficiently. Nozzles come in 0-65 deg size, where zero degree nozzles are the narrowest and 65 deg is the widest.
- Portability – Gas Pressure Washers weigh over 100 pounds or 45 kg and Electric Pressure Washers weigh around 15-60 pounds or 6-27 kg. Carrying this much weight around while cleaning isn’t practical, so you should make sure that your washer has wheels.
- Adjustable Wands – It’s tedious to change nozzles again and again while cleaning. So, make sure you have adjustable wands that allow you to change the width of your stream without changing the nozzle.
- Detergent Tanks – Mixing detergent with pressurized water results in an effective clean. So, make sure you buy a Pressure Washer that has an inbuilt detergent tank.
- Hose Length – A longer hose means that you can cover a large area in less time because then you have the ability to move freely. If you want to do more work in less time, make sure your washer has a long hose.
Step 5: How much do Pressure Washers cost?
The cost of a Pressure Washer depends on which type you are buying – gas or electric and also on the maximum pressure readings. Usually, the electric ones are cheaper than the gas ones.
An Electric Pressure Washer can cost somewhere from $160 to $430, but the one that is perfect for a normal household would cost on average $250. However, if you plan to buy a Gas Pressure Washer, then it will cost you above $300.
There are many options available, but Pressure Washers at Menards are the best deals you can get out there.
Step 6: How to Buy a Pressure Washer for Patios and Driveways?
These are the things you should consider before buying pressure washers for driveways or patios:
- Make sure your washer has the right amount of maximum pressure reading that you’ll need. Typically, go for a pressure washer with a maximum reading of more than 120 bars or 1740+ psi.
- Check for the GPM or Gallons per Minute. Your machine should have a rating of more than 1 GPM.
- Check for other things like in-built detergent tanks and adjustable wands. Also, opt for a longer hose and a pressure washer with wheels for better portability.
- Before you finally buy your machine, make sure you thoroughly compare different prices. But, if you are not sure about your research skills, simply opt for Pressure Washers at Menards.
Step 7: Tips and Precautions for Pressure Washing.
Like everything, there are certain tips and tricks and precautions that you should remember. These things help you do your work time and in the right way.
- The most important step is that you read all the instructions and the manual that comes with your product. It contains necessary information that is quite helpful.
- Don’t go for a 0 deg nozzle if you’re not an expert because a 0 deg nozzle throws a very high pressure that might hurt someone.
- Change your stream width according to the surface area. For example, if you are using pressure washers for driveways, then adjust your wand for a middle stream so that it’s not too wide and also not too narrow.
- Get a longer hose pipe so that you don’t have to take your machine everywhere.
- Always use both of your hands while using a Pressure Washer as the water leaves with a high speed that you might not be able to handle with just one hand.
The bottom line is that the first thing towards effectively cleaning your patios or driveways is to get the right pressure washer. Select between Electric Pressure Washers and Gas Pressure Washers and then further research to get the best deal. Now, before you are standing on the ground with the nozzle in your hand to clean your patio, make sure you read all the instructions and precautions deliberately. This ensures that you have a nice cleaning experience.