Pressure Washing Dos and Don’ts

If you are the proud new owner of a pressure washer or have recently rented a pressure washer or power washer, you need to understand that these are powerful machines — and misusing them can cause damage to yourself and your property.

If you’re uncomfortable or untrained on how to use a pressure washer, we urge you to get in contact with one of our pressure-washing professionals so that we can help you out.

On the other hand, if you’re fully resolved to go this alone, we want to give you some tips to avoid any unnecessary accidents. However, these tips are still no replacement for a trained professional and should be used at your own discretion.

Pressure Washing “Dos”

  • DO read the machine’s instruction manual thoroughly, especially where safety is involved. If you’re not clear on something, read it again.
  • DO check the pressure washer’s oil levels before operating it.
  • DO wear hand, face, and eye protection while operating the equipment.
  • DO ensure that the correct nozzle and accessories are securely attached before starting the pressure washer — failure to do so is very likely to result in damages.
  • DO keep your hands and feet clear of the spray nozzles at all times.
  • DO direct the spray at a downward arc when cleaning shingles — even wood shingles. Shooting them head-on can damage and dislodge them.
  • DO keep the jet of water pointed at least 6 feet away from electrical service boxes and wires. This will protect you from injury or even death as well as unnecessary damages.
  • DO make sure guards and shields are in place and secure.

Pressure Washing “Don’ts”

  • DON’T try to repair a leak or connection while operating the equipment. Always make sure it is turned off before checking connections or fixing leaks.
  • DON’T leave the nozzle closed while the pressure washer is running for longer than a minute.
  • DON’T pressure wash surfaces without testing first. Try not to start pressure washing for the first time on sensitive surfaces such as shingles or wood decks. Test the pressure from farther away to increase safety.
  • DON’T point the jet of water at another person or animal or place any part of your body in front of the jet stream. The jet can be powerful enough to rip your skin off.
  • DON’T pressure wash while standing on a ladder. This can prove to be very dangerous and cause serious injury or death.
  • DON’T point the jet at windows or hold the nozzle too close to one spot for a long time. The pressure is extremely powerful and can easily break some windows and damage even strong materials.

This is not an exhaustive list of all of the pressure washing do’s and don’ts; rather, it is a short safety checklist so-to-speak to help you avoid injury to yourself or damage to your property. However, if you are inexperienced or have any doubt in your ability to use the pressure washer, we strongly suggest that you employ the help of one of our professionals.

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