3 Pressure Washer Uses for Outdoor Cleaning

OptionsRent vs Owning

Pressure washers are available to rent at most big-box hardware stores. The Home Depot in my neighborhood rents both gas and electric powered pressure washers. The electric one can be rented for $24 per hour or $35 per day.

Deciding whether to rent or own will vary depending on how much time is needed to get the job done, whether or local sealcoating companies not it will be used each year, and if you have a place to store it.

Rental pressure washers may be overkill for most home-owners. They are usually industrial strength and are extremely heavy and bulky. If you have many small projects that will be done driveway sealing temperature each year it may be worth buying a low-cost pressure washer.

Electric vs Gas powered

For simple home maintenance projects I would highly recommend an electric power washer instead of one that uses gasoline. It's easy enough to keep the electric cord out of the way during use and is better to not have to deal with the fumes from a gas engine.

PSI (pounds per square inch)

When selecting a pressure washer, PSI is a factor that should be considered. My newly purchased power washer is the lowest PSI available at Home Depot, 1400 PSI. It works great. If I had a model with a higher PSI, perhaps I could have done the patio cleaning job more quickly, but since I now own it, I don't anticipate letting as much dirt build up in the future. For most homeowners the lower PSI and lower-priced models should be adequate.

The price of the power washers spans a wide range, from $99 at the lowest to $799 at the highest. Obviously, the higher-priced models have a much higher PSI and may be better for industrial purposes or for pressure washer businesses.

To use detergent or not

Most pressure washers include a reservoir to place detergent or degreasers. Detergents are available for different types of surfaces, including siding, decks and fences; and concrete and driveways. Using a detergent is not required though to get a good result; oftentimes the high pressure alone is enough to lift up dirt and grime. However, it may be necessary for some grease and other stubborn stains.

If a chemical detergent is used it should be applied at a low pressure and precautions should be taken to protect the eyes and skin.

Precautions when using a pressure washer

Pressure washers can be extremely dangerous if they are not used properly. Damage can happen extremely fast so please be sure to read the owner's manual and follow precautions such driveway sealing how often as:

Always wear eye protection

Wear gloves and long pants and sleeves if using detergent

Remove loose objects before beginning

Use the correct driveway sealer pressure strength (by adjusting nozzle on wand or wand tips) for the type of surface

Do not use while standing on a ladder

Do not ever point at a person or pet

The following 30-second video showcases how powerful a pressure washer can be, and how quickly damage can occur.

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