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Old 05-09-2013, 03:31 PM   #1
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pressure washers for patio and drive


My concrete drive and patio are dark with mildew.

Are there any tricks I should know about before using a pressure washer for the first time? (like are they heavy?). I intend to rent one this weekend and they have different sizes. Even with all the work I do my arms are mushy.

When I've driven down the road and see people using these it looks like a slow process.

P.S. I don't like pull cords, but I'm thinking this is how you start the pressure washers.


Last edited by Startingover; 05-09-2013 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:45 PM   #2
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pressure washers for patio and drive


Get one with enough pressure and the correct nozzles for what you are trying to do. Pressure washers are not light but the engines on most are the same weight as those on a typical rotary lawn mower. Some come on wheels.

Buy the appropriate cleaner for the application. A janitorial or other wholesale supplier will be cheaper than buying retail.

Be careful what you process through a pressure washer. Never atomize things like ammonia and chlorine (could lose a cornea) for example. If you need to use bleach, mop it on and then do the power washing/rinsing without running the fluids through the machine.

With any detergents or solvents, protective eye wear is a good idea. Wear gloves too around chemicals that might dry or peel your skin. Be careful with open wounds.

Many power washing fluids are pre-mixed to be syphoned directly into the washer without other mixing.

Don't go crazy with the thing and just because the one you rent can deliver 980,000psi and you can use it to carve your name two inches deep in your driveway does not mean you should use it at that pressure. To protect the material being cleaned use the lowest pressure that works.

And as mentioned last year. Powerwashers are not for everything. A man should teach his offspring to pee his name in the snow, not use a powerwasher. Seriously, sometimes a mop, appropriate detergent, and a hose to rinse will work as well without the potential damage to surfaces.

That said, they are rather fun tools to use. Do remember most require water to be on and available to the unit to start. I've seen many newbies pulling and pulling on the cord wondering why the machine will not start.


Last edited by user1007; 05-09-2013 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:21 PM   #3
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pressure washers for patio and drive


sds,
Great. That's exactly the info that I needed. Except I thought just the pressure of the water cleaned the concrete. I didn't know you had to add anything. Because of my butterfly garden and the many birds I don't want to use harsh chemicals.

Maybe after this deep cleaning I can keep it nice with a little mild detergent and broom. I doubt it's been done for over 10 yrs.

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Old 05-09-2013, 04:31 PM   #4
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pressure washers for patio and drive


You don't have to use chemicals if you don't want to especially for what you described. Check out YouTube, there are plenty of videos with pressure washing tips.
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:46 PM   #5
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pressure washers for patio and drive


Sorry, I should have mentioned that in addition to using only the amount of pressure you need, do not jump in and use chemicals you do not have to use.

You mentioned mildew or algae/moss perhaps? I just thought you might need something in addition to the water pressure to kill it or if it had stained the concrete somehow. Best to buy it and have it on hand so long as you can return it? Of course do not use it if the pressure of the water gets the job done. Our environment does not need excess chemicals tossed at it.

Anyhow. My bad for not mentioning this and being called on it. Thanks kwikfishron.
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:50 PM   #6
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pressure washers for patio and drive


It should be noted that not all pressure washers are gas powered. For smaller jobs, electric ones work pretty well. If you're attempting to clean decades of grime off of concrete, gas will probably be better.. but other than that you might look into an electric one.
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:50 PM   #7
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pressure washers for patio and drive


What we get on concrete down here is a black covering. I assume it's mildew. Maybe it's mold?

Recently at my local nursery the owner was spraying a bleach mixture on her blackened sidewalk. I didn't ask, but I could smell it.

I didn't ask the guy at the rental place how the washers are powered. He said they just got new ones and they have plenty and in different sizes.

He also said they're $35 a day which is better for me than buying one.

Just watched videos on using a pressure washer. Didn't know they were even available. Thanks for the hint.

Last edited by Startingover; 05-10-2013 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Startingover View Post
What we get on concrete down here is a black covering. I assume it's mildew. Maybe it's mold?

Recently at my local nursery the owner was spraying a bleach mixture on her blackened sidewalk. I didn't ask, but I could smell it.

I didn't ask the guy at the rental place how the washers are powered. He said they just got new ones and they have plenty and in different sizes.

He also said they're $35 a day which is better for me than buying one.

Just watched videos on using a pressure washer. Didn't know they were even available. Thanks for the hint.

It's not mildew or mold,it's Algae and a bleach mixture was what the nursery owner was using to clean her sidewalk with,you can use a pressure washer to clean it but everyone i know uses a bleach mixture,as it's faster than a pressure washer and much cheaper with very little labor involved,you can use 2/3 parts water to one part bleach,depending upon the severity of the problem and you can watch it work,then just rinse it of when it's clean.
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:34 PM   #9
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pressure washers for patio and drive


Mine is electric.....I've used the dog crap out of it....

nice thing about electric...

1. Quiet
2. No Gas
3. Easy to move (I've had mine on the roof)
4. Start and stop automatically
5. Inexpensive (by comparison)

A 1600 PSI unit will handle about 90% of the jobs around the house....including taking paint off the walls....

1800 PSI would be better....2200 would almost be too much....

Gas is good if you don't have access to electrical or you use it all the time...but for the average home owner....electric is perfect.

Regarding driveways....

Clean off the main gunk with the pressure sprayer...then put down Simple Green or bleach depending on your needs....let it sit...then wash off with the pressure sprayer....

I would also suggest doing this early in the morning...before the sun starts to dry stuff out too fast....
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:41 AM   #10
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thanks,
I'm anxious to try this but while I have mostly drought conditions we're suppose to have rain this weekend When it rains it never lasts long so maybe I can do it anyway.

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