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Old 04-15-2011, 01:39 PM   #1
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Can I use a pressure washer in a basement?


Seems crazy but I'm thinking of using a pressure washer to clean the floors in my basement. I never used one before so not sure what to expect as far as splash back and what not. The flooris full of drywall dust and I can vacuum/scrub all i want, but I will never get all of it out as it is not a flat smooth floor. I'm thinking a pressure washer may get the job done.

Now I realize this will create a lot of water. the basement is not finished, so the main concern is the water coming in contact with the few wood/metalitems as well as splashback on joists. But if I do the job in say a day, then dry it out with fans and dehumidifier, should I be fine or would the joists and other stuff being wet for say 24 hours be bad? I'd use my shop vac to vacuum up most of the water. It has an option to hook it up to a hose to pump it into a sink or drain.

I'm hoping this would get that drywall dust out once and for all. From there I think I would apply some self leveling cement or something so I can get a smooth surface. Maybe I could do an epoxy finish, not sure yet. Painting would be the easiest but I don't know my plans yet, I may want tile and paint would prevent me from ever putting tile there.

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Old 04-15-2011, 02:15 PM   #2
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Can I use a pressure washer in a basement?


Careful of carbon monoxide down there.

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Old 04-15-2011, 02:28 PM   #3
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Can I use a pressure washer in a basement?


I think this would work great for what you want to do; http://www.portlandcompressor.com/wa...irl-A-Way.aspx

The warning above about carbon monoxide is a very good one. If you are going to have the thing in there with you I would use an electric type.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:55 PM   #4
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Can I use a pressure washer in a basement?


Oh yes would be electric, would not use a gas one. There's a 1500psi one on sale at HD for 80 bucks.

That brush tool looks interesting too.
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:10 PM   #5
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Can I use a pressure washer in a basement?


GCFI on the end of the electric one please!!!! And insulating rubber boots! Do not bend over to pick anything up while standing in that pool of water. You are the ground if something goes horribly wrong. Good ones for the end of a machine are a bit pricey but so worth it. I lost a friend to a concrete saw once and was told those near him could do nothing but watch him twitch and fry until the breaker finally tripped. Much too late.

Not sure what you gain if drywall dust and globs are your challenge over a scraper/drywall knife, brush, water and some sort of squeegee extraction wet vac tool. A power washer uses a lot more water than you need for this and I am not sure what benefit the pressure really buys you in this circumstance. I always get nervous adding more moisture to a basement than needed for any reason.

I used one only once in a basement and that is because it had been rented to smokers and it was the fastest way to carve inches of orange tar and stuff from the concrete block walls. The power washer worked out great but it took me quite awhile to extract all the water. I cleaned all the gunk from the floor joists while at it and set a few dehumidifiers in place to get what I couldn't vacuum up out of the space. It was fine in about 72 hours.

As a practical matter, if you plan to use this elsewhere---and pressure washers are great to have around for decks, siding driveways, garage floors and so forth---I think you may find the pressure rating on the one you have in mind anemic for your future uses and you will be disappointed in your purchase. You would be better off getting something more powerful that will also come with more tips I suspect. I also guess the psi rating you mention is probably at the upper limit for an electric one though.

Good luck. The good news about drywall mud is that it does eventually melt in water.

Last edited by user1007; 04-16-2011 at 01:27 PM. Reason: Added GCFI warning
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:17 PM   #6
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Can I use a pressure washer in a basement?


Just an afterthought. The things come with fairly long hoses. Could you set a gas one outside and pass the hoses through a window or something? You could get a better machine and the exhaust would be vented outside the building.

Like I say, long term, I think you will be disappointed if you buy a 1500 psi machine if you plan to use it for much else.
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:43 PM   #7
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Can I use a pressure washer in a basement?


I read more reviews on it and turns out it's a crappy unit, so changed my mind. I'm still figuring out how to get this dust out but the floor but now it's not really a priority. I might just save up and use drycore or other type of sub floor over it.
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:22 PM   #8
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Can I use a pressure washer in a basement?


I own one of these for floor prep prior to acid staining. They do a fairly good job, have quite a few different attachments, and most rental places carry them. Simply squegee the water to a drain or vacuum it up afterwards.


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Old 04-16-2011, 07:24 PM   #9
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Can I use a pressure washer in a basement?


I wouldn't power wash inside a house---the humidity changes will cause harm---

It's like turning your basement into a sauna for a few hours.---Rented floor buffer sounds like the best idea.---Mike---
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:22 PM   #10
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Can I use a pressure washer in a basement?


Glad you did not buy the $80 toy.

More important, it cheered me to believe someone actually listened to some of us who have really been down the path before. Call us pros on some sections if you want. So?
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:07 PM   #11
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Can I use a pressure washer in a basement?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jomama45 View Post
I own one of these for floor prep prior to acid staining. They do a fairly good job, have quite a few different attachments, and most rental places carry them. Simply squegee the water to a drain or vacuum it up afterwards.


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I think that's what I'll end up doing, since it does seem like the easiest way to go and hopefully at some point it will get all the dust out. May have to do multiple passes of scrub / vacuum.
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:22 PM   #12
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Can I use a pressure washer in a basement?


I have a Hoover carpet cleaner, it has a floor setting. What it does is spray solution onto the carpet/floor and then some rotary brushes scrub the carpet/floor and then the dirty solution gets sucked up again. I'm not sure if that will work for you, but it might be worth a try to rent one.

Or, use a mop and bucket to soak down the floor and use a wet-dry vac to suck up the dirty water.

I bought this pressure washer http://www.amazon.com/AR-North-Ameri.../dp/B002Z8E52Y it works pretty good EXCEPT that the connection between garden hose and washer leaks like sieve with the supplied connector. In anycase, I was cleaning moss off my concrete patio (of unknown vintage, I should add) and it actually took some of the concrete off! I'm sure the concrete was weak, but it was plenty strong.

I don't think I'd use a pressure washer indoors.

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Old 04-18-2011, 03:54 PM   #13
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Can I use a pressure washer in a basement?


Depending on your local water pressure just using the garden hose with a good spray nozzle should be fine.

When I was in college we used to clean the basement floor in our fraternity house after parties by spraying it with a garden hose, scrubbing with a stiff broom, and sucking it up with a wet vac. We used some kind of floor cleaner. It did a good job of dissolving the previous night's swill. The polyurethane finished tongue and groove boards on the wall and bar front survived the almost weekly process with only some staining, but I think someone actually caulked between the boards and the floor with silicone.

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