Safety Tips for Pressure Washing Your Home

Frigid winters and blazing summers can take a toll on the surface of your home and other parts of your property. Peeling paint, mold, mildew, and dirt can cause damage over time and make your home an eye sore. Pressure washing is a good solution to improving the health of your home. However, misuse of pressurized water can cause injury. Pressure washing is a good solution to improving the health of your home.

Use Eye and Ear Protection—The pressurized stream can knock off debris that can fly into your face. Always wear some eye protection, such as goggles. Pad your ears from the loud sounds of the equipment that could injure your eardrums.

Start with low pressure—Begin with a lower setting and gradually increase as needed to dislodge debris. You don’t want to risk damaging the structure with too strong pressure.

Wear protective clothing and shoes—Covering your skin if the water stream contacts your body is recommended. Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes or boots, and heavy-duty, waterproof gloves.

Practice electrical and gas safety—Avoid spraying around power or electrical lines. Use an especially designed extension cord for wet conditions, and always plug the unit into a grounded outlet.

Ensure environmental safety—Stand a safe enough distance from your cleaning target, about 3-4 feet, to avoid ricochet. Use only cleaners appropriate for your model, not pesticides. Don’t let children operate the machine and keep them a safe distance away when in use. Do not spray yourself or others. Power wash only during pleasant weather and clear the area of hazards such as toys, bikes, tools, and pets.

Read the user manual—Thoroughly read through the pressure washer manual before operating the machinery. Different types of washers have varying operational instructions. Follow the directions for your particular model, such as how to adjust the spray nozzles properly, and for troubleshooting tips.

Avoid high places—Using a ladder to power wash sets you up for an accident. Keep your feet planted firmly on the ground and hold the washer with both hands. Remain on the ground and use an extension wand.

Objects not to power wash—Some fragile surfaces cannot handle the force. Avoid power washing wooden furniture, painted surfaces, roof shingles, electrical panels, A/C units, windows, gutters, fabrics, cars, people, and pets.

Safety before storing and when idle—After using the unit, let it cool and depressurize before detaching the spray gun. If you know you are finished and shutting down, squeeze the trigger to release the remaining pressure before disconnecting the hose and nozzle. Otherwise, use the safety latch on the handle if you plan to put it down but then return to finish. If you plan to leave the work area for any period of time, turn the pressure washer off.

Always consider the risks when using high-pressure streams of water. Power washer accidents don’t need to happen if you are cognizant and follow these simple but effective safety tips. This way, you can make your outdoor surfaces new again while keeping yourself out of harm’s way and preventing damage to your home and property.