When it comes to cleaning outdoor areas and surfaces, pressure washing is an excellent tool to make everything from driveways to sidewalks look amazing. Although most people assume that pressure washing is an excellent do-it-yourself project, you might end up causing some expensive damage if you aren’t a professional. In general, concrete is hardy enough to withstand the harsh nature of pressure washing, but that doesn’t mean that it is a free-for-all. So don’t just Google “concrete cleaning near me” and choose the first one – find a professional service that knows the industry and its dos and don’ts.
How Can a Pressure Washer Damage Concrete?
Most concrete surfaces are safe for pressure washing and soft washing, but that doesn’t mean that they all are. These are some of the things that can damage concrete when you use a pressure washer:
- Using the wrong nozzle
- Not having the proper training
- Setting the pressure too high
- Focusing on one area for too long
- Holding the pressure jet too close to the concrete surface
When it comes to concrete, there are some types that are more prone to damage than others.
Why Would Concrete Be Susceptible to Damage?
The Grade and Quality of the Concrete
Not all concrete is the same; there are varying degrees of quality and grades. If you have concrete that is riddled with holes, then the water will quickly be absorbed and can lead to a weakening of the surface and cracking over time. If you have a low-quality concrete surface, soft washing might be a more suitable alternative.
The Age of the Concrete
If the concrete was poured recently, then it shouldn’t be pressure washed until it is completely cured. Pressure washing too soon can lead to weakened bonds and breakdown in the concrete elements. Give your concrete some time to cure and settle before you hit it with a pressure washer, or start with soft washing and progress as the concrete ages. The concrete should not be cleaned with high pressure until about 3 years. That gives the concrete time to completely age. Until then, it must be soft washed to clean it properly.
Pressure Too High
Turning the pressure up too high can lead to visible water lines that can change the look of your concrete. Pressure washers are machines that can be adjusted, so it is always better to go by “less is more,” unless you aren’t getting the right results. Also, try not to use the pressure washer too much in one area, as that can lead to damage. Finally, use a washer nozzle that can diffuse the intensity of the pressure; that way you can cover more area.
Regularity of Pressure Washing
Although concrete can gather dirt and debris quickly, it isn’t recommended that you pressure wash any of the areas of your home or office’s exterior too frequently. Doing it too much can weaken your concrete and make it more likely that pressure washing will lead to cracks and damage.
We’re asked a lot about whether pressure washing can damage concrete. Overall, pressure washing is generally safe for concrete, but only a trained professional can ensure that they take measures to not damage your concrete. Don’t just Google “concrete cleaning near me” and choose the first that pops up. At Peppers Pressure Washing, we are leaders in the industry and have the right training, expertise, and experience to get the best results possible while also reducing the risk of damage. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.