If you find yourself frequently using a pressure washer to clean various elements around your Clearwater area home or business, the question has probably arisen if you should buy your unit. Pressure washing is a great way to clean surfaces such as driveways, garage floors, sidewalks, sidings, patios, roofs and other outdoor areas, even garden furniture! The force exerted by a power washer will make quick work of your cleaning job, so you'll spend much less time doing maintenance, thus freeing you to do other things.
Selecting Your Power Washing Machine
Whether you buy or rent a pressure washer, you must determine what type of unit you need. The first task involves assessing what types of cleaning jobs you mostly do. Do you normally use a power washer for lighter jobs such as cleaning outdoor furniture, windows, pool screens and similar fragile surfaces, or do you frequently need to clean surfaces such as driveways or industrial floors that have a high level of staining from oils, solvents and a variety of chemicals? If you live near the Gulf of Mexico, you may need to frequently use high pressure to rid building surfaces of moss, algae and other undesirable organic growth. By determining how much pressure you need, you will better be able to select your power washer.
Electrically or Gas Powered?
The two primary types of pressure washing units are powered by electricity or gas. Generally, units powered by electricity are light-duty machines that are great for cleaning equipment, pool screens and the like. These power washers have psi of 2,000 or less. They are ideal for cleaning various types of equipment, windows, screens or other surfaces that cannot withstand a significant amount of pressure. Electric pressure washers can also be used to clean surfaces indoors. They don't require exhaust venting as gas-powered units do.
Gas power washing units generally have psi ratings that are 2,800 or above. This means that gas units can handle medium- to heavy-duty jobs. Most Clearwater homeowners will only need to rent or buy medium-duty units to sufficiently clean surfaces such as sidewalks, siding, decks, driveways and fences. If you have surfaces with heavy staining or with considerable organic growth or lots of dirt and grime, you may want to consider a hot water pressure washer that will work well with cleaning agents to remove undesirable particles. When considering what unit to rent or buy, you find that some pressure washers bridge the gap between medium-duty and heavy-duty machines. Pay close attention to the various levels on these units and make sure that the machine will not spray water at an excessively high force for the job at hand. Also be aware that the higher the psi, the more expertise you need to handle the unit you operate.
Heavy-duty gas pressure washers have psi ratings of 2,600 to 4,000. These units are ideal for removing paint from surfaces or for cleaning large areas. Most homeowners will only have occasional use for a heavy-duty pressure washer, if at all, and may benefit more from an occasional pressure washer rental. Heavy-duty machines are geared primarily for commercial applications, so if you own a business and employ a maintenance crew for your property, you may find it's worth owning one which makes your cleaning tasks more cost effective. When considering a heavy-duty pressure washer, you'll find belt drive and direct drive models. Belt-drive models are more common and more expensive as they have a belt that connects the engine to the pump, allowing operation at a lower temperature and increasing the life of the unit.
Useful Power Washing Accessories
Whether you buy or rent a power washer, most come with a 25-foot hose, a wand and a selection of nozzles ranging from 0 degrees to 65 degrees. Another useful nozzle is a 6-in-1 nozzle that allows you to easily change the spray width without changing the nozzle. A 50-foot hose extension is another useful accessory as you can leave the pressure washer in a single spot instead of moving it around as you work. Other accessories you can consider are:
Considerations When Buying a Power Washing Unit
When you buy a power washing unit, realize that you will spend money on pressure washer repair and must figure that into the overall cost of ownership. Just like automobiles, pressure washers require maintenance to run well. Unlike automobiles, however, the maintenance of a pressure washer is much more frequent. Whereas you need to change your vehicle's oil after every 3,000 to 5,000 miles and often go months without preventive maintenance, most power washing machines need routine checks before and after every use.
For example, each time you use the unit you should check for oil, fuel and water leaks and examine other parts such as the inlet screen, hose and air filter. After use, you'll need to check again for leaks and replace the engine oil approximately every five hours of operation. Regular maintenance is essential because it will prevent breakdowns and costly repairs, ensures good performance and extends the life of the machine. If you plan to store your unit for any length of time, you'll also need to prepare it properly to ensure that it will start immediately once you run it again.
Of course, no matter how well you maintain it, you will still require pressure washer repair at some point as parts will wear out and break down. You can solve some problems such as oil or water leaks, easily on your own by replacing O-rings or seals. Other problems, however, will require professional pressure washer repair. Common problems include:
The Case for Pressure Washer Rental
If the cost and time involved in maintaining a pressure washer are too much, then a pressure washer rental is the better alternative. When you rent a unit for power washing from a big box or a hardware store, the store will perform all the pre-checks for you. You won't have to worry about oil levels or other maintenance issues. If the unit breaks down, it's the store's problem, not yours.
Renting a pressure washer is also great if you only intend to use the machine once a year. You'll still have to know how to operate the unit, which means you can run the risk of damaging the surface you're cleaning. If you're confident in your abilities, go ahead and rent one, but if you're not or if you simply don't have time, you have another alternative.
Hire a Reliable Power Washing Contractor
Searching for reliable power washing near me is often confusing as your search page will yield multiple results. Which one can you trust? DPI Pressure Washing in Clearwater has over two decades of experience cleaning all types of surfaces. Contact us today at 813-991-7243 for your free quote.
Ella May + Luna Marie + Amelie Rose Munoz:
We like to help our Dad to promote his pressure washing and window cleaning business in Clearwater and Tampa Bay. Hope you enjoy this blog ;-).
Charlotta Munoz + kids