High pressure cleaning is also commonly referred to as waterblasting and hydrocleaning. Cleaning a surface using high pressure usually means that water is propelled at very high speeds in order to clear dirt and other materials which may be sticking to the surface. By focusing and further pressurizing water the force is great enough to remove materials like:
- Paint from metal and walls
- Rubber from an airfield runway
- Membranes and sealants can be removed from concrete
- Gum from the sidewalks can also be removed
- Remove dirt and stains from within the spaces of bathroom, kitchen and roof tiles
High pressure cleaning requires an understanding of pressure and how water reacts with various surfaces. There are four main intensities of water pressure as standardized by the Steel Structures Painting Council or SSPC. As a pressure cleaner it is important to know which of these for types of pressure is right for the surface and type of cleaning being undertaken.
- 5000 psi and below – low pressure cleaning
- 5000 to 10,000 psi – high pressure cleaning
- 10,000 to 25,000 – water jetting
- 25000 psi and above – ultra high pressure jetting
Tips for using high pressure washers
- Most commercial pressure washers come in two types i.e. electric-powered and gas powered. Generally, speaking gas powered high pressure washers offer a much higher pressure as compared to electric powered that usually offer a max of 1700 psi. Also pressure washers have nozzles which allow you to customize the pressure for different surfaces and materials. Medium duty models are the most common because they are versatile and can be used to clean everything from tiles on your roof to your carpet.
- If you have never used a pressure washer before you may want to rent one prior to buying. Once you have used one you will have a better understanding of their working, features and accessories.
- Pressure cleaning can be dangerous. Water at such high temperature and pressure can cause bodily harm so make sure to wear a protective suit and goggles.
- Carpet cleaning using a pressure cleaning machine could damage your carpet if you don’t set it to the right pressure. Some carpets can actually tear at 2000 psi so you need to be careful.
Should pressure cleaning be attempted by a homeowner?
If you are a DIY person at heart there is no reason why you shouldn’t attempt some high pressure cleaning yourself. Always follow the safety procedures outlined by the manufacturer of the machine. You also need to make sure that you use a clean source of water. Some items like carpets, rugs and even your car can sustain damage if you set the pressure too high. If you are not sure what is the best pressure for the item you are cleaning then start with a very low pressure and work your way up gradually.