Have you considered a professional washing service for your dirty roof, driveway or home exterior? If you have, your online search may have revealed multiple terms for what seems to be a similar or even identical services.
Pressure cleaning/pressure washing and power cleaning/power washing are all terms that may be used to describe the type of cleaning that we provide. Both services have the same goal: To restore outdoor surfaces to like-new condition through the use of high-pressure water streams.
However, that is where the similarities end. There are important differences between the two, and the difference may affect the type you need to order. Check out our short guide to the differences below, and call us today if you need pressure washing or power cleaning.
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What really sets power washing apart from pressure washing is that power washing uses piping hot water. This is an important difference, as putting hot water through a pressure washer could cause it a lot of damage. They are not the same device and the difference is best illustrated with some of cases where you’d use a power washer.
When is it used?
The heat that the power washer lays down can be a serious advantage when it comes to…
Concrete can easily take both high pressure and high heat, and that means that you don’t have to hold back when choosing the most effective device. Hot water will dissolve grease, chewing gum and other nasty substances far more quickly than lukewarm water.
That’s not to say that a pressure washer won’t deliver the same quality on concrete, but it will likely take longer. Degreasers and other types of pre-treatments may have to be applied to the stains regardless of which of the two you’re using.
For really big jobs, especially ones that need to be performed regularly, power washers are preferred. Consider stadiums, convention centers, promenades and other outdoor/indoor spaces see tons of foot traffic on a frequent basis.
After each major event, there is going to be a buildup of trash, grime, gum, and other things that are all very unpleasant to remove. The speedier cleaning provided by the heat is certainly appreciated by those who are have made careers out of cleaning these large spaces.
Heavy Oils and Grease
In addition to concrete in general, the power washer is really going to shine in spaces where there are a lot of layers to remove. For example: a garage that has seen cars leaking fluids for years and years. Another good example would be a horse stable, with entirely different kinds of buildups on the floor.
In both cases, there would be a lot of concern over the staying power of the stains. And once again, the real advantage of the power cleaner is that it works more quickly, and feels more sterilized, because of the added heat.
A pressure washer may not seem as useful after the description of the power washer, but nothing could be further from the truth. Where your home is concerned, you are almost always going to want to go with the pressure washer. The why will make more sense when we look at some of the ways that it is typically used…
When is it Used?
The pressure washer is often the most prudent choice when you want to handle…
Vinyl is more than capable of warping when exposed to high water, and most professionals won’t take the risk of that. For those reasons and others, a pressure washer will almost always be the right choice for siding. Other types of siding, such as stone siding or brick siding may be more resistant to heat, but it will still likely be unnecessary.
If power washing is questionable for siding, it is absolutely unacceptable for roof cleaning. Roof cleaning is the most delicate work that is done with pressure washers. Shingles need to be treated gently, and asphalt shingles can’t be exposed to boiling water and be expected to maintain their integrity.
Safe cleaning for the roof relies on a gentle temperature in addition to low pressure.
If your deck is made of certain softer woods, it’s important to avoid the heated water that is put out by the power washer. Pressure cleaners are going to be safe for all types of woods, and the only safe option for many types. The same also goes for glass that’s thin or brittle.
Is there a Difference in Power?
The power, measured in both gallons and pounds per square inch (PSI), is not one of the differences between the power washer and pressure washer. Both types of devices are designed to deliver a closely controlled stream, and both are very adjustable. Power washers may be used more frequently for larger jobs, but they still don’t commonly put out more PSI than a pressure washer.
What about Hydro Jet Cleaning?
While searching for the right solution for your home, you may have also come across the term hydro jet cleaning. This is in fact a type of power washing, but not one that is used for cleaning home exterior surfaces.
Power cleaners are rarely designed to put out more than 3000 PSI, but Hydrojets have streams as strong as 35,000 PSI! They are used for heavy-duty construction, shipping and manufacturing purposes. However, they are sometimes used in neighborhoods as a plumbing device. That much force can obliterate even the most stubborn blockages.
Ask Us Your Pressure Washing and Power Washing Questions
If you have any other questions about the service you need, please reach out to us. As one of the area’s friendliest teams, we’re happy to help you choose the perfect option to manage your exterior cleaning.