The Downsides Of Using A Pressure Washer To Clean Your Patio

Many homeowners want to take shortcuts when cleaning around the home, and for good reason. It can be time-consuming to take care of your yard, patio, and all of the other areas in and around your property. Pressure washers are efficient cleaning tools that can be used to clean home siding, outdoor furniture, and many other things in the yard. Although they can also be used to clean your patio, you need to do it right — they're strong and can potentially cause a lot of damage.

When used on patio pavers, a pressure washer can cause etching, cracking, fading, and discoloration. It could also damage the jointing material between tiles and remove the sealant that helps protect them from staining. Although there are some things you should never clean with a pressure washer, it's okay to pressure wash patio pavers. However, you'll want to be careful not to overdo it. Apply just enough pressure to eliminate dirt and grime without causing any damage.

How to safely use a pressure washer on patio pavers

When using a pressure washer on patio pavers and concrete, make sure you're using a gentle spray and aren't using an excessive amount of water. Use a nozzle that is intended for outdoor use and offers a lower water pressure setting. It's best to use an adjustable nozzle that allows you to change the angle.

When cleaning your patio with a pressure washer, don't get too close to the tiles, and make sure you're not at point-blank range. Run the spray over the slabs quickly and in a diagonal line to avoid harming joints, moving slowly over the area until it's thoroughly cleaned. Avoid letting too much water run down the edges of your pavers since this could cause erosion. Most of all, be sure to pay attention while you're pressure washing and stop if you feel you're risking any damage. You may want to test a small area first before cleaning the entire patio.

Alternatives for cleaning your patio

While a pressure washer can work well for cleaning your patio, there are other options. If you don't have the tool on hand, the best way to clean patio pavers is to scrub them with a mixture of soap and water using a brush. To get started, remove debris, tools, and other items on your patio. Then, grab a push broom and dip it into your bucket of soapy water. Go over the pavers as needed to remove any grime and dirt. Finally, rinse the pavers thoroughly with water to get rid of the soapy solution. Then, let the pavers air dry. For pavers with heavy stains, you may need to do some spot treatment before performing a full cleaning. You can do this by placing a towel with a soapy water or vinegar solution on the affected spot. Leave it for an hour before you proceed to do the full cleaning.

As an alternative to soapy water, you can also try using a vinegar and water solution by mixing equal parts of each in a bucket. However, keep in mind that using vinegar to clean your patio pavers could be a huge mistake if they're made of natural stone. If you have natural stone pavers, stick to soap and water only.