The Science Behind High-Pressure Cleaning: How it Works
High pressure cleaning can be a great way to clean those surfaces that haven’t been maintained for some time, or that have built up oil stains, mould, mildew and or other contaminants.
High pressure cleaning is also known as pressure washing or power washing and is a method of cleaning that uses high-pressure water spray to remove contaminants from surfaces. It is commonly used for cleaning outdoor areas such as footpaths, driveways, decks, fences, and buildings.
So how does a high-pressure cleaner really work?
How Does a High-Pressure Cleaner Get Rid Of Dirt And Debris?
A high-pressure cleaner, also known as a pressure washer or power washer, gets rid of dirt and debris through the combined action of high-pressure water and mechanical force. Here’s how it works.
The pressure washer is equipped with a motor that powers a pump. Simply put, this pump pushes water from a water source (usually a hose) through at high pressure. When cleaning, at FCT Surface Cleaning, we use a range of different nozzles and spray tips, each creating a different spray pattern and pressure level. These nozzles range from a narrow, concentrated stream which helps clean something like grout lines, through to a wider fan-like spray which is perfect for bigger surfaces such as footpaths and driveways. Our experienced team chooses the nozzle based on what they are cleaning.
Because the water comes out at force, it creates kinetic energy, which is what dislodges and breaks apart dirt, mould, mildew, and other built-in grime. The force is essentially what removes tough and stubborn stains.
One great thing about high pressure cleaning is that it can penetrate the crevices, pores and hard-to-reach areas of a surface, ensuring a thorough clean. Unlike scrubbing with a broom which just removes surface dirt, power washing can get in deeper and remove ingrained dirt and stains.
It is important to note that when pressure cleaning, it is important that the appropriate level of pressure is being used for the specific surface. Too much pressure can damage some surfaces while too little pressure may not effectively remove dirt and stains from other surfaces. Our team has the experience to be able to adjust the pressure to achieve the desired results without causing damage to the surface.
High pressure cleaning is an effective method of cleaning a range of surfaces, but it does need to be done carefully to avoid damage to the surface being cleaned and to the user.
What Can Be Cleaned Using High Pressure Cleaning?
If you’ve been looking at the surfaces of your business or home, you may be wondering whether they can be cleaned with a power washer. Good chance is that they can. High pressure cleaning can be used to clean a wide range of surfaces in Perth, both indoors and outdoors.
Some of the most common surfaces cleaned include:
- Exterior surfaces – footpaths, driveways, patios, decks, gates, fences, exterior walls, gutters, brick surfaces, concrete and asphalt surfaces.
- Outdoor furniture – patio furniture, hammocks, swings.
- Equipment and tools – lawnmowers, garden tools, construction equipment, farm machinery.
- Industrial and commercial areas – factory floors and walls, parking spaces and garages, warehouses, and storage areas.
- Public spaces – restrooms, playgrounds, sports courts, and fields.
- Pool and spa area – pool decks, coping, spa, and hot tub surfaces.
- Graffiti removal – graffiti removal from walls, fences, and other surfaces
- Paint preparation – removing old paint or stain from surfaces.
- Drainage – cleaning debris from drainage systems.
At FCT Surface Cleaning, we can perform surface restoration, graffiti removal, fire and smoke damage removal, pool restoration works and limestone cleaning, amongst general pressure cleaning services.
It is important to note that while high pressure cleaning is versatile and effective, not all surfaces are suitable. Certain types of wood, old paint and some types of decorative stone can be damaged by high pressure water. We do recommend that if you are unsure of whether pressure cleaning is suitable, to call us for a quote. We can then have a chat about the best type of cleaning for the surface.
What Kind of Things Can Be Removed Using High Pressure Cleaning?
We know that high pressure cleaning can be used on a range of surfaces, but what exactly can be removed using this style of cleaning? The answer is – lots. We’ve outlined some of the more common things that can be effectively removed using pressure washing.
Dirt and Grime: High pressure cleaning is excellent for removing dirt, dust, mud, and general grime from surfaces like footpaths, driveways, decks, and outdoor furniture.
Mould and Mildew: Pressure washing can effectively remove mould, mildew, and algae from surfaces such as exterior walls, roofs, and concrete.
Stains: High pressure cleaning can help eliminate various types of stains, including oil stains from driveways, grease stains from commercial kitchen floors, and wine or food stains from patios.
Paint (Partially): Pressure washing can be used to remove loose or chipping paint from surfaces before repainting. However, it may not always be as effective on well-adhered or thick layers of paint.
Graffiti: Pressure washing can often remove certain types of graffiti from surfaces.
Bird Droppings: Pressure washing can help remove bird droppings and the stains they leave behind from various surfaces.
Insects and Nesting Materials: High-pressure cleaning can remove insect nests, webs, and other debris left by pests from eaves, walls, and outdoor structures.
Stuck-on Debris: Tough-to-remove debris like dried mud, dirt, and leaves can often be dislodged and removed using high-pressure cleaning.
Salt and Mineral Deposits: Pressure washing can help eliminate salt and mineral deposits from surfaces that are exposed to water containing these minerals.
Concrete Surfaces: High-pressure cleaning can effectively clean concrete surfaces such as driveways, walkways, and patios, removing stains, dirt, and mildew.
Pool Decks: Pressure washing is commonly used to clean pool decks and remove algae, dirt, and other contaminants.
When is the Best Time to Undertake High Pressure Cleaning?
Surprisingly, there are times that are better than others when it comes to cleaning surfaces under pressure.
Generally, it’s best to perform high pressure cleaning on a clear and dry day. Rain, wind, and other adverse weather conditions can impact the effectiveness of the cleaning process and may cause water to pool or spread contaminants.
Mild to warm temperatures are preferable for high pressure cleaning. Avoid extremely hot or cold days, as temperature extremes can affect the cleaning solutions and the surfaces being cleaned.
Spring, summer, and early autumn are often the most suitable seasons for high pressure cleaning in many regions. During these seasons, the weather is generally more stable, and outdoor surfaces are more likely to be covered in dirt, pollen, and other debris.
After winter, when dirt, grime, and debris have accumulated on outdoor surfaces, it can be a good time to perform a thorough high-pressure cleaning to refresh the appearance of your property.
If you’re sensitive to allergies, you might want to avoid high pollen periods when plants release significant amounts of pollen into the air. High pressure cleaning during these times could spread allergens around your property.
Preparation for Special Occasions
Consider scheduling high pressure cleaning before special events, gatherings, or occasions when you want your outdoor areas to look their best. This could include parties, celebrations, or family gatherings.
High pressure cleaning can be part of your regular maintenance routine for outdoor surfaces. Set a schedule for having areas around your home or business cleaned to ensure they remain in good condition throughout the year.
Prior to Painting or Staining
If you plan to paint, stain, or seal outdoor surfaces, performing high pressure cleaning before these tasks can help ensure proper adhesion and a clean surface.
Consider Local Regulations
Be mindful of any local water restrictions or regulations that might affect when you can use a pressure washer, particularly in areas prone to drought.
You should also always consider the specific needs of the surfaces you’re cleaning and your local weather patterns when scheduling high pressure cleaning. If you’re unsure about the best timing, you can consult with our team, who specialise in pressure washing to get personalised recommendations.
Why Choose FCT High Pressure Cleaning Service?
At FCT Surface Cleaning, we only use eco-friendly chemicals, leaving no damage to even the most hard-to-clean outdoor surfaces. Our team takes no chances and will thoroughly inspect the area being cleaned to ensure the surface is safe and ready to clean.
With over 26 years in the business, FCT is trusted and relied upon by government contractors for schools, shires, community buildings and police departments and is the preferred contractor for smoke/fire damage cleanups for insurance companies.
We are always expanding and progressing, ensuring we offer the latest methods and technologies for environmentally friendly surface cleaning.
If you need your exterior walls, driveway or pool area cleaned, give our friendly team a call for a no obligation free quote.