At this time of the year, we start to spend more time outdoors, including using our patios, decks, and other outside spaces for relaxing and entertaining. But if it has been a while since you’ve given your outdoor area a good clean, you may notice that there has been an accumulation of dirt and grime or perhaps some mould or mildew growth. You may also notice a build-up of stains in areas like your driveway. All of this diminishes the aesthetic appeal of your home and can create health and safety hazards.
High-pressure cleaning, also known as pressure washing, is an effective, efficient, and safe method for restoring your outdoor areas back to a place where you want to be.
The Benefits of High-Pressure Cleaning
No one has time to spend hours scrubbing their outdoor entertaining and living spaces to get rid of a build-up of dirt and stains. That’s not even to mention the shopping for cleaning products and hoping you purchased the right one for the job.
There are many benefits to high-pressure cleaning your outdoor area, with time saving being just one of them.
Enhanced Kerb Appeal: A clean outdoor space instantly boosts your property’s kerb appeal. High-pressure cleaning removes unsightly stains, dirt, and algae, leaving your home looking well-maintained and inviting.
Prevents Health Hazards: Mould, mildew, and algae can grow on your outdoor surfaces, posing health risks. High-pressure cleaning eliminates these potentially harmful substances, creating a healthier environment for your family.
Increased Lifespan: Regular high-pressure cleaning can extend the lifespan of your outdoor surfaces. The removal of dirt and grime prevents deterioration and keeps these areas looking fresh for longer.
Safety: Dirty driveways and walkways can become slippery when wet, increasing the risk of accidents. Pressure washing removes these hazards, making your outdoor spaces safer.
What Surfaces Can Be Cleaned with a Pressure Cleaner?
Pressure washers are versatile tools that can clean a wide range of surfaces and materials effectively. Many homeowners and business owners have their buildings and external spaces cleaned regularly, which includes areas such as:
- Footpaths: Pressure washers are excellent for removing dirt, grime, and stains from concrete and other hard surfaces.
- Driveways: Concrete, asphalt, and paver driveways can be easily cleaned to remove oil stains, moss, and general dirt buildup.
- Decks: Wooden decks can benefit from pressure washing to remove mould, mildew, dirt, and old sealants in preparation for resealing or staining.
- Patios: Whether made of concrete, stone, pavers, or tile, patios can be cleaned to remove dirt, algae, and other contaminants.
- Fencing: Pressure washers can quickly clean and refresh wooden, vinyl, or metal fences.
- Siding: Exterior siding made of vinyl, wood, brick, or stucco can be cleaned to remove dirt, mildew, and grime.
- Brickwork: Pressure washing can restore the appearance of brick walls, walkways, and other surfaces.
- Roofs: Pressure washing is sometimes used to remove moss, algae, and stains from roofs, especially on tile roofs. However, this should be done carefully to avoid damaging roofing materials.
- Gutters: Pressure washers can clear debris, leaves, and dirt from gutters to ensure proper water flow.
- Outdoor Furniture: You can use lower pressure settings to clean outdoor furniture made of various materials, such as plastic, metal, or wood.
- Swimming Pools: Pressure washing can be used to clean the concrete or stone around swimming pools.
- Garage Floors: Pressure washers can remove oil stains and other garage floor contaminants.
- Windows: Some pressure washers have lower-pressure settings and accessories suitable for cleaning windows and window frames.
- Concrete and Masonry Surfaces: This includes retaining walls, steps, and other concrete or masonry structures.
It is essential to understand that not all surfaces are suitable for pressure washing; materials such as certain types of wood, older, more fragile brickwork, and some exterior house materials can be damaged by pressure cleaning. This is why engaging the services of a professional is a good idea. It is essential to use the appropriate pressure settings, nozzles, and cleaning solutions for each surface to avoid damage, while achieving the best results.
How Often Should You Have Your Outdoor Areas Pressure Cleaned?
The frequency with which you should have your outdoor spaces pressure cleaned depends on several factors, including your location, the type of outdoor surfaces, and the level of use and exposure to environmental elements.
Here are some general guidelines to help you decide how often you should schedule pressure cleaning for different outdoor spaces:
- High-Traffic Areas: If your driveway experiences heavy traffic, like multiple vehicles passing daily, you may need to clean it every 6 to 12 months.
- Moderate-Traffic Areas: For driveways with moderate traffic, an annual cleaning may suffice.
- Low-Traffic Areas: Driveways with minimal use might only need pressure cleaning every 2-3 years.
Patios and Decks
Wooden decks typically require cleaning and sealing every 1-2 years to maintain their appearance and protect against weathering. If you have a concrete patio, these can benefit from an annual cleaning, especially if they’re exposed to heavy foot traffic and debris.
Like driveways, the frequency of cleaning for sidewalks and walkways depends on traffic levels. High-traffic areas may need cleaning every 6-12 months, while lower-traffic areas can be cleaned less frequently.
Pool decks often need more frequent cleaning due to exposure to pool chemicals and moisture. Every 6-12 months is typically recommended.
For the exterior of your house or business, the frequency may vary based on your location in Perth. Generally, you may need to clean the exterior every 1-3 years to remove dirt, mildew, and mould. If you live closer to the ocean, you may like to do it more regularly to get rid of a build-up of salt.
Many homeowners choose to pressure clean in the spring or early summer to prepare outdoor spaces for the warmer months when they’ll be used more frequently. We recommend getting it done in spring, as most homeowners leave this job until the last minute.
Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, and your specific situation may vary. It really comes down to regular visual inspections; if you notice staining, discolouration or the growth of mould and mildew, it is a good indication that it is time to have your outdoor area pressure cleaned.
Pressure Cleaning: Hire a Professional?
It can be tempting to DIY pressure cleaning, but it really comes down to your experience, the equipment you have available and the complexity of the task.
Hiring a Professional for High-Pressure Cleaning
- Large or Complex Jobs: For extensive areas or complex cleaning tasks, such as multi-level decks, steeply sloped driveways, or high exterior walls, it’s often safer and more efficient to hire a professional.
- Inexperience: If you’re not familiar with pressure washing equipment and techniques, it’s easy to damage surfaces, injure yourself, or misuse chemicals. Professionals have the experience to handle such tasks safely.
- Optimal Results: Professional pressure washers have industrial-grade equipment and experience, ensuring thorough and effective cleaning. They can achieve superior results, especially in removing stubborn stains, mould, and mildew.
- Time Savings: High-pressure cleaning can be time-consuming, especially for large areas. Professionals can complete the job more quickly, allowing you to focus on other tasks.
- Access to Specialised Equipment: Professionals may have access to specialised attachments and chemicals to tackle specific cleaning challenges effectively.
- Avoid Hazards: Pressure washers can be dangerous if not used correctly. Professionals are trained to handle equipment safely, reducing the risk of accidents.
- Preservation of Surfaces: Professionals know how to adjust the pressure and cleaning techniques to prevent surface damage, which can be a concern when pressure washing wood, delicate stone, or older surfaces.
So, should you DIY, or should you hire a professional?
Depending on the job, we recommend hiring a professional for high-pressure cleaning. If you have a small, straightforward task, and you’re experienced with the equipment, DIY can be a cost-effective option. However, for larger or more complex jobs, or if you’re inexperienced, it’s often safer and more practical to hire a professional. They can deliver better results, save you time, money and minimise the risk of damage or injury.
Be sure to weigh the pros and cons and make a decision that aligns with your specific needs and resources.
High-pressure cleaning is a powerful method for rejuvenating your outdoor spaces. It enhances curb appeal, removes health hazards, and prolongs the lifespan of your outdoor surfaces. Hiring a professional pressure cleaning company means you can enjoy cleaner, safer, and more attractive patios, decks, and driveways.