Want to bring the sparkle back to your backyard? Consider a pressure washer. With this amazing piece of equipment, you can revitalize nearly any surface in your backyard. But what kind of pressure washer should you use? What’s the best technique? Should you use water or soap — or both?
Here’s a surface-by-surface guide to getting the most bang for your pressure-washing buck.
Clean Brick, Pavers, and Concrete Hardscapes
A pressure washer can make your pavers or concrete patio look like new. Here are a few tips to get the job done right.
- For most of these surfaces, a pressure washer with three gallons per minute (GPM) and 3,000 pounds per square inch (PSI) is ideal. Use the tip with the widest angle to avoid damaging the surface of the feature.
- Use water alone to quickly get rid of algae or mold; if you’re dealing with something more stubborn — like oil stains — use a soap attachment.
- Hold the tip about 12 inches from the hardscape surface and sweep across it evenly starting at one end and finishing on the other. Keep the spray at a slight angle to prevent damage to the surface.
- If you’re pressure-washing a large hardscape area, consider renting a sweeping attachment to make the job easier.
Images credit: reddit user longtimelurker9091
Check and Fix Loose Bricks
Be sure to check your brick hardscape elements thoroughly before you fire up the pressure washer. Older brick that has loosened and softened over time can be damaged by pressure washing. Consider using a less intense method of cleaning or fully repairing your brick hardscape before you pressure wash.
Revitalize Wooden Fences
Your fence keeps your pets in the yard, provides a safe place for kids to play, and affords privacy for your family. But because it is exposed to the elements 24/7, it can quickly become weathered. Once again, a pressure washer comes to the rescue.
- Use a “fin” pattern with moderate pressure to avoid damage. Work in sections to keep the fence wet as you work.
- Apply detergent to the fence from the bottom up to avoid streaking. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes — but keep the fence wet so the soap doesn’t dry out.
- If an area won’t come clean, use a rotating scrub brush to get rid of the stains.
Video credit: reddit user bluesun2
Does Your Fence Need a Facelift?
If your wooden fence looks especially dull and faded, consider adding a fresh coat of stain, sealant, or paint after you pressure wash. Just make sure to let your fence dry for 48 hours after pressure washing so any remaining water doesn’t get sealed into the fence.
Pressure Washing Your Swimming Pool
While pressure washers are often used effectively when installing pool finishes, we don’t recommend using them to clean your pool’s interior. For one thing, draining your pool and allowing it to dry can be harmful to your pool’s finish. Also, using too much pressure can dislodge aggregates and damage the plaster. There are plenty of other options to clean a messy pool, including robotic cleaners, brushes. If there’s difficult algae, buildup, or large debris, you may want to call a professional.
Have a Vinyl and Fiberglass Pool? Proceed with Caution.
Pressure washing is too harsh for most swimming pools with fiberglass and vinyl swimming pools. For tips on cleaning your fiberglass or vinyl swimming pool liner, check with your pool’s manufacturer.
Touch Up Your Outdoor Kitchen
Here’s a well-kept secret: Restaurants around the country use pressure washers to clean their professional-grade kitchen equipment. Take a lesson from the pros and use a pressure washer to keep your outdoor kitchen looking like new.
- Always use the widest tip possible to prevent any damage to your kitchen or grill.
- Cover all the electric outlets, lighting fixtures, or any other delicate features before you start.
- Spray a degreasing agent on grease stains and buildup and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Using the wide tip, spray the appliances and grill to remove the degreaser and dirt. Be sure to wipe up any excess moisture afterward to avoid spots.
Keeping your backyard oasis looking new isn’t difficult, and using a pressure washer is one of the quickest and easiest ways to accomplish the task. Plus, nothing is more satisfying than watching years of dirt and grime come off.
We could watch this video for hours: