Power and pressure washing difference

Pressure Washing versus Power Washing


When determining whether to do power or pressure washing, understand they are two very different practices. If you do the wrong one, you could end up damaging your siding, deck, patio or driveway.


Power washing can be done on almost any surface and is a great way to keep things like your driveway, siding, decks and patios looking almost brand new on a yearly basis. However, it's a common misconception that power washing yields the same result as pressure washing or vice versa. Before you consider spending between $150 and $350 on either, be sure you know the difference between the two and how they apply to common areas of your home.


Power washing to get rid of stains and particularly difficult items like dirt, grime, mold, fungus and so on.Force of the water: Pressure washing uses the high velocity to get off dirt, dust and other items from houses, siding, decks, patio and driveways. It is especially common for masonry, because concrete, cinder block and brick tends to build up dust, dirt and grime and will need regular cleaning every year.

Unless your house is very small, an electric washer will not be able to clean your house or siding. You will have to rent or buy a gas-powered washer, which may or may not be able to handle what's on your siding. Problems like mildew, mold, fungus and algae, for example, cannot always be treated because it's cold water. Often you will have to hand treat the area with a chemical solution and then wash it. If it's just dust or dirt that needs to come off the house or siding, you should be able to wash it. It is good for removing residue when you want to paint a house or prepare it for a showing. It is effective on wood, granite, asphalt, bricks and aluminum. It will not work, and possibly harm, hardie board and vinyl. Those types of siding will need to be hand-treated with a garden hose and soap.


Concrete, paver, bricks, tiles and asphalt can be cleaned quickly with a pressure washer. The high pressure will speed up the process, as long as you use a washer that has a PSI of at least 3,000. This means you should be using a gas washer and not an electric one. Do not use a pressure washer on a gravel driveway as it blow rocks away. These will also not be effective in removing stains, so be sure you use a power washer when trying to remove those made from oil or other car deposits.


Pressure washing is a great practice to perform on your patio or deck during the spring to get rid of all those leaves and dirt buildup. It's a quick cleaning machine that saves on you having to get out the broom and spend hours outside. You can also get rid of all of that buildup without chemicals, which saves the environment and keeps any plants you might have on the deck or patio from getting sprayed with chemicals. You can use an electric washer to clean your deck or patio, which means spending less money than you would on a gas washer. Plus the low PSI of 1,500 to 2,000 will avoid your deck being etched into while still getting the dirt and grime off. Also electric washers have a chamber for you to add soap detergent, so you can put in some natural, non-toxic cleaning solution if your patio or deck needs some extra "oomph" to get clean.


A good time for power washing is when you want to increase curb appeal. It's a good way to add value without doing extreme improvements like digging up the landscape, adding a walkway and general remodels to the landscape. It's less expensive than hiring a landscape architect to design your front lawn and achieves an almost brand new look for your home exterior. If you decide to power wash your home exterior, it's good to protect your doors, windows and plants from the pressure, as it could break windows and doors if you're not careful. That's why professionals know how to operate it properly and avoid such damages.


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