It’s a sad joke in the concrete cleaning industry saying, that guy is a Home Depot pressure washer. What we are referring to is a person that buys a pressure washer for residential use. Then claims they are a professional. Of course, it is usually these men who claim these pressure washers can properly clean something such as concrete.
When you’re getting your concrete cleaned you do want to ensure your pressure washer is using proper equipment. Using the right equipment and techniques will allow the technician to complete the job at a professional level.
Many pressure washing companies apply a solution to the concrete before the concrete cleaning in order to help loosen contaminants from the concrete. This does not help as long as the proper equipment, which we will go over below, is used.
We start our process by first using a surface cleaner to cover the main area of your driveway and walkways. Next, we will use a pressure washing gun to edge out everything that the Surface Cleaner was not able to reach. Then also use the pressure washing gun to rinse all the loose debris from the concrete. Lastly, we apply the bleach-based solution to the concrete. This allows the solution to slowly move down the concrete in order to remove any remaining organic matter.
The post-treatment step is the most important and sadly one that is missed by a lot of pressure washers. Without this step, you will see lines where they pressure-washed and a pressure washer was not able to clean out everything.
Most pressure washing professionals use a machine that is rated at 8 gallons per minute and 3500 PSI. While this is the best machine to use, it is still acceptable to go all the way down to 4 gallons per minute and down to 3000 psi. Some will also use heated water for cleaning concrete. There is nothing wrong with this practice. Yet, if the technician applies post-treatment it does not matter whether it’s a cold or hot machine.
Sometimes after cleaning you may see that it has what we call Zorro marks. We find Zorro marks when technicians use a pressure washing gun instead of a surface cleaner. Essentially these marks are made from missing areas in the concrete that are still dirty. In some cases, they show up due to not missing the dirt however by cutting into the concrete, because the pressure is too high. First, it allows you to cover a significant amount of area much quicker. Second, it is a more thorough clean not missing any areas within the area of the surface cleaner.
Think of a surface cleaner the same as a lawnmower. However, instead of a blade, there is a pressure washing tube with nozzles connected to each end. These two nozzles are set on an angle in order to give a spinning motion. By this spinning action, the surface cleaner is able to clean the entire area under it.
The pressure washing gun while it is not good for cleaning the entire driveway is very beneficial for cleaning the edges and in the cracks of the concrete. When using the gun, you want to ensure that you are using no more than 1500 psi otherwise even as hard as concrete is you can still cut into the concrete if you use the pressure washer to its full strength.
A turbo nozzle is a nozzle that gives the water a pencil-like stream and spins it in a cone shape. Newer pressure washing professionals use this type of nozzle due to the ability of pressure washing a larger area quickly. However, improper use of this nozzle can cause damage to the concrete by cutting into and removing some of the cream. It is not advised to use these even if a technician is properly-versed in the use of turbo nozzles. This is due to the concentration of pressure created by this nozzle. That is why I never suggest the use of a turbo nozzle; there’s too great of a chance of damage.
When cleaning concrete most think that because it’s so hard, pressure washing will not harm it. As we just covered, the turbo nozzle damages concrete easily. Beyond that, any regular nozzle that is over 1500 PSI can also begin to degrade the concrete. This is why we use different chemicals as well in order to aid in the cleaning process of concrete.
Foxland Cleaning serves most areas north of Atlanta. Some of the communities where we work include:
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