Pressure washing can be a valuable tool for maintaining the aesthetics and integrity of various surfaces around your home. However, there are certain items you should never pressure wash due to the potential for irreparable damage. This comprehensive guide will detail 15 such items and the reasons why they should be spared the intense water pressure.
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1. Painted Surfaces
Pressure washing painted surfaces can cause the paint to chip or peel away. This damage can detract from the aesthetics of your home, potentially reducing its overall value.
2. Asphalt Roofing
Asphalt shingles can be easily damaged by the high pressure of a pressure washer. The granules on the shingles, which protect against UV rays and weather conditions, can be washed away, leaving your roof vulnerable.
3. Old Mortar
Old homes with aging mortar in their brickwork can suffer significant damage from pressure washing. The mortar can be dislodged, leading to structural instability over time.
4. Windows and Glass Doors
The high-pressure water stream can crack or shatter glass, leading to costly repairs. Even if the glass is not broken, pressure washing can damage seals and caulking around windows and doors, leading to water leaks.
5. Vinyl Siding
While vinyl siding is often pressure washed to remove dirt and mildew, care must be taken. High pressure can dent or crack the siding, and water can get underneath, leading to mold issues or structural damage.
6. Air Conditioning Units
Pressure washing can lead to bent or damaged cooling fins, impact electrical parts, or cause water to enter parts of the unit that should remain dry. This can lead to poor performance or failure of the unit.
7. Lead-Based Paint
Homes built before 1978 may have lead-based paint. Pressure washing can aerosolize the paint, creating a health hazard for humans and pets.
8. Stained Wood
Pressure washing can strip away the stain on wooden surfaces, leaving them exposed to the elements. This can lead to quicker degradation of the wood.
The high pressure can damage the paintwork on vehicles, and water can enter electrical systems, leading to malfunctions or even failure.
10. Outdoor Lighting Fixtures
Water can get into light fixtures, leading to electrical shorts. The pressure can also break the glass on the fixtures.
11. Plants and Landscaping
The high water pressure can damage delicate plants and flowers, disrupt landscaping, and strip away topsoil.
12. Composite Decking
The pressure can strip away the protective outer layer of composite decking, reducing its lifespan and making it more susceptible to staining and fading.
13. Pool Liners
Pressure washing can damage pool liners, leading to leaks. This can be an expensive repair.
14. Electrical Panels and Meters
Water and electricity are a dangerous combination. Pressure washing electrical panels and meters can cause serious electrical issues and potential safety hazards.
15. Outdoor Art and Decorations
These items are often not designed to withstand the high pressure of a pressure washer and can be damaged or destroyed.
In conclusion, while pressure washing can be an effective way to clean and maintain many surfaces around your home, it’s important to know what not to pressure wash. By avoiding the items listed in this guide, you can keep your home in great condition while preventing unnecessary damage.
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