Pressure washing is a great way to remove dirt, dust and debris from your home’s siding, sidewalks, and deck. While it is not a difficult DIY project, a pressure washer is a powerful tool, and you must understand a few essential safety tips for handling the equipment before you begin.
Do not think that just because water is a major component in a pressure washer, it is okay to be lax about it. Pressure washer injuries are no joke. You should wear proper protective gear.
Before you begin Make a List Of Potential Hazards.
Walk the job, looking all around your work area. Be aware of power lines, trees, windows, or possible loose areas of siding or shingles. Walking the job and making a list will allow you to think of solutions beforehand.
1. Understand the Basics
Understand your purpose before buying or renting a pressure washer. If you buy one with high power, you may end up damaging the surface you are trying to clean. If you are cleaning a deck, a pressure washer with 1200-1900 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) and 1.5 GPM (Gallons per Minute) is sufficient. But, for a concrete driveway, you need a washer with 3000 PSI and 4 GPM. So, understand your needs, read the user manual and then make the purchase.
2. Wear Protective Gear
Pressure washer injuries are quite common but they can be avoided if you wear protective equipment. It is essential to invest in safety equipment because there are high chances of the dirt and debris flying towards you. It means safety googles are non-negotiable. Also, you cannot operate the equipment wearing regular clothes. It is best to wear safety suit and gloves. Do not wear open-toed sandals while cleaning a surface with the washer.
3. Learn Equipment Care
It is important to place the equipment on a flat surface. Use extensions for reaching high places because the force of the washer can push you off the ladder. If you are using an electric washer, plug it in a GFCI outlet. And, if you are using gas-powered pressure washer, check the engine oil before turning it on. Do not make the mistake of refueling it if the engine is hot or running.
4. Safety Protocols During Use
Do not start the washer before connecting it with a water supply. Do not try to change the spray pattern while the spray nozzle is active. It is crucial that you grab the pipe steadily with both hands so that you can control it, in case the gun shudders. Sometimes, water may become trappd inside the unit so, it is best to put the safety nozzle in place and lock the trigger after using the pressure washer.
5. A Few more Safety Tips
Be aware of hazards around you. Avoid using pressure washer near moving vehicles, kids and pets.
Do not spray the pressure washer at anyone. Water is released at high pressure from the equipment and it can cause serious damage to a person.
Do not use a gas pressure washer in closed spaces because the fumes may cause breathing problems and dizziness.
Stay away from electrical appliances, poles, and power lines while using the equipment. Electricity will travel on a stream of water.
Do not store the unit right after finishing. Let it cool for a few minutes.