Listen Live
Local Weather
Russellville, AL

The Honey Do List: Feel the pressure

There is one great power tool that I’m finding many folks adding to their home arsenal: Pressure washers. These machines, used properly, can make quick work of cleaning siding, brick, driveways and even vehicles. Pressure washers are ideal for thoroughly and powerfully cleaning almost any surface that is covered with caked on dirt, grime and grease.

Using a pressure washer is much different that using a garden hose. You have to know how and when to use one so that you get the job done safely and cleanly. Whether it’s your deck, siding or driveway that requires extreme cleaning, pressure washing your home is a great way to keep things looking new. And a power washer is the machine you need.

There are two basic kinds of pressure washers: Gas-powered and electric. Gas-powered models are more powerful and mobile because they don’t require an electrical plug and extension cord. Electric models are typically less expensive and lighter to carry and have trigger-activated engine on/off function.

You want a machine with a pressure level between approximately 1,300 and 1,600 pounds per square inch (PSI) for general cleaning of your home’s exterior surfaces, such as siding, sidewalks, patios and patio furniture. A machine with pressure level between 1,800 and 3,000 PSI is for more serious work like stripping paint or stain off of siding and decks. Some jobs could require more power though, so do your research to figure out how much power you think you need.

Some pressure washers have adjustments that let you adjust the spray and pressure. Most quality machines have interchangeable tips that change the impact of the spray by spreading out or compressing the spray pattern. For extreme jobs, there is a turbo tip that actually spins to really eat through stuborn stains.

Check the washer’s cleaning power by looking at its cleaning power units (CPU). This rating assesses cleaning power by multiplying PSI by the gallons per minute (GPM) it uses. You want a pressure washer with the highest CPU, in addition to your other considerations such as cost.

Among the list of features to look for is cleaning power, hose length, ability to add chemicals, portability and, as mentioned, cost. Also, consider purchasing a water hose long enough to reach the job, hearing protectors, gloves and safety glasses.

This is not an easy machine to operate, and you need to have a good basic understanding of how to safely operate it. Next week, we’ll look at setting up a new machine or maintaining an old one.

Remember, help is just around the corner at your local hardware store.

comments powered by Disqus
Copyright © 2018 Franklin Free Press All Rights Reserved.
Designed and Hosted by RiverBender.com
113 Washington Ave. NW | Russellville, AL 35653 | 256-332-0255