Learn how to power wash

Renting / Buying a power washer

The process of cleaning hard surfaces using a stream of highly pressurized water is called power washing, and the machine required for the job is called a power washer. This method of cleaning carries many benefits, it can be used in various cleaning contexts and on a variety of surfaces. The main goal of using a power washer is to easily rid your outdoor areas free of dirt, debris, mould, mildew, algae, and other stuck-on substances. Compared to scrubbing an exterior surface by hand, power washing is the faster and more convenient way of treating driveways, wood decks, and patios, as well as vinyl sidings, or concrete sidewalks and paths.

If you have decided to take the power washing task into your own hands but you don’t have the necessary equipment, then you will have to either rent or buy a power washer.

Pressure washers have either electric or gas-powered motors. The main performance indicators are the PSI – pound per square inch, which is the water pressure that the pumps generate, and the flow rate, which is given in either gallons per minute or cubic metres per second. The fact is that pressure can only get you so far and that the water flow rate plays a significant role in determining how well a power washer performs. For example, high pressure combined with a low flow will only give you a fine jet, whereas if both indicators are high, the machine is more efficient.

Aside from determining the right size, pressure, and power washer model suitable for the type of work you are planning to do, you need to decide if you are willing to invest in buying the machine or simply renting it. An easy way to find out which is the better option, you can divide the pressure washer’s purchase price by the number of times you expect to use the tool in the course of a year. If the result is lower than the rental price, you may wish to purchase the machine instead.


Many homeowners wash their outdoors every year after the cold season. This way, they can get rid of all the debris, mould, mildew, and other elements accumulated on the surfaces after the winter months. Buying a power washer means that you can use it at your own convenience and on your own schedule, no matter if you need it for a big annual project, or for more frequent quick clean-ups, such as washing your car. Even if you only use the machine for spring-cleaning your property, it will pay for itself after a couple of uses.  However, one major issue that comes from owning a power washer is the fact that you need to store it. There are options on the market for very compact machines, but even a smaller pressure washer will take up some room. If you have a big house with a large garage or shed, then this is a minor detail; but if the space is at a premium already, you might be thinking twice before using it to store a piece of equipment that you only take out once per year.

As with any other small or big investment you make in your home, you will likely want to keep your power washing equipment for many years to come. While this is good for your finances, it is not that good when comes to keeping up with the latest technology and updates in the industry. Of course, you will say that as long as your pressure washer is still in “good shape” and efficient, it doesn’t need an upgrade. However, owning an outdated machine comes with some risks. If your power washer model is discontinued and the one that you have at home stops working and needs to be serviced, then it might be very hard to get it fixed. Purchasing a piece of equipment that comes with a warranty is the safest thing to do.


One important advantage of renting any tool, including a power washer, is the fact that you have access to the latest technologies and models on the market. And of course, renting them comes at a cheaper price than actually buying the machines.

Other aspects that should be taken under consideration before renting a pressure washer are the transportation of the equipment from the rental place to your home and back, as well as the time frame allocated for you to use it. Powers washers are quite heavy tools, with the weight of an electric-powered machine ranging from 15 to more than 60 pounds. If you opt for a gas-powered model, you should know that it can weigh more than 100 pounds. Therefore, you need to make sure that your vehicle and your own strength are enough for the safe transportation of the power washer.

When comes to figuring out for which amount of time you need to rent the power washing equipment, you need to consider not only how long is going to take you to complete the project, but also that you will have to pick it up and return it in that same window of time. More than that, power washing is very weather dependent. If you live in an area with regular rainfall, you might find out that the rain is eating into your rental timeline, and you need to negotiate a longer time frame.

If you are a novice in washing the outdoors of your property, renting a power washer will give you the opportunity to familiarize yourself with both the equipment and the cleaning process, at a lower cost than buying the machine. Should you decide that the job is too difficult for you or it takes too much time, you could always avail of professional power washing services. A major advantage of outsourcing the power washing tasks is that an experienced pro will get the job done in far less time than you would do it, and with a better outcome. If you are dealing with tough embedded stains, you will quickly learn that it is very difficult to get rid of them on your own and you will need some expert help. In this situation, professional oil stain removal, chewing gum removal, or graffiti removal services are the most convenient and efficient way of power washing the affected areas.

A pressure washing unit is a powerful tool and in the hands of an untrained homeowner, it can be quite dangerous. You could damage not only the equipment itself but also the surface you want to clean or any other items around it. Not to mention that the higher the pressure of the power washer, the higher the risk to hurt yourself or someone in close proximity. Read the next section of our article to find out the safety measures you need to put in place in order to avoid any accidents.

Risks and Precautions

Power washing is a great way to wash up the exterior of your home and it offers an optimal solution in various cleaning contexts. However, if you have never used a sprayer before, exercise caution and learn as much as you can about how to clean your driveway, patio, or any other area, before you turn on your washer. If you are renting the unit, you could always ask the shop representatives to demonstrate how to use it and not just explain its operation to you. 

While it might not seem like the thin stream of water could be dangerous, it comes out of the end of the wand at up to 2,000 pounds of force. That is enough not only to damage your home’s exterior but without the proper precautions, you run the risk of hurting yourself or others. Therefore, never point a pressure washer at yourself or others, and never attempt to push or move objects with spray from the washer. Needless to say, never allow children to operate a power washer machine, and keep them at a safe distance when you use the equipment.

Bear in bear in mind that power washing can make everything and everyone around very dirty by blasting filth in all directions. You should wear waterproof, protective gear, safety glasses, goggles, and shoes. Choose your attachments wisely to avoid making too much mess. Power washer nozzles allow users to reach a greater distance or apply more pressure to a difficult-to-clean surface. They are colour coded for easy identification. Black nozzles are covering the widest degree (65°), and the red ones the least (0°).  A 0° nozzle has the hardest spray, so great care should be taken when using it, as it can harm you or passer-byes, alongside damage the surface. It is best used for areas affected by algae, moss, weed, mould, or other stuck-on substances. For more delicate surfaces, such as house siding, patios, or decks, a 40° nozzle, should be enough.

Close range is more effective for some applications, however, you should stay at least 5 to 6 feet away from the surface you are cleaning until you get more familiar with the equipment and you know how the spray reacts. Start with the lowest setting and slowly increase the pressure, only if the material the area is made of allows you. For vertical surfaces start from the top and wash your way down, so the dirty water doesn’t go over clean places. 

Although power washers are insulated and very safe to use, there’s always a risk of using electricity near water, so be sure to work with an RCD unless you’re using a gasoline-powered machine. If your pressure washer has a gasoline-powered engine, you should not use it in an enclosed space, as it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Always plug a properly grounded pressure washer into a properly grounded receptacle and test the ground fault circuit interrupter (circuit breaker or outlet) before using the machine. If you need to use an extension cord pick a heavy-duty one, with components rated for use in wet locations, and keep the connection out of any standing water. It is recommended you secure or cover all electrical outlets before starting the cleaning process and refrain from spraying at a water or electrical outlet. In case your pressure washer has tripped a circuit breaker or has any electrical problems, have it checked by a qualified electrician.

Areas that can be power washed

Both residential power washing and commercial power washing are one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly methods of deep cleaning and preserving the condition of your property. When performed by experts on a regular basis, professional power washing services in Dublin are highly beneficial. From improving the appearance of your outside areas, and reducing the risk of allergies and other potential hazards, to prolonging the life span of your paint job and maintaining the structural integrity of your building, pressure washing proves to be an optimal solution in numerous cleaning contexts.

Driveways and garage floors

Driveways are at top of the list of most popular areas to be power washed. Many homeowners in Dublin and other surrounding areas choose to clean this space at least once per year, in the spring. Regular driveway cleaning has the role of keeping algae, moss, mould, and weed deposits at bay, and discouraging them from growing back. By removing the build-up of dirt and grime, a jet wash can remediate slippery surfaces and restore the rough finish of your driveway. Another reason for power washing your driveway or garage floor is to get rid of any oily residues that might affect the surface. These two areas are more prone to oil stains than others, therefore, expert driveway cleaning services and oil stain removal services are a must.

Patios and decks

Of all the outdoor areas of your home, the patio and the deck are the most beloved ones. Power washing should be an integral step of your deck and patio maintenance program if you want to preserve their “good look” and help them retain their shape for many years to come. Rains, winds, extreme temperatures, pests, moisture, and others, are the main factors that influence these two areas’ performances. A jet wash removes dust, debris, grime, mould, mildew, moss, algae, as well as the bacteria and allergens and any other particles caked on a surface, therefore, both your deck and patio will regain their natural beauty and they will be free of many health and safety hazard. 

Siding and sidewalks

Unkempt sidewalks and siding not only decrease the curb appeal of your property but present many health and safety concerns. Did you know that mould spores could travel indoors where they circulate in the air until they find the perfect environment to start another thriving colony? So if your sidewalks or siding are mouldy, the chances are other areas in your home might be affected too. More than that, mould and algae patches increase the risk of slips and falls. Expert power washing services can remediate slippery surfaces and prevent the re-growth of contaminants.

Roof cleaning

When comes to cleaning your roof, the soft washing technique is the method recommended, as power washing this surface, even at low intensity, might damage it. This method involves the use of a specialized detergent that removes all plant, fungal and bacterial life in a safe manner. By regularly deep cleaning your roof you preserve its shingles or tiles condition and prevent early discoloration of the material. When left untreated, the build-up of dirt and contaminants can infiltrate your roof’s panels, weakening its structure from the inside or leading to the rotting of the support system. More than that, algae and mould infestation could spread into the attic area, interfering with your air conditioning system. Professional roof cleaning services in Dublin are the most convenient and safe way of protecting your property against external elements and maintaining your home’s value.

Gutter, fascia, and soffit

Your gutter system has the important role of protecting your doors, ceiling, walls and foundation from water damage, preventing basement flooding, minimise soil erosion around your property, and protecting your fascia and patios from water-related staining and decay. To enjoy all the benefits of a fully functional gutter and downspout network, you should have them checked and deep cleaned on a regular basis. Many property owners choose to have the fascia and soffit cleaned at the same time with the gutters. Washing your fascia and soffit at least once per year will extend their life span, maintain their good look prevent water leaks and increase the overall value of your home or commercial premises. 


All things outdoor – outdoor furniture, including cushions, fences, bikes, grill area, and other outdoor items could be power washed, however, it is important to monitor the pressure of your equipment, as too much of it might damage them.  

Commercial power washing – commercial owners should look at power washing as an investment they make in the future of their premises, and a way of protecting their assets against damage and decay.  When used to treat car parks, driveways, sidewalks, facades, parking garages, loading docks, dumpster areas, parking lots, facades, awnings, and other areas, commercial power washing is an easy, quick and efficient way of removing years’ worth of dirt, debris, and allergens, that greatly contribute to surface weathering. 

When is the best time of the year for power washing?

The most recommended time of the year for power washing the outdoor area of your residential or commercial property is the spring season. Many homeowners wait for the warmer days to deep clean their patios, decks, driveways, or any other outdoor areas, as weather conditions have an important say in whether your power wash job it’s going to be a success or a failure. Low temperatures are not suitable for an effective cleaning process. Shooting water into cracks and crevices is fine in warm or cool weather, but if you’re expecting freezing weather within a few days to a week of pressure washing be aware that water may freeze and expand, damaging what you’ve cleaned. As soon as the sun starts shining, the time is just right for pressure washing. This way you can get your outdoors ready for all the family get-togethers, summer barbeques, and other social activities that warmer days come with.

Introducing professional power washing services into your spring cleaning routine will give you the opportunity to get rid of all the dirt, mould and mildew, algae, and other elements accumulated on a surface after the winter months. More than that, pollen and other allergens run the highest during this time of the year. Power washing services have the ability to keep allergens off the exterior of your building and prevent them from being blown inside by the wind.

Another good reason for scheduling your power washing jobs right after the cold season is that it will simplify your property’s maintenance process. It is well known that pressure washing works as a great primer, removing dirt and grime and preparing the surfaces for a new coat of paint or other repair works you have in mind.

Another good time for pressure washing your property is at the end of fall. During this season leaves can build up in your gutter, and wind can blow them and other debris into hard-to-reach areas. More than that, if you failed to deep clean the outdoors in the spring, pollen, allergens, and bacteria are caked on the surfaces. Therefore, power washing your house before the winter kicks in is a good idea.

Other situations when a thorough washing of your property is recommended, are after a heavy storm, when living in a very humid climate, or when your home is located too close to sap-producing trees. Heavy winds and driving rain can cause dirt to build up on a home’s siding much quicker than normal, while humidity increases the chances of growing mould.

Does power washing involve the use of chemicals?

Does power washing involve the use of chemicals? If you are only spraying down your patio or balcony to get rid of some dust and dirt, the powerful stream of water should be enough. However, for more “heavy duty” jobs, such as chewing gum, grease, or oil stains, or even for areas that haven’t been cleaned in a long time, you will need a detergent to go with your pressure washer. The highly pressurized blast of water will only do so much, but the right soap and cleaning solution will increase your washing efficiency and effectiveness and take the cleaning process to the next level.

Most power washers have a detergent tank, where you can add the cleaning solution. If you have an older model, or your machine does not have a soap compartment, you will need a wand attachment that allows you to add the soap to the end of the nozzle. When we say “soap”, we don’t mean your regular dish soap, but a certified pressure washer detergent specifically made to work with these machines and get you the most efficient cleaning solution possible.

Not all surfaces are made equal and not all cleaning solutions are the same. Depending on the type of material the area you want to wash is made of, you will have to use not only different techniques, nozzles, or pressure but also different detergents. If you are not a pro, stick to buying premixed solutions, which are designed to clean specific surfaces. There are many options on the market, from concrete degreasers, graffiti removal detergents, masonry restoration solutions, and vehicle washing soaps to wood cleaners for decks and fences paint and coatings removal detergents, or general-purpose cleaning solutions.

Understanding the various differences among cleaners is very important not only for obtaining optimal results but also for making sure no damage will occur to the surface you are cleaning.  There are three types of solutions used in power washing, labeled based on their intended purpose: cleaners for removing dirt, sanitisers for killing bacteria, and disinfectants for killing all organisms within 30 minutes. The most common chemicals you can find in these solutions are sodium hypochlorite, which disinfects and removes tough stains, sodium hydroxide, which dissolves grease and fats, ammonia, which is effective in cleaning stainless steel and glass, oxalic acid, which is useful in rust removal, citric acid for cleaning concrete driveways and wood decks, bleach, which disinfects and sanitises aggressively, and potassium hydroxide, which is used for making liquid or soft soap. 

Different power-washing companies use different brands, however, the main ingredients remain the same. On shelve, products are usually not as powerful as professional detergents. More than that, many power washing businesses choose to mix their own solutions, which means they can achieve different levels of strength.

If you decided to use a specialized cleaner with your power washer, you should first spray the chemical and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing it with water. Don’t allow it to dry as it will only redeposit the dirt and make it more difficult to wash away.

DIY vs hiring professional power washing agents

Availing of professional power washing services on a regular basis carries numerous benefits for both residential and commercial owners. Hiring a professional company to look after the outdoor areas of your property is the most convenient and safe way of maintaining their appearance and preserving their condition. It will not only save you much time and effort, but it will also offer you the guarantee that the power washing tasks will be completed in an efficient, timely, and safe manner. Compared to DIY methods, professional power washing cuts down the need of buying/rent equipment, gather materials, prepare a cleaning solution of appropriate strength and undergo a rigorous half day or more of hard work. For commercial contractors, outsourcing the power washing jobs to expert agents takes away the hassle of training their staff on how to use the machines, and what detergents should be applied and reduces the risk of injury.

 At Power Washing Dublin by Happy Clean, we offer hot water power washing services at the highest standards. No matter if you need your car park, driveway, roof, facades, or any other space washed, our services offer an excellent solution in various cleaning contexts. From regular freshening up your premises to removing years’ worth of dirt and grime, or tough stains, such as rust, leaching, chewing gum, graffiti or oil, our qualified power washing agents will provide you with the best service on the market. We work with both residential and commercial sectors, and besides Dublin, we also cover Kildare, Meath, Wicklow, Laois, Louth, Offaly, Cavan, Carlow, Wexford, Kilkenny, and other surrounding areas.

Using high-quality equipment, specialised cleaning solutions, and different power washing techniques we will restore your areas to their “like new” condition, getting rid of the build-up of dirt and debris. Our power washing technicians will approach every job, no matter how big or small, with a thorough eye, great attention to detail, and professionalism. If you are looking for professional power washing in Dublin 15, all other Dublin areas, or anywhere in Ireland, contact us! You can call us, text us, send us a Whatsapp messagePM on FacebookDM on Instagram, or comment on our Youtube videos!

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