Pressure washing is one of the best ways to maintain the condition of your property. It is a highly effective solution against dirt, grime, mold, and other buildup from various surfaces, helping to maintain their appearance, prolong their lifespan, and ensure safety.
But while pressure washing can produce impressive results, it’s not a one-time solution. The effectiveness of a pressure wash can be significantly reduced without proper post-cleaning care, and issues such as dirt, mold, or stains may reappear much sooner than anticipated.
To ensure you reap the full benefits of pressure cleaning, engaging in comprehensive after-cleaning care is essential. In the following sections, we’ll explore valuable tips and best practices to help you maintain the pristine condition of your property after pressure cleaning.
Immediate post-cleaning care
Immediately after pressure-cleaning your property, it’s vital to inspect if it was done correctly and to the desired standards. Consider following these tips below:
- Inspection and touch-ups
It’s crucial to inspect for any missed areas and remaining dirt or grime. First, select the appropriate tools for post-cleaning inspection to ensure cleanliness and maintain standards. Choose tools that work well with the surfaces. For visual inspections, use high-quality lighting and magnification tools, and for microbial assessments, consider ATP testing or swabbing.
If you see any lingering or stubborn stains, use a stronger cleaning solution or an appropriate higher setting on your pressure washer (note that a higher setting may damage fragile or vulnerable surfaces, such as paving and windows, so it’s crucial to be cautious).
To thoroughly clean in one session, working with a reputable pressure washing company is most advisable. Their extensive experience, coupled with the use of high-quality equipment and cleaning solutions, guarantees a comprehensive and efficient cleaning process, leaving no stone unturned. You can check more tips here on what to look for in a cleaning company.
- Safety measures
After pressure washing, inspect the area to ensure it’s slip-free and safe. You can use brooms and moppers to remove excess water and place cones and signages to warn people that it’s a wet floor. You can also apply a non-slip coating surface on the area to prevent any accidents. Additionally, you should ensure that all electrical outlets are dry before switching the power on.
- Proper residual water management
Pressure washing uses a significant amount of water. It elevates the risk of water damage and potential mold growth. To effectively manage and mitigate these risks, it’s crucial to promptly remove residual water, especially from low-lying areas.
You can use brooms, moppers, and vacuums. On wood surfaces, use a fan or a dehumidifier to speed up the drying process and prevent mold growth. On concrete and brick surfaces, you can use a heat gun, but be careful not to overheat or damage the surfaces.
Protecting your surfaces
Applying a protective layer is crucial, especially for surfaces vulnerable to damage and recontamination. High-traffic zones and areas prone to moisture need special attention, while surfaces exposed to harsh weather, delicate and porous materials, and spots with previous damage also warrant extra care. Taking these proactive steps helps maintain the appearance and longevity of these areas.
- Sealants and protective covering
There are different types of sealants available in the market, and each one of them is designed for specific materials. Therefore, you should check the compatibility of the sealant and the materials you want to apply it on. Here’s a look at different materials with their corresponding appropriate sealants:
- Concrete: Concrete sealants protect concrete against water penetration, abrasion, and stains. They come in various forms, such as film-forming, epoxy, and penetrative sealants.
- Wood: Wood sealants work against water penetration, mold growth, insect damage, and UV rays. There are different wood sealant finishes available, including clear, semi-transparent, and opaque.
- Metal: Metal sealants help against corrosion and rust. Metal sealants are also available in different formulations, such as colored, clear, or high-heat sealants.
To keep these surfaces clean, protected, and long-lasting, follow the instructions on the product label to apply the sealant correctly.
- Damage prevention
When cleaning up, avoid using abrasive brushes and attachments to clean stains or remove leftover water pools. Additionally, if you’re rearranging furniture, use a lifting device, such as a furniture dolly, to avoid dragging them on the ground and causing scratches. You should also inspect all surfaces for any nicks and scratches after you’ve moved everything back to the correct place. Be sure to repair them to prevent further damage.
Regular maintenance for longevity
There’s nothing like regular maintenance to ensure long-lasting results, and it reduces the frequency of pressure washing. Follow these tips:
- Cleaning schedule and routine care
Set up a regular cleaning schedule, and consider the climate, amount of foot traffic, and the type of surface. A good rule of thumb is to clean (e.g., spot cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, etc.) at least once a week to prevent dirt and grime from building up.
You should also have a seasonal cleaning and maintenance schedule that will cater to surfaces exposed to environmental elements, such as heat and snow. For example, in springtime, you may need to clean the patio and driveway to remove winter grime and dirt. In the fall, you must rake your property to prevent leaves from staining wood and concrete surfaces.
- Professional inspections
Additionally, you should have a professional come and inspect your property regularly. A professional can properly and thoroughly assess the condition of your property and identify any problems. This can help you take the necessary steps to prevent further damage.
You can also get expert advice on how to take care of your property. For example, you may learn about the latest trends and maintenance recommendations. You may also learn how to care for specific surfaces, the cleaning agents to use, and the frequency needed to clean them.
Special considerations for different materials
The type of material is the primary factor taken into consideration in the entire cleaning process. Therefore, after cleaning, it’s imperative to tailor your approach based on the type of material to prevent damage and ensure long-lasting results. This section will break down and discuss each material and how best to care for them:
Wood is a common material used in many household items and construction. However, wood is relatively softer than brick, concrete, and metal. The porous nature of wood means that the structure of wood is easily weakened by pressure cleaning. Plus, it is more susceptible to damage from sun exposure, pests, and moisture.
To ensure the longevity and integrity of the wood, it’s crucial to apply the appropriate type of sealant. Before the application, let the wood dry out thoroughly to prevent any potential issues arising from trapped moisture within the material. It is also vital to avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaners, as these can compromise the wood’s structure, leading to damage and weakening over time.
When choosing the right products to clean and protect wood surfaces, select those specifically designed for wood, such as wood soap and tablecloths. Avoid using products with silicone and ammonia.
Concrete and stonework
Concrete and stonework are also porous materials. They absorb liquid and stains, making them difficult to clean. Usually, concrete is cleaned using a low-pressure setting to prevent the water from penetrating deep into it and causing erosion.
After pressure washing, let the surface dry out thoroughly before applying a concrete sealant. Use concrete and stonework cleaning products to remove dirt, grime, and stains and leave the surface shiny.
Finally, inspect the surfaces for any chips and cracks, and repair any issues promptly. Leaving these small cracks unrepaired for a long time can lead to further damages that can be costly.
- Metal surfaces
Metal surfaces are susceptible to rust and corrosion when exposed to water and air. The best way to take care of this material is to ensure it dries entirely after pressure cleaning. If possible, keep the surface dry to protect its integrity.
When maintaining the metal surfaces, you should use metal-friendly products. For example, you can use rust inhibitors to slow down the oxidization process, hence slowing down the rusting process and ensuring a long-lasting result after pressure cleaning.
Additionally, avoid using or placing metal items, such as gardening equipment and outdoor furniture, in areas highly exposed to moisture and humidity. When pressure washing any metal item, it’s important to start with a low-pressure setting and increase it gradually if needed. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance to ensure you don’t cause damage.
Pressure cleaning is a surefire way to keep your property in top-notch condition. Pressure cleaning effectively removes stubborn stains, dirt, and grime from any surface when set at the right pressure and used with the proper cleaning solutions.
However, to ensure long-lasting results after pressure cleaning, you need to follow post-cleaning care—such as providing immediate care, understanding the need for special materials, and applying a protective coating—which will keep it good-looking for months. Additionally, regular visual inspections and noting the duration of cleanliness can ensure that your efforts are maximizing the lifespan and appearance of the surfaces.