Cleaning dirt, grime, moulds, and mildew is very challenging if you’re using normal cleaning tools like sponges, brushes, water, and detergents. So, most people that need to clean commercial or residential buildings resort to pressure washing to make the task easier and in the shortest possible time. However, as its name suggests, pressure washing uses highly pressurised water to remove dirt, and it can be dangerous if you do it without proper knowledge or training.
Even people trained to handle pressure washers are still involved in accidents because of equipment that wasn’t checked properly and other factors. Back in 2012, a worker from NSW died because he was hit squarely in the chest by the highly pressurised water stemming from an industrial hose. It was said that the water-jet stream was strong enough to slice through concrete, so it was not shocking that the man suffered multiple, fatal injuries to his chest, particularly the lungs and heart. It’s regrettable.
So, to avoid unfortunate accidents in the future, you should know about the dangers of DIY pressure washing:
- High possibility of obtaining physical injuries: Many people are unaware or are foolish enough to downplay the intensity of the water-jet stream produced by a pressure washer. But the pressure emanating from a pressure washer is estimated to be 50 times stronger than your run-of-the-mill garden hose. So, it’s not surprising to know that the machine can easily cause injuries to the feet and hands while some can even cut through industrial-grade boots. Also, the hose is tough to control, which can increase the probability of accidents that can cause physical harm (this happens more often than you’d think).
- High risk of electrocution: Pressure washers are one of few machines that are somewhat designed to be dangerous because of the interaction between water and electricity. In addition, there are several models of pressure washers that have power cords that range from 6 to 9 meters that make it very susceptible to cord kinking or cracking. It makes it very dangerous especially in the presence of water. So, you should make sure that water won’t get into the cracks to avoid mishaps. Aside from electrocution, water and electricity’s interaction can also pose a fire hazard. To tackle this problem, you should have a power source that is grounded to lessen the risk.
- Damage to exposed surfaces: When you’re doing pressure washing, it produces a lot of power, which makes it very useful as a tool because it can clean almost anything. But the power that it produces may be beneficial, but it can also cause damage to some surfaces if it is misused. Surfaces like wood, mortar, and anything with paint can be permanently damaged when a pressure washer is used too close to it. Also, painted surfaces can be especially risky as it can chip away and cause lead contamination if it contains a significant amount of lead. Aside from that, if you place the hose in the wrong position, the water can penetrate the siding which damages the insulation and wiring.
- Windows, shingles, and anything fragile: Most windows, especially those that are quite old, may not be able to take on the immense pressure from the machine. It is also true for some shingles that are made of weaker materials, and pressure washers may cause cracks or shatter them completely. So, before deciding to use power washers for your home or commercial building, you should consult an expert to determine which areas are fit for pressure washers and which parts aren’t. Aside from that, they may also advise you if using a pressure washer is appropriate for your situation.
- Exposure to harmful chemicals: Pressure washers often use cleaning chemicals that may pose a risk for you if it manages to get into a wound or any points of entry in your body. If this happens, it may cause serious health problems that can lead you to the emergency room.
So, if you want to avoid having these problems, the most natural thing that you can do is let the experts and professionals handle it for you. It will not only let you relax, but it will also save you from the hassle of having to learn how to use a power washer properly. Is it worth it to save a few dollars by doing it yourself when it poses a severe risk for you and your property? For me, it’s not, and you should let the tried and true professionals from Softwash Cleaning do all the work for you!