How does pressure washing work?

Whether you're having the gum removed from the sidewalk in front of your building or cleaning up grime on your stone facade, power washing is an important part of regular building upkeep. While you may know the basics of this process, understanding how a pressure washer actually functions will give you better insight to how your building solutions company can keep your exterior clean. 

What is a pressure washer? 
Pressure washers are machines that combine air, water and often cleaning solutions and then spray them at a high pressure on a surface. The basic components of any pressure washer, from an industrial size to a home model, are a water intake hose, an engine, a water pump, a cleaning area, and the nozzle or output hose.

The machine takes in water then pumps it out with any cleaning solution at a high rate of speed, where the water is pressurized into a small but powerful stream. The more powerful the engine and the smaller the nozzle the higher the pressure. For domestic use, most pressure washers are run by electric motors. For commercial cleaning, companies like Clean and Polish Building Solutions use pressure washers with gasoline engines that can expel water at a much higher rate, eliminating dirt, grime and stains as well as graffiti and anything else on your building. 

Pressure washing is an important part of keeping your building clean. Pressure washing is an important part of keeping your building clean.

People commonly discuss pressure washers based on pounds per square inch, or psi, and gallons per minute, or gpm. As Popular Mechanics explained, the numbers can be the quickest way to establish the strength of a pressure washer is. An industrial pressure washer has pressure between 3,200 and 4,200 psi and can use up to 4 gpm.

"An industrial pressure washer has pressure between 3,200 and 4,200 psi."

What can it do? 
Pressure washers can get rid of nearly any stain on the exterior of a building, not to mention boats, houses, walkways and most surfaces. Building managers can call in expert power washers to get rid of everything from efflorescence to dried bird droppings.

Pressure washers can be used with multiple nozzle options that make cleaning nearly any stain from any surface possible and safe, Popular Mechanics noted. There are nozzles with different angles to help remove certain stains as well as adjustments to restrict or loosen water pressure. 

It's important for professionals to do the pressure washing on your structure, because using water that's too pressurized can actually damage your exterior and look worse than the stain.