Pressure washers add value by increasing curb appeal

Pressure washers should be mandatory equipment for every homeowner. Many women resort to hiring someone for outside chores around the house. I certainly would love for a guy to do all the dirty work in my yard. But since I didn’t marry the handyman, hiring someone to do all these jobs could get expensive. Pressure washing professionals in my area quoted me $650 to clean my pool deck, driveway, and two sidewalks. It’s a fair price, but expensive to me.

Pressure Washers Cause Addiction

Today’s modern power washers are gas, electric, or even battery-powered. You measure the power of a washer in PSI (pounds per square inch) and GPM (gallons per minute). The higher the number, the stronger the water flow and the more water used. Both numbers are significant when you go shopping for your first power washer.

I reviewed my favorite five electric pressure washers recently. After completing the reviews, I own two pressure washers now, and I’ve discovered all kinds of jobs that are so much easier and less expensive when using these machines.

Safety First

If you never used a lot of power tools like me, don’t be lulled into thinking these pressure washers can’t do damage. A 2000 PSI system with a 0-degree tip can remove paint from your house or car or tear up your pool deck. I know someone who pressure-washed her patio in bare feet and accidentally blew her toenail off. No, it wasn’t me. The moral of the story is always to wear protective gear — closed-toe shoes and protective eyewear. Don’t ever aim your pressure washer gun at someone or any animal.

Being Green – The savings begin to total up.

Here are just a few of the jobs I’ve done and the money I’ve saved by doing it myself. Any weekend I need to use this pressure washer. I start counting up the money I’m saving by not hiring someone else. I’ve paid for my pressure washer five times over!

Car Washing – Savings $23 (basic wash) to $175 (outside detailing)

A quick run through our local car wash with wax and tire cleaning is $23. Florida is in full-blown lovebug season. Cars get coated driving a short distance, and that lovebug fluid will ruin the paint if not removed. A 40-degree nozzle set to fan spray will blow off any dust. I used the Chemical Guys Citrus Wash and Gloss to foam up the car and then a couple of wipes with the car mitt and rinse

Cleaning the Driveway and Sidewalk – Savings $250

Pressure washing the driveway and sidewalks is time-consuming the first time around. But worth it. Use the 25-degree nozzle set to fan spray for most areas. A local handyman quoted me $250 to clean my double-wide driveway and the walkway to my house. It took me almost six hours the first time, or $42 an hour.

House Paint / Siding – Savings $400

Professional house painters recommend you “clean” the outside of your house every year with a pressure washer to dislodge pollution and dirt. Use the 40-degree all-purpose nozzle. You can easily spend $5,000 or more for a good paint job. A quality paint job can last ten years or more. You’ll pay for that paint job twice if you hire someone to wash the house off every season.

Patio / Deck / Fences – Savings $100

Use the 40-degree nozzle to clean off the privacy fence before adding stain or paint, and use the same nozzle to clean off algae and direct if your deck is wood. Switch to the 25-degree nozzle to clean a masonry or brick patio.

Arbor Cleaning – Savings $200

This job was painful. Even this great unit couldn’t clean the arbors, and my arms hurt holding the pressure gun above my head. I used the 25-degree nozzle set to fan spray to remove 10-years of mold and dirt from the pressure-treated wood arbors.

Grill Cleaning – Savings $25

You can complete this job in 15 minutes. I used the 40-degree all-purpose nozzle to clean my Weber Kettle (circa 1998) and replaced the charcoal and grill grate with parts.

I’m just getting started cleaning around the house! I promise to have more posts demonstrating how power tools make life easier.

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