Is there a difference between the terms power washing vs. pressure washing? People outside of the industry typically use these terms interchangeably. However, when professionals refer to a “power wash,” they imply a difference in the temperature of water from the pressure washer.
Read on to learn more about pressure washing and power washing from the experts.
What is Power Washing?
Where do you start when considering power washing vs. pressure washing? At its core, power washing’s cleaning process combines heat and pressure. It’s ideal for removing grease and stubborn dirt from decks, driveways, garages, and commercial properties, especially if you want to clean large areas.
- The heat dissolves grease more easily.
- Heat and pressure are highly effective against stubborn dirt.
- Heat plus pressure provides a heavy-duty solution that’s quick.
- The heat and pressure work well to kill weeds, moss, and algae and their spores.
- Higher pressure risks damage to more delicate surfaces.
- Power washing typically uses more water than the standard options.
- Power washers cost a little more.
The Best Time To Use Power Washing
Combining heat and pressure is powerful, so this technique works best on a tough surface like brick or concrete that’s three years or older. It’ll also shine up pavers in your driveway, effectively destroying any weeds between them. It’s also ideal for commercial and industrial projects, like removing mold, chewing gum, or baked-in grease.
However, never use this technique with fragile materials like roofing or glass.
What is Pressure Washing?
So, the only difference between power washing and pressure washing is the cold water aspect. Even pressure without heat will effectively remove most forms of dirt and grime. However, it’s less effective against grease, so pressure washing services will typically use a detergent as well.
- Pressure washing is more versatile. You can change the machine settings, and without heat, you can also change out the nozzles more easily during the job.
- Pressure washing applies to a wider variety of projects because you can adjust the spray and angle as needed.
- The machines cost less than power washers and typically use less water.
- There’s no risk of heat damage.
We wish there was one magic quick fix that worked for all cleaning projects, but pressure cleaning still has the following downside:
- High-pressure spray can cause surface damage to some materials.
- Wielding the machines seems deceptively easy but requires some practice to master.
When to Use Power Washing vs. Pressure Washing
So, pressure washing is a good option for regularly cleaning surfaces that are strong enough to withstand some pressure. For example, you can use it on walls, walkways, decks, driveways, and pavers. Fragile surfaces will still require only soft washing to be safe.
While the results aren’t always as quick as with power washing, pressure washing is still highly effective and safer than adding heat to the mix.